Sam was an early Mississippi slide-guitar player who used the fluid qualities of his bottleneck technique, rather than the dramatic, slashing style preferred by some of this contemporaries, to emphasise his light, clear vocal delivery. Born in Louisiana but brought up across the MS state line in Bo Diddley‘s home-town of McComb, he began his recording career in 1927 with ‘Jailhouse Blues’, when he was billed as ‘Crying Sam Collins and his Git-Fiddle’. He recorded more than 50 tracks in a five year career, for several labels. His exquisitely played but rather limited stock of guitar riffs led to him using many pseudonyms, including Jim Foster, Jelly Roll Hunter, Big Boy Woods, Bunny Carter and Salty Dog Sam. His clever guitar picking style and high, precise singing is typical of the local style in the South of Mississippi, rather than the classic Delta sound, and this rubbed off on other players from the region. Sam took off for Chicago some time in the 30s and performed occasionally, but his rural style was not to city-folks taste and he passed away un-noticed in 1949.
‘My Road is Rough and Rocky’ by Cryin’ Sam Collins and his git-fiddle!
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