Playing blues on a Diddley bow
What we all need to know about Lonnie Pitchford is how he taught himself to play that amazing one-string Diddley bow, with bailing wire and snuff cans on the side of his house. Lonnie’s father who was a bluesman in the local juke joint didn’t allow his song to play music. At age six Lonnie Pitchford was fed up with it and started to make his own instrument.
Ambassador of the Delta Blues
That first Diddley bow was the start of the music career of a great musician. Pitchford remarkable for his one string songs, was a true ambassador of the delta blues revival. Not many blues musicians born in the fifties continued to play the great delta American blues, Lonnie Pitchford did. He travelled through the United States to perform on his one string guitar in the spirit of Robert Johnson.
Blues in the spirit of Robert Johnson
Lonnie Pitchford was mentored by Robert Lockwood who was Robert Johnson stepson. Alongside Lockwood Lonnie lived as a carpenter, making his own instrument and even his own home. Although Putchford made over more than twenty five yeats music, his only album ‘All Around Man’ was released in 1994.
Lonnie Pitchford in Blues documentaries
In Alan Lomax documentary ‘The land where the Blues began’ Lonnie Pitchford shows how to make al diddley bow. Pitchford was also part of the movie ‘Deep Blues’ by Robert Mugge. Watch these great movies below.
In 1998 while recording his second album Lonnie Pitchford passed away at his home in Lexington. A diddley bow is featured on his headstone which was paid for by CCR frontman John Fogerty. His grave is neat Elmore James’ grave, in the new port babtist church cemetery.
Lonnie Pitchford If I had Possession Over Judgement Day
Lonnie Pitchford (All Around Man 1994) – This Is The Blues
Lonnie Pitchford – National Down Home Blues Festival – Atlanta, Georgia (1984)
“The Amazing Jack Daniel’s Diddley Bow”