The day I discovered the blues.

The day I discovered the blues.

How ironic is it that white kids living in England in the mid-1960s were more exposed to black American blues than your average white teenager in the United States? Without knowing it, in 1950s England, I’d heard the blues of Lead Belly, Leroy Carr and Little Son Joe,...
Did boogie guitar start with a 14-year-old?

Did boogie guitar start with a 14-year-old?

North East Texas. 1899. A tender-aged ‘songster’, as roaming black minstrels were known back then, had travelled from his home in Louisiana around 1899 to busk in neighbouring Texas. Whether the boy was 10, 11 or 14 depends on which birth date you believe – 1885, 1888...
First blues families: the Thomas’s.

First blues families: the Thomas’s.

George W. Thomas Jnr, Hersal and Hociel Thomas, Sippie Wallace (nee Thomas) and Bernice Edwards. Last time, we talked about the family of Henderson Chatmon, the ‘musicianer’, as musicians called themselves in the nineteenth century, from Bolton, Mississippi....