Monday 5 May 2014

Blind Willie's Glorious Afterlife

On this day in 1898, the great blues singer and guitarist Blind Willie McTell was born to an old-time bluesman's life of poverty, disease, alcoholism, tomcatting and obscurity, broken only by a few recording sessions that brought him neither fame nor fortune. He had an unusually sweet and pure voice for a blues singer, and his way with a 12-string guitar was fluid, musical and effortlessly brilliant. Here he is in action, singing Lord Send Me an Angel (apologies if the video starts with a nerve-jangling ad)...
  For an obscure bluesman (who died just too early to be rediscovered in his lifetime), Blind Willie has had a glorious afterlife. Leaving aside the numerous covers of his songs, he has had a big influence on - and been admired by - everyone from Taj Mahal to the White Stripes, not to mention Ralph McTell, who even changed his surname in homage to Blind Willie. But you know where this is heading, don't you? To one of Bob Dylan's very greatest songs - Blind Willie McTell, mystifyingly omitted from the 1983 album Infidels and released as a bootleg outtake. Enjoy it here...
 Yes, nobody could sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell. And nobody could write a song like Bob Dylan at his best.


  1. Beautiful. In the Blind Willie genre, I also really like Blind Willie Johnson...

  2. Those are fantastic! We should find out when we close on our house soon and then you and I will need to meet up!

    Roller Blinds & Vertical Blinds

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