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Kortzer's Sunday Jams: Little Walter - Blue & Lonesome

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Kortzer's Sunday Jams: Little Walter - Blue & Lonesome

This week I’ve gone for possibly the bluest blues song of all time. Blue & Lonesome by Little Walter. Little Walter is a Blues legend & his story is suitably fitting. Thought to have been born in 1930 in Louisiana “Walter” grew up in Rapides Parish where he first learned to play the harmonica. Marion Walter Jacobs left home around the age of 12 and went on the road travelling working & busking on the streets of cities such as New Orleans, Memphis, St Louis and many more. He’s said to have honed his harmonica and instrumental skills from spending times with legends such as Sonny Boy Williamson, who is arguably one of the greatest harmonica players of all time. “Little Walter” is also somewhat of a pioneer, sick of having his harmonica drown out by the guitar amplifiers he opted to use a microphone to amplify his harmonica. However unlike others such as Sonny Boy, Little Walter was potentially the first musician ever to purposely use electronic distortion. The majority of modern day music in some form derives from the blues and experimental techniques such as this are now a staple in modern day production. This shines through on Blue & Lonesome, the distorted character of his voice matched with the harmonica and guitar creates a level of blue that I haven’t heard anywhere else.  I’d as far to say this is the greatest blues track of all time. Marion enjoyed a successful career playing harmonica on many records fro famous artists as well as releasing in his own right. He was said to have struggled with alcoholism and had a notoriously short temper. Unfortunately passed away at the age of 37 after being involved in a fight at a nightclub In South Chicago during a performance break. I wonder what more we could have seen from such remarkable & talented artist. I’ll say no more, enjoy.