Saturday, August 3, 2013

Shirley Griffith 3 LP's

Born in Brandon, Mississippi, Griffith would spend his formative years busking around the south during the earliest days of the country blues thing. The guitarist and songwriter didn’t have a chance to record, although opportunism presented themselves.
There’s scant information on Griffith’s life, so the majority of the info gleaned for all of this comes mainly from a post that collects a few paragraphs from another site on the bluesman. But according to that stuff, Griffith, while working alongside Tommy Johnson, missed an initial chance to set songs to tape. By the guitarist’s own admission, he was just too out of control. And even after working with such a distinguished and important player, Griffith was set to record with Scrapper Blackwell and Leroy Carr in ‘35 – the death of the latter player precluded the occurrence.
Being born in 1908 set Griffith in a position to get some sides off during the early days of the recording industry. Despite his inability to record, though, Griffith apparently maintained his chops after moving to Indianapolis and working a normal day job. With the onslaught of rediscovered players during the ‘60s, the guitarist received a bit of notoriety. He even played at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1969, the fest’s first year.
With at least some momentum behind him, Griffith was able to cut three albums at the very end of his life. And I’d honestly, never seen any of them until recently. His last effort, Mississippi Blues, was released by Blue Goose Records in ’73.
Art Rosenbaum, a local who took an interest in recording the guitarist, had his hand in each of the sessions – and contributed photography. But from listening to just Griffith’s final album, it’s almost shocking that after such a long time away from any semblance of a career in music his voice sounds as bold as it must have in earlier decades. His guitar playing isn’t perfect, but a far sight better than a handful of Griffith’s compatriots that were dug up again in the ‘60s.
For more info visit
Thanks goes to Nighthawk for providing these rips.

Saturday Blues :
Mississippi Blues:
Indiana Ave. Blues:

1 comment:

Parker said...

I'm doing some work on the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival and am trying to track down the estate or heirs of Shirley Griffith. If anyone has any information, please get in touch at