I has seen a copy of Jesse Mae Hemphill’s self titled record sitting in my local record shop for 3 months before I decided to buy it.
I’m definitely glad I did— she’s a gem of the Mississippi Hill style of blues.
Jesse’s first recording wasn’t released until age 58, but what she put out was top-notch blues.
Awhile ago I stumbled upon a series of videos recorded by Alan Lomax in 1978. One of my favorites is from unknown guitar player Belton Sutherland.
Belton was probably a teenager in the hay-day of this music’s popularity in the south. Maybe he the opportunity to learn from one of the masters. Eugene Powell, also known as Sonny Boy Nelson was at this recording session. Maybe he taught Belton a thing or two.
Blues #1, just like Blues #2 is a droning Mississippi Hill Country type of song. I talk about how to play this type of song in my lesson on Catfish Blues.
This type of music seems so raw and emotionally loaded. A lifetime of experience and guitar playing allowed Belton to tap into such a raw channel of expression