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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Found Something Better - Curtis Griffin

CURTIS JACK GRIFFIN by Cadillac Zack .. .. Curtis Jack Griffin aka C.C. Griffin was born March 17, 1930 in Poole, Louisiana. He chopped cotton, pulled corn, and all the other crazy hard labor that your typical bluesman had to do to survive. But he's not your typical bluesman. .. .. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950's, quickly becoming a gripping blues singer and stinging blues guitarist. Soon thereafter he began appearing on marquees, opening shows for artists such as BB King and Bobby Bland. .. .. I was told when I first moved to Los Angeles in 1997, "You have to hear Curtis Jack Griffin. He's the greatest living blues singer around here. Smokey Wilson's great, but Curtis is the best." .. .. Well, it took me two years to find him. Curtis was in some sort of hybernation at that time. But the way I eventually stumbled upon him, deep in South Central Los Angeles, is a mysterious and exhilerating story that will have to be told in a future interview. .. .. Let' s just say, when I heard this man sing for the first time I thought Bobby Bland was being channeled through a new body. But Curtis's sound is sweeter and more vulernable than Bland's, while somehow being able to conjure an angrier or more innocent edge than Bland when he wants. .. .. Let's just say I love Curtis's singing. I first heard him on a Black Magic Records CD compilation of authentic bluesmen produced by the late harp player, William Clarke called "Hard Times". On his only song "I Get So Lonesome", accompanied by guitarist Zach Zunis, Griffin's vocals are much "cleaner" than your average blues singer. .. .. Curtis's clear annunciation is a biproduct of having to compete in the business world his whole life. You see, he always had a day job and always raised a family. He worked as a butcher for somthing like 30 years. And this is how I suspect Curtis got such a huge physique. Even at 77 years old, he's the size of a NFL linebacker! .. .. I sincerely hope you are lucky enough to hear Curtis sing sometime in Los Angeles before it's too late. He really is one of the last of the real deal, blues singers. And my goal is to champion this phenomenal rare talent in the future, as I have been doing for the last six years. .. .. In the meantime, listen to some of his songs I've uploaded here. They were recorded for some small labels in the 1960's.
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