Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jesse Thomas

Jesse "Babyface" Thomas (February 3, 1911 - August 15, 1995) was an American Texas blues guitarist and singer.Known at different times as "Baby Face" or "Mule", and occasionally billed as "The Blues Troubadour", Jesse Thomas popped up all over the blues map in his eight decade career. Born in Logansport, Louisiana, United States, Thomas is best known for the song "Blue Goose Blues", which he recorded for Victor in 1929. His clipped, dry-toned guitar-playing, which sound rather meagre on "Blue Goose Blues", gained greatly from amplification, and his 1940s-1950s recordings, mostly made in Los Angeles, California, are fascinatingly varied responses to tradition and innovation.In 1953, for instance, on a Speciality single, he coupled a minor key blues in the current West Coast idiom, "When You Say I Love You", with a re-examination of the old Texas gambling song, "Jack of Diamonds" - an entirely characteristic gesture. In 1994 he appeared at the Long Beach Blues Festival. He had a long musical career spanning over 60 years, continuing to perform until his death. The Texas bluesman, Ramblin' Thomas, was his brother,and fellow Louisiana blues guitar player, Lafayette Thomas, was his nephew. A longtime resident of the Lakeside neighborhood of Shreveport, Louisiana, Thomas died there on August 15, 1995 at the age of 84.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ramblin’ Thomas

Ramblin' Thomas (1902–1945) was an American country blues singer, guitarist and songwriter. He was the brother of another blues musician, Jesse Thomas. Thomas is best remembered for his slide guitar playing, and recording several pieces in the late 1920s and early 1930s.Blues scholars seem undecided if Thomas's nickname of Ramblin' was in reference to his style of playing, or itinerant nature. Willard Thomas was born in Logansport, Louisiana, one of nine children. His father played the fiddle, and three brothers Joe L., Jesse, and Willard learnt to play the guitar, with Willard particularly practising slide guitar techniques. Thomas relocated to Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas in the late 1920s, and was influenced by the playing of Lonnie Johnson. He performed in San Antonio, Oklahoma and possibly St. Louis, Missouri in his subsequent travels. Thomas recorded in both Dallas and Chicago between 1928 and 1932, for Paramount Records and Victor Records. Thomas reportedly died of tuberculosis in 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee. Document Records are amongst the record labels (previously there were LP issues on Heritage, Biograph, and Matchbox Records) to have released retrospective compilations of Thomas' work on CD.