Let’s Explore The Blues – Charley Patton

Charlie Patton, one of the originators of the ...

Charlie Patton, one of the originators of the Delta blues style, playing with a pick or a bottleneck slide. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charley Patton, born between 1887 and 1894, maybe, and passed away on April 28, 1934, definitely.  Charley was a delta blues player, and some credit him with creating Delta Blues.  It is said that he may be the most important American musician of the 20th century.  With this great lead up, it is time to explore his life and music.

There are many mysteries surrounding Charley.  His birth-date, his name (some spell it Charlie), and even his race.  He may have been the son of a slave, or he may have been Mexican or possibly a Cherokee Native-American.  Interestingly, the slave named as a potential father was Henderson Chatmon, the father of many of the Mississippi Sheiks.  The genetics are there for sure.  He was friends with, and influence a very young Howlin’ WolfJohn Lee Hooker also spent some time with Charley and was influenced by his blues style.  Even Robert Johnson spent time listening and learning from Patton.

He died in 1934 of a heart attack.  He was buried in Holly Ridge, Mississippi.  In 1990, John Fogarty purchased and had placed a headstone for his grave.  Now the music.

First up is Pony Blues.  Terrific song.  You can hear lots of different groups buried in the tapestry of this song.

Pony Blues

Next up we have another masterpiece, one that covers everything we detest in life.

Revenue Man Blues

A final tune, this by John Lee Hooker with Canned Heat, inspired by Charley’s Peavine Blues.  Awesome.

Peavine

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