The ‘Queen of Bourbon Street’ Takes On NC Blues

Oct 27, 2017

Pat 'Mother Blues' Cohen is a Salisbury-based Blues singer who relocated to NC after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Credit Courtesy of Pat Cohen

Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen started singing blues tunes as a young girl to entertain her parents’ friends at their home in Edison, New Jersey. She later worked for years in the casino industry and won casino talent competitions so often that she was banned from participating. 

Cohen eventually earned the nickname the “Queen of Bourbon Street” for drawing large crowds into nightclubs in New Orleans. But when Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home, she sought new audiences and a new beginning in North Carolina.

Cohen connected with other musicians in the state through the Music Maker Relief Foundation and has now become a regular performer at The Bullpen in downtown Durham. Host Frank Stasio talks with Cohen about resilience in the face of hardship and how music has helped her through major life transitions.

Cohen performs at The Bullpen Saturday, Oct. 28 and Friday, Nov. 24.