Mance Lipscomb – today’s blues fix

Several of my cigar box guitar friends just attended a blues festival in Navasota, Texas, the birthplace of bluesman Mance Lipscomb. Lipscomb played guitar for years but wasn’t professionally discovered until the early 1960s as part of the folk and blues revival of that time.

It was my son who reminded me of Lipscomb and while I had heard his records I had never seen a video of him. YouTube has several and what immediately caught my attention was his use of a pocket knife as a slide. This is just what W.C. Handy reported seeing a hobo doing  at the railway station in Tutwiler, MS in 1903. Playing with a knife and singing Yellow Dog Blues. Blues historians like to mark that event as the, “Birth of the blues.”

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