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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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Monday, July 18, 2011

Mean Old World - Arthur Williams & Marquise Knox




Williams began performing in the mid-1950s and has sat in with blues greats like Muddy Waters and Elmore James. In the mid-1970s, Williams formed the Bluesmasters band, performing throughout the Midwest.

Marquise Knox was born in 1991 in St. Louis while his mother was visiting family. They returned to Granada, Mississippi, but moved to St. Louis for good a couple of years later. Marquise still resides in St. Louis, Missouri, but also spends a lot of time in Grenada, where he loves to fish and visit friends and family.

Marquise hails from a musical family deeply entrenched in the Blues. He learned how to play guitar from his grandmother whose family were sharecroppers and whose great, great grandparents were slaves. He also played with his uncle Clifford, who was a major influence in Marquise's life.

For Marquise, Blues is his heritage and a way of life. He spent his early teenage years in St. Louis mentoring under the late great Blues legend, N.E.A. Heritage Fellowship recipient and Grammy Award winner Henry James Townsend. Marquise's talents have earned him performing rights with some of America’s most notable blues performers such as blues legend and Grammy Award winners B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins and David “Honeyboy” Edwards (the latter two also NEA Heritage Fellows). He has also performed at dozens of festivals, and has toured Germany and played the Baden Blues Festival in Switzerland.

Marquise met Sam Lay during a visit to Clarksdale, Mississippi. Like other statesmen of the Blues, Sam took an immediate liking to Marquise and took it upon himself to help give Marquise's career a boost by insisting that Chad Kassem bring Marquise to the celebrated Blues series "Bluesmasters at the Crossroads", which has showcased a virtual who-who of the Blues at Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas. Marquise was an immediate crowd favorite, and was adopted by all of the elders of the Blues in attendance that year. His obvious talent along with his deep knowledge of the Blues and vast respect for his elders made it clear Marquise had something special, and Kassem signed him to a three album deal.


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