SEE BELOW for INTERVIEW ~
“The crossroads, the one and only crossroads, where the Delta Blues emerged as a manifest entity in the person and music of Robert Johnson is at the south end of Rosedale where Highway 8 intersects with Highway 1. This will be disputed, as some people will dispute that Robert Johnson ever even made a deal with the devil. But the preacher man, Son House, knew. Even though he wasn’t a preacher. And, if Son House were alive today, he would set the story right.”
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4848228 – 64/80 ~ hanging in The Hooker Hotel, Clarksdale Mississippi – Photo of Robert WOLFMAN Belfour ….. R.I.P.
I was interviewed by TBTB aka Talking Bout The Blues:
See Below ~
“Talking Bout The Blues had the honor and pleasure to ask Shein Die, Blues lover and historian, behind the most provocative and telling images of Blues Artists, Culture, and Community a few questions about their journey with the Blues and why it’s important to preserve the rich heritage of the Blues.
Please give us a brief background on your Blues journey.
SHEIN DIE –
It was because I like Rock n Roll that I decided to explore its
origins.I went ‘all the way back’ and discovered Charlie Patton,
Willie Lee Brown, Son House and Mississippi John Hurt. I knew I would
have to make a pilgrimage to Clarksdale, Mississippi where the Blues
was born ~ Dockery Plantation…
Do you remember the record you heard that made you fall in love with the Blues?
SHEIN DIE –
Since family members would talk about seeing Bluesmen perform live, in
the 1960s NYC ~ especially Son House and also Muddy Waters, I’m
thinking it was a Muddy Waters record.
Please share your favorite Blues artist, and why?
SHEIN DIE –
Son House! He, in my opinion, was one of the most important persons in
the emergence of the Delta Blues, a Delta pioneer. Son House sang with
passion, soul, conviction. He influenced Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters
et al. Son House was great on slide guitar. Later on he influenced the
British Blues and of course, Rock ‘n Roll. Many of today’s musicians
hail Son House as their hero. Listen to his music: Grinnin’ In Your
Face, Death Letter Blues, Walking Blues etc. Watch him perform on You
Tube ~ he loses himself in the Blues.Son House is my favorite Blues
artist, for sure.
What inspired you to take your camera and document the Blues?
SHEIN DIE –
So many Authentic Bluesmen are either ignored, undervalued,
unappreciated, go undiscovered. I decided to shine a light on them and
their Gospel/Blues brilliance so that people will ask themselves ‘who
are they’, ‘why is someone taking pictures of them’, ‘should I find
out about their music’ ~ and then, will WANT to buy their music, BOOK
them into venues, INTERVIEW them, RECORD them, KNOW them while these
Living Legends, these Treasures are still with us. I will paraphrase a
friend: ‘very few invest time, compassion, money, understanding and
what it takes to develop unbiased PROFESSIONAL relationships with
middle-aged and elderly Black Musicians, who only want to present
their music to the world in their own way’. I am hoping that by
introducing these Bluesmen through my photographs, more WILL want to
know them and Develop these relationships.
I’m sure you you caught a lot of candid moments, please share one of
the most memorable.
SHEIN DIE –
I actually ask before I shoot. However, Cadillac John Nolden’s 87th
Birthday Celebration at Red’s Blues Lounge ( a Juke Joint ~ ‘the’ JUKE
in Clarksdale ) was so joyful ..with the Cornlickers and ‘Big A’
Sherrod backing him.. just having a blast,losing themselves in the
music, that I think I caught them candidly.
Are you a Blues Musician, and if you haven’t, will you be recording any music?
SHEIN DIE –
I play guitar for my own enjoyment, for my friends and family. Nope,
will not be recording any music =) ~ but thanks for asking.
Do you play out?
SHEIN DIE –
I do. The time that sticks with me is when I was invited to Avalon, MS
(home of Mississippi John Hurt)population 20 ~ to jam with a
musician/historian on the porch of his home. This home was the Train
Depot at the time of John Hurt .. tracks running in front… I just
knew that Mississippi John Hurt was a pile driver in that area .. so
much history.. and this kind, talented, generous man ~ Art Browning ~
had once played with the son of Mr. Hurt .. ‘Man’ Hurt .. both Art and
Man were born in Avalon ~ all three gone now, but never forgotten.
You capture a big portion of American History through your photos of
Blues artists, culture and community. What drives that passion?
