NATCHEZ BLUES: New Tintype Photos by Bill Steber

I've been a fan of Bill Steber's photography since I first saw his iconic black and white photos on the cd covers of Fat Possum Records artists like Junior Kimbrough. Bill recently posted these photos on Facebook and with his kind permission i'm posting them here. 

Bill writes:
"In May of 2010 I traveled to Natchez MS with my darkroom and 8x10 view cameras to make wetplate photos for a story on the Natchez blues scene for Living Blues magazine. Natchez has a such a haunted history, being the site of one of the largest slave auctions in the antebellum south, Civil War battles, and in 1940-the nation's most tragic single fire to date, when 209 people died at the Rhythm Club. I wanted the photos to capture the gothic and timeless feeling of Natchez. Many thanks to the performers there who sat for long exposures in the sweltering heat to make this story possible. This issue of Living Blues is now on newsstands"

Tintype photo of Little Poochie at Rosalie Mansion for 
Living Blues story on the Natchez, MS blues scene.

Tintype photo of Mississippi River Bridge connecting Natchez MS to 
Vidalia, LA for Living Blues story on the Natchez, MS blues scene.

Tintype photo of Elmo Willams

 Tintype photo of Hezekiah Early made at his home
Tintype photo of Trustee Prisoners working the 1st annual Soul Survivors Blues festival in downtown Ferriday, LA that featured performers from the Natchez area

Tintype photo of Windsor Plantation ruins in Port Gibson, MS.

 Tintype photo of Little Jimmy Anderson

Tintype photo of Mammy Restaurant on Hwy. 61 just South of Natchez

Tintype photo of slave chains embedded in concrete at the Forks in the Road 
historical slave auction site in Natchez MS. Located at the edge of the city limit 
along what is now St. Catherine at Liberty Rd., the Forks in the Road contained 
numerous wooden buildings housing slaves and the second largest 
slave auction site in the South.

Tintype photo of Robert Cage

Tintype photo of Lonnie Johnson, resident of the Forks in the Road community 
in Natchez, in his garden beside the public housing apartment where he lives. 
The Forks in the Road was the site of the largest and most prominent slave 
auction and warehouses in Mississippi, importing slaves from Virginia and
Maryland and marching them along the Natchez Trace South to Natchez 
where they were sold on a first come, first serve
manor to planters in the Deep South.

Tintype photo of Gray Montgomery taken at Natchez Under the Hill

Tintype photo of YZ Ealey

Tintype photo of (l to r) Little Poochie, Hezekiah Early and YZ Ealey

Tintype photo of site of the infamous Rhythm Club fire, where 209 people died 
on April 23, 1940, for Living Blues story on the Natchez, MS blues scene. 
A broken concrete slab defines the space of the original building, which once 
was a church before being converted to a night club. The small building at the 
back of the original site is a car-washing business and now houses a small 
museum dedicated to the tragic fire.