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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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Saturday, April 13, 2013

If I Lose Let Me Loose - John Lee Ziegler

Ziegler’s recordings appear on the following collections: Georgia Blues Today (issued by Flyright in 1981 and reissued by Fat Possum), John Lee Ziegler: The George Mitchell Collection Vol. 6 (the same tracks appear on The George Mitchell Collection 7-CD box set) plus Expressin’ The Blues, Blues Sweet Blues, Georgia Blues Today and Cames So Far all on the Music Maker label. Part of John Lee Ziegler’s unorthodox style comes from the fact that he was a left-handed guitarist who played a right-handed guitar upside-down, with the bass strings at the bottom. Born in 1929 in Houston County, Ziegler started playing guitar at age 15 as a fluke: when his parents couldn’t find him the bicycle he requested as a gift, they returned from Macon with a guitar instead. It didn’t take Ziegler long to get good enough to play local clubs and house parties; he even spent some time in New York playing with a band. He also told Mitchell he’d spent some time with John Lee Hooker in Hawkinsville, Georgia. When Mitchell came across him in the late 1970s, Ziegler was still residing in Houston County, working as a plumber and playing at his house for any neighbors interested in stopping by to hear. He had one of the most diverse repertories of any Chattahoochee performer Mitchell encountered, playing John Lee Hooker songs, Sam Cooke’s pop hits, and traditional Chattahoochee songs like “If I Lose Let Me Lose” all in his distinctive style.

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