Monday, March 28, 2011

Bishop Perry Tillis

Perry Tillis was born July 29, 1919, in Elba , Alabama , and began playing his brand of rambling blues at a very early age.Perry Tillis was a professional musician who traveled extensively back in the ‘40s. “He went everywhere. He literally traveled from Florida to California.” Along the way Tillis met and played with Muddy Waters, with Pops Staples when he still was in Mississippi, and with John Lee Hooker before he went up north. Like a great many blues musicians of the day, from Charley Patton and Bukka White to the Reverend Gary Davis and Fred McDowell, he played blues with both sacred and profane content. Some of the biggest and best early blues singers sang only spiritual-type tunes, so-called guitar evangelists like Ed Clayborn and the great Blind Willie Johnson (who allegedly sought out Tillis in the ’40s to play with him). In the ‘60s, Tillis was converted and devoted himself to his music and his ministry via the Church of God in Christ. He became an itinerant preacher, eventually starting his own church and calling himself a reverend; years later, he made himself a bishop.We got to Elba, Alabama, and asked around about possible local musicians,” Olsson relates. “People immediately mentioned a man named ‘Blind Perry’ and when we found the place we hardly knew we’d found it. The driveway was covered in weeds, the house itself looked abandoned. Dogs were running around. It was not a romantic kind of thing, it was real sad. There he was living all by himself, blind since not too many years back, pieces missing in the wooden floor. He was living in a condition of total despair. Then when he played, the music was so intense, so beautiful! It was like hearing Charley Patton for the first time; it shook me in the same way, musically and emotionally. It was all I could do not to cry.” Too Close is superlative, one of those releases that not only redresses historical wrongs, but one that you find yourself listening to on repeat without even realizing it. The recordings on Too Close were made by Olsson in ’69 and ’71 and later by a close friend of Olsson’s in ’72, after Terry had gotten an electric guitar. It’s astonishing stuff. The music consists solely of Tillis’ voice and guitar, with occasional percussion caused by his feet stomping the loose floorboards in his house. From the first song, his take on “God Don’t Like It,” a song that advises against the drinking of moonshine, to “Kennedy Moan,” a stirring political number, it is all stirring stuff. Asked about this music’s rarity, Olsson says “I think sanctified blues as a tradition lived on as long as [‘regular’] blues,” but surmises that maybe “sanctified people didn’t buy the records as much, plus you didn’t have sanctified records on jukeboxes except for maybe Sister Rosetta Tharpe.”

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rev. Boyd Rivers

The guy is called - Rev. Boyd Rivers.
I think he was "discovered" on a "field trip" looking for Fred McDowell, or while hunting down info on Elmore James - can't remember which.
Apparently he played slide as well, but I don't think was ever recorded playing that,little bit of Reverend Gary Davis, but more raw! He has an unusual style and a great bluesy voice!-Rev KM Williams

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Charles Caldwell Mississippi bluesman

Charles Caldwell (May 1943[1] – September 2003[2]) was a musician from Mississippi, known for a raw and fiery brand of electric country blues.Charles Caldwell was a tall (six foot eight) and charismatic guitar player who unfortunately was dealt a cruel hand by the music fates. Born in 1943, Caldwell lived his whole life in the north Mississippi hill country around Coffeeville, working at a fan-making factory manufactured heating and cooling equipment in Greneda, and playing the local juke joints on the weekends for often no more pay than free liquor. He got his first guitar at the age of 14, the hollow-body Gibson 135 that he used the rest of his life to turn out the raw and passionate electric blues that was favored in the region. By the time Fat Possum founder Matthew Johnson stumbled across him in May of 2002,
his public performances were limited to stints at parties and local juke joints. Although Caldwell had begun playing the blues as a teenager, his repertoire remained unrecorded until 2002, when he met Fat Possum Records boss Matthew Johnson. Impressed with Caldwell's playing and personal charisma, Thompson set up recording sessions at The Money Shot in Water Valley, Mississippi. Most songs featured just Caldwell's voice and electric guitar, though a few tracks included minimal drums. Midway through the sessions, Caldwell was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but he doggedly continued recording. He died in September 2003 at the age of 60.
His sole album, Remember Me, was released posthumously on 24 February 2004, garnering favorable reviews and comparisons to such artists as labelmate Junior Kimbrough, John Lee Hooker, and the early Muddy Waters.