Blind harp wizard Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, a spectacular guitar picker, had a 35-year-long partnership that helped to define Folk/Blues. Their Piedmont style Blues has a very different feel to Delta Blues and its effect on modern music has a very different genesis to the route through Chicago that gave us Blues-rock. New York…

Read More

Back at the start of the 20th Century, when the original Blues music was born out of the hard life of rural African-American workers, travelling shows, circuses, tent-show revues and ‘medicine shows’ were a common sight in the South. They all had musicians as part of their entertainment, and these ‘wandering songsters’ spread the new…

Read More

Atlanta in the 20s had a thriving Blues scene and Curley and his boyhood friend Barbecue Bob Hicks, playing their country Blues guitars, were at the forefront. With Eddie Mapp on harmonica, they played many parties and bar gigs, as well as playing on streetcorners. The loose collective known as The Georgia Cotton Pickers included…

Read More

The extrovert Bob Hicks was one of Atlanta’s most popular Bluesmen in the 20s. His gruff voice and 12-string bottleneck style got him a recording contract when a Columbia scout went to a Barbecue where Bob would cook, serve and sing! His ‘Barbecue Blues’ and ‘Going Up the Country’ were among his hit records and…

Read More

Eric Bibb is a master of the fusion between Blues, folk and gospel music. His warm, cultured voice and considerable skill as a Piedmont style picker show how the older forms of Blues music can be renewed and refreshed to give us incisive and relevant music for today. From his early appearances on the Greenwich…

Read More

A native of Atlanta who played piano with Barbecue Bob and Blind Willie McTell in his early days, William Perryman could really pound the 88s. William was the much younger brother of Rufus a.k.a. Speckled Red, who was also albino, and this accounts for both men adopting the tag ‘Red’. Emulating his older brother, who…

Read More

Piedmont Blues seems dominated by blind men who managed to survive by playing for change on streetcorners. That was true of Blind Blake,  Blind Willie McTell and Gary Davis, and none of them sold enough records to make a good living while they were in their prime. That was not true of Blind Boy Fuller, who…

Read More

Apart from his enduring legacy of over 100 tracks of superb fingerpicking guitar, very little was known about the personal life of Blind Blake until very recently. A death certificate discovered in Milwaukee states that Arthur Blake was born in 1896 in Newport News VA, but he was probably raised in Northern Florida or the…

Read More

Willie McTell is rightly revered as one of the giants of early acoustic Blues. With his clear, light tenor voice and his stylish 12-string fingerpicking and slide guitar, he also wrote many classic Blues songs that have lingered into the modern era. Blind from birth, Willie was, by all accounts, a smart, generous, literate man…

Read More

Josh White had a long career as a Bluesy folk singer on the New York scene during the 50s and 60s, but his roots were in the South-East where the local music was Piedmont Blues. Josh mastered this style of elaborate finger-picking at an early age and his instrumental talent stood him in good stead…

Read More