Friday, April 29, 2016
Neal Pattman - Lightnin' Twist
He grew up on a farm, one of 14 children; he lost his right arm in an accident with a wagon wheel at the age of seven. As a teenager, he played music for cash on the streets of Athens, Georgia. As he told the English journalist and photographer Val Wilmer in 1978: "I couldn't get jobs like other people, but I started playing the harp and got to making lots of money with it. "
By the time he was in his 20s, he was married with a family. So he took a job in the kitchens on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. But he did not stop playing music. "It really helped me out earning my living," said Pattman of these years. "Any time I felt like going, I can make a hundred and some dollars a week blowin' my harp."
In 1989, he was invited to New York City to play at the Lincoln Center for the perfoming arts and, as a result of that engagement, began to be booked at festivals.
A couple of years later, he met Timothy Duffy, who was the moving spirit behind the Music Maker Relief Foundation. This is a North Carolina-based organisation that supports folk musicians, and Pattman then begin to play with other artists associated with the Foundation, such as the singer-guitarists Guitar Gabriel and Cootie Stark.
Pattman and Stark became a team and went on a 48-city Blues Revival tour with Taj Mahal. For Duffy, Pattman was a man who understood what the Foundation was about, and he was "a joy to be around", whether they were spending an afternoon with Lou Reed, jamming with Lee Konitz or meeting fans.
Pattman visited Britain in 1995, and his engagement at London's 100 Club, accompanied by his friend Gary Erwin on piano and the English guitarist Dave Peabody, was preserved on the CD Live In London. Peabody also played with Pattman on the older musician's home ground, even doing the rounds of small black clubs in Georgia and South Carolina.
Pattman's only other album, Prison Blues, made in 1998 for Duffy's Music Maker label, is a fascinating set of harmonica tunes, old-school blues and even a disco twist. In 2004 Pattman and Stark (who died this April), made their last trip together to the Music Maker Relief Foundation, now based in Hillsborough, North Carolina, to play with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, a singer and guitarist two generations their junior. Their work can be heard on Shepherd's forthcoming album 10 Days Out: Blues From The Backroads, and they appear in the accompanying DVD.
Neal Pattman, blues musician, born January 10 1926; died May 4 2005. (The Guardian)
Original cassette rip that was later re-released as a CD on High John.
Thanks to KansasJoe for this one.
Filling a re-post request.