SHEIN DIE –
It’s a shame that in the last few decades we have lost so many of the
greats, juke joints are disappearing, Bluesmen go unheralded,
buildings are lost to time. My hope is that my photographs inspire
others to broaden their exposure to Blues Music and Culture. Now is
the time to learn about the roots of Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues,
Soul. Now is the time to value the music, the musicians, their
stories. Now is the time to learn about our American past and open our
eyes to all The Blues has given to us. I am preserving the likenesses
of those who play and give – and have given – their best years to the
Is it important to you to preserve The Heritage of the Blues? Why?
SHEIN DIE –
Our country was built on the backs of those who were denigrated, abused. I document the Blues to open peoples eyes to their vast contributions.I photograph where they lived, how they lived. It is also through my photography I get to show the names and faces of Bluesmen whom many have not heard of. My hope is that those who view my pictures will then want to learn about them, be inspired by them, get to know their music .. and support them.
As beautiful as your photos are, do you see yourself capturing the
Blues via video?
SHEIN DIE –
nope ~ not my ‘thing’ =)
Please share why you choose to be mysterious and stay in the shadows of Blues?
SHEIN DIE –
I follow in the footsteps of the Masked Marvel, of the Mississippi
Marvel. My private life is my own. I want my Blues photographs to take
‘center stage’ ~ I want the focus on the Bluesmen and Blues sites
which are rapidly disappearing .. They belong in the forefront, not
Do you see any of your photographs being placed in any Blues Museums
in the future?
SHEIN DIE –
Sure =) .. my work has appeared in the Mississippi Museum of Art’s
online exhibition ‘True Color in Black and White’. Several of my Blues portraits hang in hotels in Clarksdale Mississippi ~ It would also be
cool to have a few of my photographs framed and hanging in the Delta
Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS (hint hint ).
When SheinDie is not photographing, what do you do for fun?
SHEIN DIE –
I ride my Harley, take my jet ski out, water ski, wakeboard, play
tennis, draw and paint.
What’s your most memorable Blues Festival?
SHEIN DIE –
There were actually two ~ both in year 2011. During the Juke Joint
Festival and Cat Head Mini-Fest in Clarksdale, I got to spend time
with, and interview David HONEYBOY Edwards …He is the last of the
Original Delta Bluesmen. It blew me away that this 90+ year old
Bluesman had a ‘steel trap’ of a memory, sharp, detail oriented,
photographic memory … what a funny, intelligent, talented, and
interesting lively storyteller. His daddy taught him to read music, he
played in Spanish and Standard ~ never in open tuning ~ he was healthy
but ~ bad knees from climbing stairs ~ …. I was honored and
overjoyed to be with him and meet his lifelong friend/music
partner/manager, Michael Frank…Honeyboy passed 4 months later and is
Terribly Missed by all. The second festival was King Biscuit Blues and
Gospel Festival, Helena Ar ~ I got to meet Hubert Sumlin and spent a
bit of time chatting, laughing ..there were just three of us in the
room ..suddenly an old friend from his younger days walked in .. what
a surprise! … they hugged, talked and then … broke out into
song!!! This was just before Hubert was getting ready to play on the
Main Stage with ‘the Bobs’ ~ I will never forget him doing ‘Sitting On
Top Of The World’ … Hubert passed 2 months later. Always missed,
SHEIN DIE –
What’s in the future for Shein Die?
SHEIN DIE –
hahaha … more of the same.
great interview, with a great Person! Check Shein Die’s Link and photo’s
ALL photographs are copyright (c) 2011-2014 Shein Die ALL
HERE is the LINK to my FULL PAGE SPREAD in an International Blues Magazine ISSUE #3 ‘Con Alma de Blues’ – English edition ~ online:
Who he or she is, I don’t know. They prefer to remain anonymous. But what they’re doing, obviously as a labor of love, is exploring the Mississippi Delta, recording for posterity some of today’s disappearing blues treasures.
“This mysterious figure goes by the name of Shein Die, and I know little more than that. I do know Shein Die, like myself, became interested in the blues due to a love of rock ‘n’ roll and blues rock. This I discovered in an interview SD gave to the U.S. podcast series “Talking ‘Bout The Blues”. You can find the full interview on the Shein Die website here:
This photographer’s so private, our only communication has been by twitter and email, but I am allowed to use two of Shein Die’s photographs here on my blog. You can almost feel the quality.
The first photograph is of Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes, now 70, said to be the last of the Bentonia bluesmen. Shein Die tells me Jimmy’s parents founded the oldest juke joint in town, Bentonia’s Blue Front café, which Jimmy now runs. Bentonia, incidentally, is in Mississippi’s blues-seeped Yazoo County.
