Skip James: Blues That Deserves More Recognition

“From the American Folk and Blues Festival, 1962-1969. Copyright, 2004 Reelin in the years, LLC and Experience Hendrix, LLC”

Here’s someone that I and many others think deserves more recognition. Why?

Well, when it comes to the Blues, Skip James is the read deal. Check out some bio information on Skip:

“Nehemiah Curtis James, 9 June 1902, Bentonia, Mississippi, USA, d. 3 October 1969, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. A solitary figure, James was an emotional, lyrical performer whose talent as a guitar player and arranger enhanced an already impressive body of work. His early career included employment as a pianist in a Memphis whorehouse, as well as the customary appearances at local gatherings and roadhouses. In 1931 he successfully auditioned for the Paramount recording company, for whom he completed an estimated 26 masters. These exceptional performances included ‘Devil Got My Woman’, written when his brief marriage broke down, as well as ‘Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues’ and ‘I’m So Glad’, which was subsequently recorded by Cream.

James abandoned music during the late 30s in favour of the church and was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1942. He briefly resumed more secular pursuits during the 50s, and was brought back to public attention by guitarists John Fahey, Bill Barth and Canned Heat’s Henry Vestine, who discovered the dispirited singer in a Mississippi hospital. James remained a reserved individual, but his accomplished talents were welcomed on the thriving folk and college circuit where he joined contemporaries such as Mississippi John Hurt and Sleepy John Estes.” read more Skip James here


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