Throwback Thursday - Blind Willie McTell

This Thursday, I'm throwing it way back in time--all the way to 1929, when bluesman Blind Willie McTell recorded his song "Travellin' Blues." McTell was an influential musician in the eastern blues, remarkable for his fleet-fingered, twelve-string picking. His playing style was inspired by the fast arpeggiations of ragtime piano. On "Travellin' Blues," McTell puts on a mind-boggling guitar perfomance, plucking out a fast rhythm at the same time as he echoes his vocals with a slippery slide lead. He tells his tale with a high, spoken word delivery, a predecessor to the ramblings of musicians like John Lee Hooker and George Thorogood.

Blind Willie McTell - "Travellin' Blues"

For all you Tufts students, if you want to hear a lot more excellent blues, take Professor Ullman's History of Blues class next semester. It's awesome!

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