Doing a bit of research on Bentonia blues, I’ve found it’s a school of blues founded by the great Skip James, whose song “I’m So Glad” was immortalized by British rock band, Cream in the 1960s. Born in 1902, James was “rediscovered” in 1964 at the age of 62 and subsequently contributed enormously to America’s blues revival in the 1960s.
Skip James songs have been recorded by a host of influential musicians and bands including Robert Johnson, Gene Austin, Lonnie Donegan, Beck, Deep Purple and Eric Clapton.
The second Shein Die photograph featured here is of Clarksdale-based James ‘Super Chikan’ Johnson. A purveyor of what’s been described as an edgier, electrified version of raw Delta guitar blues, Johnson is also known for his unique guitars.
These Johnson builds from objects he finds; and many such instruments are found in blues museums and the homes of celebrity musicians. Shein Die photographs also grace many of America’s leading museums, hotels and blues magazines, such as Living Blues Magazine. You’ll find more of Shein Die’s work at:
While I try to unveil the mysteries of blues’ past, Shein Die captures sublime images of the present, although I read in the TBTB interview, Shein Die is also a blues historian.
Above is just one of a wealth of blues photographs you can peruse on Shein Die’s website. I’ll leave you to check the full interview under ‘WILLIE BROWN FUTURE BLUES’ above… ‘Talking’ Bout The Blues’ ~
Check Shein Die’s BLUES BLUES BLUES blog here: sheindie.wordpress.com
I’ve also since found out that any money made by the sale of Shein Die’s photographs goes directly to the blues musician featured. Wouldn’t we all like to know more about this generously-spirited Blues photographer?”
Shein Die was ALSO Interviewed HERE:
Who is Sheindie?
Who is Sheindie AKA SHEIN DIE ~ the seemingly masked marvel who takes these great photos of BLUES MUSICIANS and players?
So who is the masked marvel who goes by the handle “Sheindie?” Many have asked the question, but very few know anything about them. Similar to the blues players of old using fake names to remain anonymous from town to town, Sheindie uses anonymity to help obtain some of the better shots of the modern area – especially in the blues department. No one knows Sheindie’s age, race, or gender. The only thing anyone has been able to figure out is this: Sheindie lives somewhere in the southeast. The only other thing you can dig up on them is one other outstanding fact: They are a comic lover.
Recently, TDBlues had a chance to “get together” with Sheindie to ask some questions. Here is a copy of the interview.
Us asking the questions:
What first got you interested in the blues?
It all started with Rock and Roll music and looking for it’s origins.
What first got you interested in photography?
It all began with art. In the beginning, I was using a camera and photography as a reference for my art. That grew into a love for photography.
Who is your favorite blues artist of all time?
If I had to pick one, I would say Son House.
Who is your favorite blues artist still playing today?
Cadillac John Nolden, without question. If you ever heard him play, you would feel the same way.
What is the most interesting blues photo you ever took in your opinion?
That would have to be Hubert Sumlin reconnecting with lil’ Howlin’ Wolf.
How many blues stars have you met?
I have met so many… Countless. Most people seem to enjoy the fact I have met and spoke with the likes of BB King, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, and some other more popular artists. However, I myself am most impressed with hanging with Hubert Sumlin in his dressing room, and interviewing Honeyboy Edwards.
Do you do any post production on your photos?
Some. Most of my post-production centers around color enhancement. Other than that, I pretty much stay away form the post-production effects.
What places have you visited in the name of the blues?
I have traveled all over. In the name of the blues, I have been to most of the hot spots including Clarksdale MS, Helena AK, Memphis TN, and New York City.
Do you play any instruments?
Actually I do. I play guitar. Currently I am playing on a ’76 12 string Yamaha acoustic, and a 6 string Martin acoustic.
How do you feel your photos contribute to the blues, or keeping the blues alive?
Well, for me the main contribution I can make through my photos is to help the memories of some of the lesser known blues stars of today live on. For instance, some of these artists have very few people shoot their portrait. It puts on me an added stress of getting the shot right – if I don’t, it is possible there may not be any decent photographs of the artists that stand the test of time.
Do you have any blues photos you consider historic?
Yes. I have two that personally, I find historic. One is of Robert Johnson’s original signature on the marriage certificate to Virginia Travis. The other one is the house Robert Johnson was born in. Both historic in their own right for sure.
Why keep your identity a mystery?
I’m a fan of comics/superheros, and it’s makes perfect sense to do so. I feel that it works in my favor as well… sort of like SUPERMAN 😀
What blues artist do you feel you most relate with?
I would say Jimmy Duck Holmes. He also has a large family, he is college educated, soft spoken, talented, and and had a humble beginning.
If you could go to any time in blues history and be the photographer, where would you go and why?
