Tag Archives: Mississippi Sheiks

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.


Let’s Explore The Blues – Mississippi Sheiks

Highway 61 Blues Mural
Highway 61 Blues Mural (Photo credit: joseph a)


The Mississippi Sheiks were a country blues group (who could play anything) that recorded in the 1930’s.  Their style was a combination of guitar and fiddle.  The group consisted mainly of the Chatmon family, namely Armenter (aka Bo Carter), Lonnie and Sam Chatmon.  The other key member was Walter Vinson.  Their first recording was cut in 1930.  In that year, they recorded what may be their most famous song, “Sitting On Top Of The World“.  The version here is the original.

“Sitting On Top Of The World”

Here is a version by Howlin’ Wolf.

And by Cream, a live version from 2005.

The group continued to record and tour until 1936.  Their legacy consisted of 70 odd recordings.   They broke up and headed back home to Mississippi to again be farmers.  Walter recorded 3 songs in 1961 and Sam did a few more records in the 1960’s during the blues revival and legacy projects.  Their music has been redone by many of the giants.  Enjoy the next few selections by a wide gamut of artists.  I especially liked the Rory Gallagher tune, man he could play.

Honey Babe Let the Deal Go Down – Bruce Cockburn

Kind Treatment – John Hammond

Tribute done by Rory Gallagher