Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Charlie Patton

If the Delta country blues has a convenient source point, it would probably be Charley Patton, its first great star, born in 1891 no matter where. From him flowed nearly all the elements that would comprise the region’s blues style. Patton had a course, earthy voice that reflected hard times and hard living. His guitar style - percussive and raw - matched his vocal delivery.

He often played slide guitar and gave that style a position of prominence in Delta blues. Patton’s songs were filled with lyrics that dealt with more than mere narratives of love gone bad. Patton often injected a personal viewpoint into his music and explored issues like social mobility (Pony Blues), imprisonment (High Sheriff Blues), nature (High Water Blues), and morality (Oh Death) that went far beyond traditional male - female relationship themes.

Patton defined the life of a bluesman. He drank and smoked excessively. He reportedly had a total of eight wives. He was jailed at least once. He traveled extensively, never staying in one place for too long.

Patton’s standing in blues history is immense; no country blues artist, save Blind Lemon Jefferson, exerted more influence on the future of the form or on its succeeding generation of stylists than Patton. Everyone from Son House, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Elmore James can trace their blues styles back to Patton. MP3: A Spoonfull Blues

3 Comments:

Blogger m leone said...

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1:29 PM  
Blogger m leone said...

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1:29 PM  
Blogger m leone said...

charlie patton

1:31 PM  

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