That’s an easy one. Mississippi in the late 20′s-to early 30′s. My favorite bluesmen were alive and playing, and I would love to be able to see them play live, and watch them experience life, and hang with them + play the BLUES with them.
Do you feel that there are more famous photos out there of Robert Johnson and others waiting to be found?
Absolutely! I see no reason why there wouldn’t be.
In your experience with the blues, how do you feel about the “sell your soul to the devil” superstition?
I feel the the hoodoo voodoo when I’m in the delta. I think the power of those stories tend to relate with the belief on the hoodoo/voodoo religion(s). For those who believe, the stories seem to make sense. To others, it is just a tale.
If ever in the area, are you willing to do a photo shoot of the Willie Brown headstone theDeltaBlues helped to place?
It’s something to think about. NOTE ::: I HAVE SINCE TRAVELED TO PRICHARD AND PHOTOGRAPHED HIS GRAVE AND HEADSTONE.
What is your favorite subject to shoot? Buildings? People?
People. I try and capture the feeling of the blues in the faces of the musicians. It’s difficult to capture the honesty in people’s faces. It indicates the trust in the photographer. It is not the easiest thing to do. Usually, when people have a camera pointed at them, it is hard for them to be themselves, and even harder for a photographer to capture raw emotion in a shot. For some of the older blues musicians, it can be even harder. Have any of your photos been published?
No. I shoot blues photos for my own personal use; however, I have no problem with publication of my work. As of right now, though, none of photos have been officially published. NOTE::: MY PHOTOS HAVE NOW BEEN PUBLISHED IN LIVING BLUES MAGAZINE, TWO BLUES MAGAZINES FROM SOUTH AMERICA (FULL PAGE SPREADS + TABLE OF CONTENTS), CD COVER, BLUES CALENDAR AND BOOK – SEVERAL HANGING IN THREE CLARKSDALE MS HOTELS, in B&W EXHIBIT AT THE MS MUSEUM of ART and and and ……..
Has anyone we know of taken an interest in your photos?
Yes! A lot of people have expressed an interest. Here are a few names I can rattle of of some people you may know.
George Mitchell – yes, THAT George Mitchell 🙂
Bob Minkin – AUTHOR OF LIVE/DEAD , MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHER and ‘the’ Photographer for MOONALICE and for SWEETWATER MUSIC HALL.
American Blues Scene
Roger Stolle of CAT HEAD DELTA BLUES and FOLK ARTS
Dick Waterman – “I spent a lot of time browsing around (your photographs). There’s a lot of good stuff in there.”
Do you or are you willing to sell prints of your photos?
No I am not Selling (however, special consideration is given at times) any or Soliciting. Am I willing to sell them, no. I don’t take my photos to be profitable… When I HAVE sold photographs, I have sent the $$$ directly to the MUSICIANS, or to their widow/heirs, or to their Charity OR to help with Funeral Expenses and Head Stones. I take my photos for personal reasons, and because it is something I love to do.
Have you ever thought of putting a book together (or already done so)?
I have not put one together yet, but down the road I see it as a possibility, if I am approached. Maybe someday that will turn into an ambition – but for now, I like things just the way they are.
Anything else you want to tell us?
I’m based in the Southeast. My camera is a Nikon S-640 (Which travels easily in my pocket). Photography is something I love, and I hope I continue to get the opportunity to continue taking photos. If I can bring some joy, or some kind of emotion to those viewing my pictures, it makes it that much better.
To see a ton of great shots from Sheindie AKA SHEIN DIE ~ visit their Flickr feed by clicking HERE: https://www.flickr.com/photos/75184456@N04/ (flickr stream and albums)
HERE is SHEIN DIE ‘s BLUES BLUES BLUES Blog ~ Photos! Stories! Videos! https://sheindie.wordpress.com
Author: Jason Rewald
Jason is an avid blues musician, scholar, and fan based out of the Tampa Bay area.
Jason Rewald has written 154 articles for us.
25 Comments to “Who is Sheindie?”
Benjamin Tonner May 23, 2012 at 5:13 pm
Nice to read some interesting stuff about the bloke who has been collating the Blues for all us folk on the other side of the pond.
Keep up the good clicks, Shein Die, most appreciated.
Steve Cooke May 24, 2012 at 2:06 am
Good on you, Shein. Great to see you have got some recognition for your excellent shots. I truly hope that this article brings your images to a wider audience as they deserve to be seen.
