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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Screwdriver - Billy Bizor

The blues revival of the 1960s allowed the spotlight to finally fall on performers like Billy Bizor, an otherwise obscure harpist best known in conjunction with his recordings in support of his cousin, the renowned Lightnin' Hopkins. Born in Centerville, Texas in 1917, Bizor (also, variously, Bizer and Biser) dwelled in almost total obscurity prior to the 1960s, developing a spare, haunted sound largely unaffected by the passage of time, making him a prime candidate for rediscovery by purists. Among his first recordings were a series of unheralded early-1960s dates backing Hopkins; between 1968 and 1969, Bizor cut his only solo session in Houston with producer Roy Ames, revealing him to be an intense, emotionally charged singer. Eventually issued as Blowing My Blues Away, the end result went unreleased for several years; tragically, Bizor himself never saw the recordings come to light -- he died April 4, 1969.

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