Jump on board the big muddy with your guide Mark "River" Peoples and feel the powerful, storied currents of the Mighty Mississippi River pull at your feet and open your imagination. "May The River Be With You" focuses on how the largest river in the U.S. influences and impacts our culture, from arts and education to ecology and commerce. In each episode, we discuss how the river affects us all in unexpected ways while also featuring music, poetry, tales and myths inspired by the river itself.
The Beauty of the Community Canoe / Neal Moore 22 Rivers
Mark River and John Ruskey talk about monthly "Community Canoe Trips" and how inclusion, diversity and equity are best served by inviting all walks of life on these excursions. Mark discusses with Matt Sutton of Spring Initiative (a local after-school program in Clarksdale, MS) how these Community Canoe Trips enrich the lives of the underprivileged students and residents of the area. Mark River interviews Neal Moore, adventurer and author of the blog "22 Rivers", about his experiences traversing the Mississippi by canoe and his thoughts on the future of the American river system. Also featuring "Reflections" by Mark River and a new song by John Ruskey.
Mark River and John Ruskey talk about how the wetlands surrounding the Mississippi River are in danger of disappearing due to agriculture, commerce and pollution. One potential solution discussed is a piece of legislation called the Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative (MRRRI), a bill which could be passed in the near future. Also featuring "Reflections" my Mark River and a song by John Ruskey.
Flooding and Climate Change
In this episode, Mark River interviews John Ruskey about how climate change is affecting the flooding, ecology and commerce along the Mississippi River. Learn how it is changing everything from the hatching season of mayflies to the growth of invasive plants and the migration patterns of snow geese while also disrupting the flow of barges and their cargo along the waterway. Also includes "River Time" with John Ruskey.
Flooding and Infrastructure
In this episode, Mark River interviews John Ruskey about the worsening flood events along the Mississippi River and how human engineering - in a benevolent attempt to keep the river stable for development, agriculture, commerce - has unintentionally endangered the crucial wetlands and put communities such as New Orleans at risk.
Species of the River
In our season finale, Mark River interviews Quapaw Canoe Company founder John Ruskey about the natural and invasive species of plants and animals found in and along the Mississippi River and how ecological events such as the changing climate and the current trend of flooding benefits some species while harming others. Featuring "Reflections" by Mark River, "Rivertime" by John Ruskey and a special performance of the song "Muddy Water" by John Ruskey.
The Mississippi River has inspired some of the most iconic music in the world and in this episode, we explore the importance and the reach of its musical influence. First, we meet and hear a performance by St. Louis native Lucious Spiller who is currently making waves in the Mississippi Delta blues music scene. We also present a performance and interview with Meghan Maike, a Canadian/Australian folk singer who now calls Clarksdale, Mississippi her home. Also featuring "Reflections" by Mark River and "River Time" by John Ruskey.