Shein Die May 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm
Thanks so much!! …. I’m happy with the way the Interview turned out, and the photographs which were chosen … Ben, Steve – I appreciate your kind words, your comments, and for making the time to read it =) … Thank You, Shein
Alexandra Rudge. May 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm
Your pictures tell a story, each one of them talk about you, the way you see those amazing and talented musician. The only way you acomplished that is in doing it because you like what you do. Also you do not worry about making money with them is a gift to the people who want to apreciate the world of blues. Thank you for the honor of sharing it with me. And please keep taking those wonderful pictures the world of blues need them. Best regards. Alexandra Rudge.
Wayne T. ‘Tom’ Helfrich June 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm
Very good interview, your comments are spot on and I can relate. I take my photos also for personal use and though I have several that have been published I have never solicited for them. The requests have all come through flickr.
Shein Die June 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm
Thank you Alexandra and ‘Tom’ for your insightful and most appreciated comments – You have to know how much I enjoy perusing/browsing, -taking my time- your wonderful, actually excellent, photographs … I am so happy to have ‘met’ you =)
Dave Nichols June 4, 2012 at 6:03 pm
Lvoe Shein Die’s pics…they capture the subject and context. His love of the music and the roots of blues is evident in every picture.
Shein Die June 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm
You are totally correct, Dave – my love of ‘The Blues’ runs deep. ..thanks for your kind comments, my friend.
Shein Die June 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm
🙂 You can also follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/ @Sheindie
syzzlyn June 10, 2012 at 12:20 am
Lovely photography. Great interview. Taking profile photos are not my main stay when it comes to photography and I always admire people who can take such pics with faces that tell stories.
It has been lovely knowing Shein Die on Twitter for some years! Although I do wish I could get to meet and see the face for real some time in the future. Maybe if I turn into an equally faceless blues wraith? 🙂
Claudia E June 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm
What a wonderful piece on Sheindie! The many photos are so expressive and really capture Shein’s passion for Blues. =)
Rick Kennedy June 12, 2012 at 8:35 am
Given the financial fights over Robert Johnson’s images and legacy, the capture of Charley Patton’s images, etc., Shein’s approach is a breath of fresh air. I love his/her mix of contemporary Delta blues photos with its glorious 1920s/1930s past. He/she brings it all together so well. I just sent his/her photos to a friend in NYC who is now making reservations to visit the Delta. The photos were simply that inspiring. Shein is the Batman of Delta Blues preservation.
Congratulations on a wonderful story.
“I wish I was a girl, and that you could believe me…”
Lee Anne Sheridan June 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm
I’ve enjoyed keeping up with Sheins’ passionate adventures through the Delta. Shein has an amazing eye and captures the rough and rawness in his photos that come with the life.
Thank you Shein for sharing with us. Please, keep up the good work. (and having a blast while doing it)
Christine Haskins June 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm
Great article…..Who is Sheindie???…..hmm…..no guesses here….just going to wait for the promised tap on my shoulder and someone saying “it’s me”! Hopefully in October at the Biscuit, Pinetops Homecoming or anywhere in between……
Shein Die June 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm
Hi 🙂 I’m happy you’re enjoying my travels throughout the Mississippi Delta … thanks so much for your really cool comments – and yeah, as Lee says, it’s an adventure 😀
Nathalie Caron June 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm
Fascinating interview! There’s so many interesting (and mysterious) layers to Sheindie than I would have thought. So good to know more — though the mystery’s still there 😀
theReal_Rebel June 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm
I know who the real Sheindie is–my friend! 😉
Shein Die June 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm
😀 you are ALL my friends, with Lee and theReal_Rebel being my Extra Special buddies – since you ‘know’ me —- Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, for taking the time to read this interview and for making the time to comment on this site…. it is totally appreciated!!! … Best in Friendship, Shein
QueenAimee June 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm
What an awesome interview! You’re quite extraordinary!!
Shein Die June 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm
Thank you so much, QueenAimee for having a look and for your very kind, appreciated comments.
Stoner June 29, 2012 at 10:07 am
Great read, Shein with excellent pictures! Glad to hear more about you and what you do and that you’ve found something you’re so passionate about, keep up the great work!
Shein Die July 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm
It’s so cool you stopped by, Stoner – thanks, man! … I really appreciate your comments ….and yeah! totally passionate and immersed in The Blues!! 😀 Shein
Shein Die August 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm
All of your comments -and enjoyment of my photographs- make me feel that my work is appreciated and worthwhile… Thank you, my friends, for stopping by & taking the time to ‘chat’ =)
Best in the Blues, Shein
Shein Die September 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm
I’m starting a blog: SHEIN DIE Blues (through WordPress) ‘Adventures thru the Delta’
Shein Die September 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm
LINK to my BLUE BLUES BLUES blog: https://sheindie.wordpress.com/