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Davis survived into the 1960s and the folk boom and were rediscovered. more and more people are discovering Blind Willie music and his reputation continues to grow. So should we now place him alongside people like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Bo Diddley, Jimi Hendrix, and Leadbelly, as someone who brought something unique to the blues table?Michael Gray answer is a resounding and indeed he feels McTell deserves to be in that pantheon more than some others should.Johnson is such a curious figure, he says. white blues aficionados he is the bees knees but in his life he only completed two recording sessions and was in fact a failure as he never had a hit. If you ask black Americans to name old blues musicians most don know who he is.also took so much from so many others. He is superb, but without Skip James and Son House there wouldn have been Robert Johnson. You could not say that about Son House, Leadbelly, or McTell. McTell is unique. He is as good a 12 string player as Leadbelly. He brought a great individuality and personality to his music and you cannot mistake him for anybody else, just as you can mistake Hendrix for anybody else. Gray will present his talk Searching For Blind Willie McTell in the Druid Theatre on Saturday April 16 at 3pm.

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Mr McTell got the blues

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in search of Blind Willie McTell, and he will be talking about the book, Blind Willie, and his journeys in the American South as part of the C festival next week.Gray admits that the search for information on Blind Willie was like work are only two official certificates on Blind Willie and both contain inaccurate information, he says. However, he was fortunate in that he had a chance to meet and speak with people who knew blind Willie, one of whom was Sister Fleeta Mitchell.found her just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, he says. had been to the same school for the blind McTell had been to in the 1920s and I got a first hand account from her. She remembered him as a lovely man and someone who also liked the ladies!story I got was from his cousin granddaughter. She as a teen had got to stay with Willie and his wife. Willie wife was seeing somebody else, a man who was much younger than she was, and Willie found out about it, found the guy she was seeing, and preceded to give him a complete beating up. fightin machismo it the stuff of great blues songs, but this was also an era in the American South characterised by racism and segregation, a place where blacks were looked upon by whites with suspicion and even hatred. For a black person it was a Puma Shoes Gum Bottom social reality which had to be negotiated very carefully.was partly helped by the fact he was blind, if he hadn been be would have been born into a life of agricultural labour like everyone else in his family, says Michael. father disappeared early and his family moved farther south to Statesboro which was a comparatively progressive place. The headmaster of the black school was admired throughout the community and the town had a female newspaper editor white female before women even had the vote.was also a tobacco town and when Willie travelled around it was on the tobacco circuit so he played to people with the most money. He was an entertainer so he was more welcome than other black Georgians would have been. He had a sunny personality and was allowed play in the middle of the town where other black people couldn even own a house even if they had the money.was popular. He was light skinned he had a white grandfather which made him acceptable to white audiences and respected by blacks as at the time it was lighter the better When he travelled on trains the conductors would let him perform in the whites only carriage.blindness and music helped him, but if he had a different kind of personality he would have been slapped down. He was able to dodge his way through such a society in an adroit manner, but I sure he privately resented the racism and segregation. Willie also had to be a crafty businesses man in order to secure money from record companies. As a result he operated under a number of pseudonyms such as Pig Red, Hot Shot Willie, Georgia Bill, Barrelhouse Sammy.he did it as he was supposed to be recording for one label, says Michael. would get the down payment on the recording Puma Blue

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first heard about Blind Willie McTell from the Dylan song where he says can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell Michael tells me during our Tuesday afternoon conversation. wondered who he was and went and searched out the music. He was highly popular with black and white audiences in his native US state but largely unknown outside it.His best known song is the classic Blues later covered by The Allman Brothers, and when Michael heard this and Long Fo Day and others, it was a revelation.didn sing in this dark Mississippi voice like Charlie Patton or Howlin Wolf, but with his beautiful, light, tenor voice, almost like Roy Orbison, Michael says. was drawn to him by that and when I found how little information there was on him I began to want to search that out. went on a journey in search of Blind Willie and the result was the critically acclaimed book Hand Me My Travellin Shoes Puma Sneakers 2017 Price

session but had little hope of getting any royalties so he would record for other labels as a way to make money. his fame and success being almost wholly confined to Georgia, McTell music managed to get to the ears of white blues fans in the 1960s and would subsequently have a profound impact on Bob Dylan, The Allman Bothers, Ralph McTell, and Jack White. Despite this Blind Willie McTell remains one of the least well known of the major blues singers of the 20th century.10 years ago I could write of him as the unrecognised superstar of the blues says Michael, he is getting better known. He died at the wrong time. Most of the other blues musicians from that era, such as Son House, Sleepy John Estes, and Rev Gary Puma Bluebird

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