Hammie Nixon was the long-time harp playing companion of Sleepy John Estes, whose thoughtful, delicate, country flavoured harp lines spoke of years long gone by, even as he recorded in the 80s.
Hammie Nickerson was born in Brownsville TN in 1908 and orphaned as a young child. Noah Lewis, who went on to play with Gus Cannon‘s Jug Stompers in Memphis, was a local boy and when young Hammie heard him play, he set out to emulate him.
Hammie and Sleepy John play some old-school Blues;
In the 40s, country Blues was falling from fashion as electric bands took over, and all three friends ended up playing for tips on Memphis street-corners again. In 1962, the Blues revival saw Sleepy John cut an album for Delmark, and Hammie went along to play his part, also appearing at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964. They took the show on the road, visiting Europe several times and touring Japan, until Sleepy John passed away in 1977. Hammie continued as a member of The Beale Street Jug Band, and in 1982 he cut a solo album for the High Water label, Dr. David Evans’ music project for the University of Memphis. Hammie passed away in 1984.