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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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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mississippi Woman - Key Francis

Born & raised in Seattle, Key grew up exploring the great world of the Pacific Northwest during a time when the old Indian totems still stood tall and proud, when the powerful Indian spirit still breathed freely in nature. One can hear this presence in Key's guitar tone, resonating beyond the mundane. Key's work ethic developed during the summers he spent on a large wheat and cattle ranch. As a child he had to feed the pigs, which were bigger than he was. Later he drove heavy farm equipment and fought brush fires. Key's rite of initiation into manhood came via the Marine Core. Based at El Toro, Key became exposed to the vibrant music scene in and around Los Angeles. This was the era when R & B dominated the radio and jazz was at its peak. Sam Cook, the sounds of Motown, and Ray Charles filled the air. He heard Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Sonny Rolands, and Charles Mingus, all live in their prime. This era segued wayed in to psychedelic blues ripping on the electric guitar. These great guitar players exploded onto the scene and Key found himself once again immersed in the sound. Now he heard Albert Collins, Albert King, BB King, and Buddy Guy. The inspiration to pick up the guitar came after hearing Buddy Guy in concert. That experience began the long and tenacious process of mastering his craft. His first experiences as a singer/songwriter and guitar player were playing between the Robert Cray's sets. While developing his music, Key worked as a cross country truck driver, a railroad brakeman, a commercial pilot, and entrepreneur ventures such as running a bus up and down the West Coast. The now infamous Green Tortoise eventually bought the business. He also raced cars.

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