This is the latest from The Bluesmobile’s C.C. Rider, who spends her life venerating the founding fathers of the blues. She’s walked the crooked highways of this singing country to resurrect the voices of the past. With the dirt of the Delta on her hands, she sleeps in the shadow of the giants on whose shoulders popular music now stands.
Blind Willie McTell
(May 5, 1898 – August 19, 1959)
With a sharp mind, a golden voice, and unmatched skills on the twelve string guitar, there was never, still isn’t, anyone like Blind Willie McTell.
But don’t take it from me, take it from someone who really knows- Bob Dylan.
Blind-Willie-and-Kate-McTell-1930sThere’s something special about Blind Willie’s music. Maybe it’s his unique sense of song. He could read and write music in braille, as well as play pretty much anything he picked up on the road. And he did know the road. Despite his blindness, he walked the United States all by himself. He could navigate the tunnels of the New York City subway system from memory.
Or maybe it’s his personal relationship with God. Blind Willie could sing just as well about the bosom of the lord as he could the sweet heartbeat of a lady.
It’s all of this that makes for Blind Willie McTell’s sound. It’s the patchwork of his experience that gives us a particular kind of blues. Here’s an old favorite of his. Allman Brothers fans, you’ll recognize this one. Recorded first in 1928. The original “Statesboro Blues.”