Ohio and West Coast one man band blues of Blind Joe Hill

Ohio and West Coast one man band blues of Blind Joe Hill

Blind Joe Hill was a bluesman in the tradition of musicians like Joe Hill Louis and Jesse Fuller, the tradition of excellent one man band performers. Blind Joe Hailed from Akron Ohio for the bigger part of his life until he moved to the West Coast. During his Ohio days Joe Hill recorded for the Barrelhouse Record Label a rare album called Boogie In The Dark at the Glass Finger Studios.

Blind Joe Hill Fannie Mae

I listenend to his song Fannie Mae one of Blind Joe Hill’s better known recordings today. Like other one man band performers you really feel the song building up. Starting with the catchy guitar and harmonica, which slowly gets accompanied by the drums where the hi-hat starts ticking, the bass drum sets the beat and the guitar guides the song into a full grown composition. Then.. Blind Joe Hill starts singing.

Buster Brown 1# hit recording

‘Fannie Mae’ was already a hit before Blind Joe Started playing the song. In 1959 Rhythm ‘n blues singer Buster Brown wrote and recorded this song, which became famous through the tricky harmonica riff. Buster scored a #1 hit with ‘Fannie Mae’ in 1960. Nevertheless Blind Joe Hill did a good job transforming this song into a folk blues masterpiece.

Moving to the folk blues scene of the West Coast

I guess Blind Joe was attracted to the West Coast folk blues scene where musicians like Jesse Fuller and K.C. Douglas already made fame with the blues. It was on the West Coast where he continued performing. It led hill to Europe in the Eighties. Some of his recordings from that period are available online.

“Blind Joe plays his blues with a harp around his neck, a guitar in his lap, and a drum kit at his feet, all at one time, quite a show, especially when he’s laying down big city Chicago blues” 

Memorable blues musician

According to the blues encyclopedia Blind Joe Hill dies on November 17, 1999. In the tradition of one man band musicians, Blind Joe Hill is a memorable Bluesman.

photo credit: Flickr Alan Levine /2013/365/358 On the Rack via photopin (license)

Blind Joe Hill: Bluez Shift Soundcheck (1of3)

Blind Joe Hill Interview on Bro Matt’s Bluez Shift, 1985 (2of3)

Blind Joe Hill on Bro Matt’s Bluez Shift,1985 (3of3)

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *