Singing and playing exquisite slide-guitar like a Delta original, Corey Harris has spent his career linking up with the music that contributed to the origins of the Blues. Starting with a love of the Blues that he shares with countless millions, he took a singular path that took him back to Africa via the side…

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When Sam Chatmon was ‘re-discovered’ during the Folk/Blues revival around 1960, musicologists found they had a true original on their hands. Sporting a wild grey beard, Sam had been playing and singing since he was a child, and his repertoire of old Blues, especially the raunchy songs that celebrated the Delta Blues in their heyday,…

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David ‘Junior’ Kimbrough was over 60 years of age when he made an impact with his album ‘All Night Long’ in 1992, where his hard-driving juke-joint style showed that down-home country Blues can still rock the room. Junior’s archaic style has the same hypnotic pulse as John Lee Hooker‘s boogies and employs a complex poly-rhythmic timing,…

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Delta guitarist Ishmon (often spelled Ishman in older sources) only recorded a few tracks, but they were of consistently good quality, using variations on the usual verse structure, and his original 78s are much sought-after rarities today. As a teenager Ishmon was playing guitar on streetcorners, hoping for invitations to play at parties and fish-fries…

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When producer Steve LaVere discovered that Papa George was still blowing his harp in his native Natchez MS in 1969, he whisked him into Malaco’s new Jackson studios to record some real down-home country Blues harp. Papa George’s habit of singing through his harp-mic gave his already rough voice a ragged edge, but his instrumental…

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Like his friend and mentor, Mississippi Fred McDowell, RL Burnside was a farmer from the hill country of north-east Mississippi. He could play his rhythmic and often lyrical slide-guitar very much in the style of his long time neighbour Fred, and like him RL was a late entrant into the world of recording and touring,…

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John Hammond Jr. has enjoyed a long career playing country Blues on his National Steel guitar and Blues harp, carrying a technique soaked in the Delta to stages all over the world. John is no country copyist, as his electric guitar work shows, but his dedication to acoustic Blues has done a lot to preserve…

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During the 30s and 40s, Willie played his piano around the Delta juke-joints and the clubs of Memphis and Helena, before starting on a short-lived solo career in the early 50s. He had learned to play as a youth in Duncan MS, and drifted around the region, picking up work wherever he could. He met…

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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…

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Big Joe Williams was a classic Mississippi Delta Bluesman. This gruff voiced, awkward fellow with his nine-string guitar had played in jug-bands and minstrel shows; he had wandered all over the South ‘riding the blinds’ as a hobo; played for tips on street-corners and juke-joints and then, when he moved to Chicago, wrote some songs that…

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