The Blues Foundation 2007 “Keeping The Blues Alive Awards” To Recognize Veteran WDET Music Host Robert Jones

When school children hear Rev. Robert Jones play Son House’s “Death Letter Blues”, they are immediately transported into the life of the Delta Blues legend, but a few seconds later they are made aware that modern rap is based in the same structure that House helped to pioneer. Jones’ presentations emphasize the evolution of African-American traditional music from the spiritual into the Blues, and from Blues into everything else. Robert Jones, a full-time Baptist pastor in Detroit, has taught and lectured for over 15 years at Wayne State University, Loyola, and the University of Mississippi, among others. In addition, he has taken his unique presentation to into grammar, middle and high schools all over the country. Robert works primarily in the Midwest, but wherever he travels, his sense of humor, engaging storytelling, broad knowledge of Blues history and skills as a multi-instrumentalist makes his presentation a winner with audiences of all ages. In 2005-2006, the Mississippi Valley Blues Society brought Rev. Jones to the Quad City area for a series of 12 very successful workshops. Robert will be presented with the award at the ceremonies in Memphis, Tennesse on February 3, 2007.

The pastor of Sweet Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church, Robert is a self-taught musician who developed a love for traditional blues music as a teenager and began playing professionally in his mid-twenties… As a performer, Robert has shared the stage with a variety of well-known musical artists, such as Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams and Dr. John. His styles include songs and playing styles from the Mississippi Delta, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia and early Chicago blues traditions. Aside from his performing and broadcasting careers, he has taught blues music at Central Michigan University, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo College, among other places. Robert has received many awards in the past, including 1991 Metro Times “Detroit’s Best Blues Instrumentalist” and 1995 Living Blues Magazine named him “one of America’s Top Blues Performers.”

“Most radio is about what’s the latest cut and there is nothing wrong with modern gospel, but the rich heritage and tradition of this music has been the foundation for many contemporary performers” –Robert Jones

Robert’s program, “Deep River” can be heard Sundays from 1pm to 3pm on WDET. It is one of the finest home-grown radio moments on the dial. Deep River, a gospel and spiritual show that delves into America’s devout and sacred music tradition. Source:, Listen to archived shows at: DEEP RIVER WITH ROBERT JONES

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