Click on the headline to link to a YouTube film clip of Blind Lemon Jefferson holding forth on one of his signature blues tunes, Black Snake Moan.
Blind Lemon, Blind Lemon Jefferson, 1978
Yah, I know it is hard to keep the names of all these blind blues singers straight. Blind Willie, Blind Lemon, Blind Blake, etc. but there are differences. It is interesting that so many of these blind black singers, probably otherwise unemployable, gave the blues (and sometimes their root music, gospel, also) a tryout on the streets and seemingly thrived on this market niche. The just mentioned gospel roots of many of these performers shows the tension between the godly church music of their youth and the ‘devil’s’ music of their maturity and I believe added to the authenticity of the music. This compilation, although technically not the best due more to problems with the old time recording material than anything else, highlights Blind Lemon’s most enduring songs. The classic Black Snake Moan is included here. Not included here but a must listen for anybody interested in this music is another Jefferson classic See That My Grave is Kept Clean that has been covered by many, many artists, including Bob Dylan.