List of Piedmont Blues Musicians
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List of Piedmont Blues Musicians
The Piedmont blues (also known as Piedmont fingerstyle) is a type of blues music characterized by a unique fingerpicking method on the guitar in which a regular, alternating-thumb bassline pattern supports a melody using the treble strings. The result is a sound comparable to that of a ragtime piano. The Piedmont blues originated in an area including and extending beyond the Piedmont plateau of the eastern United States, which stretches from about Richmond, Virginia, to Atlanta, Georgia. Piedmont blues musicians come from this area and also from Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida. Piedmont blues was popular in the early 20th century. Below is a list of Piedmont blues musicians.
- Pink Anderson (February 12, 1900 - October 12, 1974). Born in Laurens, South Carolina, Anderson was an early country blues guitarist and singer who performed Piedmont blues. He recorded in the late 1920s with the guitarist and singer Blind Simmie Dooley, from Greenville, South Carolina. Anderson had a long career as a medicine show performer. Interest in him was renewed by blues revivalists in the 1960s, and many of his recordings from that time have been released by Prestige Records.
- Memphis Willie B. (November 4, 1911 - October 5, 1993). Memphis blues guitarist, harmonica player, singer and songwriter.
- Etta Baker (March 31, 1913 - September 23, 2006). Born in Caldwell County, North Carolina, Baker was a country blues guitarist, banjo player and singer who performed Piedmont blues. In the 1990s she released two solo albums, one for Rounder Records. In 2004 Music Maker Records released some recordings she made with Taj Mahal in 1956 and 1998.
- Barbecue Bob (September 11, 1902 - October 21, 1931)). Guitarist and singer.
- Ed Bell (May 1905 - 1960, 1965 or 1966). Born in Fort Deposit, Alabama, Bell released work under his own name and as Sluefoot Joe and Barefoot Bill from Alabama.
- Scrapper Blackwell (February 21, 1903 - October 27, 1962). Born Francis Hillman Blackwell in Syracuse, North Carolina, he performed acoustic Piedmont blues and was an early exponent of Chicago blues. He worked closely with the pianist Leroy Carr also backed the singer Black Bottom McPhail. Document Records has issued most of his work in three volumes.
- Blind Blake (c. 1895 - 1934). Born in Newport News, Virginia, Blake was a guitarist and singer who played in a range of musical styles. He performed early ragtime on guitar, Piedmont blues, country blues, Delta blues and Chicago blues. A musician of great influence, he recorded frequently for Paramount Records.
- Gabriel Brown (1910 - 1972). Born in Florida, Brown was a country blues guitarist and singer. He was discovered in the 1930s by the folk music researchers Zora Neale Hurston and Alan Lomax and had a career lasting several decades, mainly in New York City, recording for Joe Davis.
- Precious Bryant (January 4, 1942 - January 12, 2013). Born in Talbot County, Georgia, Bryant was recorded by the music historian George Mitchell in 1969, in one of his field recordings of folk blues. She subsequently appeared at blues festivals and, late in life, recorded two well-received albums for Terminus Records.
- Carolina Slim (Edward P. Harris, August 22, 1923 - October 22, 1953). Guitarist and singer.
- Cephas & Wiggins (John Cephas, September 4, 1930 - March 4, 2009; and Phil Wiggins, born May 8, 1954). Guitarist and harmonica player, respectively, who performed as a duo.
- Virgil Childers (c. 1901 - December 10, 1939) Guitarist and Singer, recorded in 1938
- Cortelia Clark (c. 1906 - December 24, 1969). Singer and guitarist.
- Jaybird Coleman (May 20, 1896 - January 28, 1950). Born in Gainesville, Alabama, Coleman was a country blues harmonica player, guitarist and singer who performed early Piedmont blues and harmonica blues, active mostly in the 1930s.
- Elizabeth Cotten (January 5, 1893 - June 29, 1987). Singer, songwriter, and guitarist.
- Floyd Council (September 2, 1911 - May 9, 1976). Guitarist and singer.
- Turner Foddrell (June 22, 1928 - January 31, 1995). Acoustic guitarist, singer and songwriter.
- Frank Fotusky. Guitarist and singer.
- Rick Franklin (born March 16, 1952) Guitarist, singer and songwriter. With various other musicians, Franklin has released four albums to date and works as a blues musicologist.
- Blind Boy Fuller (July 10, 1907 - February 13, 1941). Guitarist and singer.
- Big Boy Henry (May 26, 1921 - December 5, 2004). Guitarist, singer and songwriter. His most notable recording was "Mr. President", a protest against cuts in social welfare undertaken by Ronald Reagan. It won Henry a W.C. Handy Award in 1983.
- George Higgs (March 9, 1930 - January 29, 2013). Acoustic guitarist, harmonicist and singer
- John Dee Holeman (born 1929, Orange County, North Carolina)
- Frank Hovington (January 9, 1919 - June 21, 1982). Guitar and banjo player and singer.
- Peg Leg Howell (March 5, 1888 - August 11, 1968). Guitarist and singer who spent most of his career in Atlanta, Georgia, recorded for Columbia Records from 1926 or so until 1929 and then fell into obscurity.
- Mississippi John Hurt (July 3, 1893, or March 8, 1892 - November 2, 1966). Guitarist and singer.
- Bo Weavil Jackson (dates of birth and death unknown). Guitarist and singer who recorded for Paramount Records and Vocalion Records in 1926, one of the earliest bluesmen to be recorded.
- John Jackson (February 24, 1924 - January 20, 2002)
- Henry "Rufe" Johnson (October 2, 1908 - February 4, 1974). Guitarist, pianist and singer who found fame late in life following the release of his album, The Union County Flash! (1973).
- Luke Jordan (January 28, 1892 - June 25, 1952). Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, Jordan was a country blues guitarist who played in the Piedmont blues and East Coast blues styles. He spent most of his career in Lynchburg, Virginia. Not many of his recordings survive, but Jordan was a major early influence on musicians playing in the Piedmont style.
- Charley Lincoln (March 11, 1900 - September 28, 1963). Born Charlie Hicks in Lithonia, Georgia, he was an acoustic country and Piedmont blues guitarist and vocalist. He was the older brother of Robert "Barbecue Bob" Hicks, with whom he performed from the 1920s to the 1950s. He made several recordings, some for Columbia Records.
- Carl Martin (April 1, 1906 - May 10, 1979). Multi-instrumentalist and singer.
- Sara Martin (June 18, 1884 - May 24, 1955). Singer.
- Brownie McGhee (November 30, 1915 - February 16, 1996). Folk music and Piedmont blues singer and guitarist, best known for his collaboration with the harmonica player Sonny Terry.
- Blind Willie McTell (May 5, 1898 - August 19, 1959). Piedmont blues and ragtime singer and guitarist.
- Kid Prince Moore (Active 1936 - 1938). Guitarist and Singer
- William Moore (March 3, 1893 - November 22, 1951). Guitarist and singer.
- Buddy Moss (January 16, 1914 - October 19, 1984). Guitarist and singer.
- Drink Small (born January 28, 1933, Bishopville, South Carolina)
- Curley Weaver (March 25, 1906 - September 20, 1962). Guitarist and singer.
- Lightnin' Wells, Multi-instrumentalist and singer
- Josh White (February 11, 1914 - September 5, 1969). Singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor, and civil rights activist.
- Warner Williams
- Ralph Willis (1910 - June 11, 1957). Piedmont blues and country blues singer, guitarist and songwriter.
- Blind Willie Walker (April 1896 - March 4, 1933) Piedmont guitarist, singer and songwriter