Now Booking: Blind Boy Paxton

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton

At first glance he looks like he’s playing the part of a bluesman in a Hollywood movie, dressed with theatrical retro-schtick, with a Derby hat and overalls. The tall, corpulent young man almost looks like a young Willie Dixon, and he is smart to make hay when the grass is high, marketing himself directly to the segment of the blues community with a great nostalgic hunger for authentic musicians that accurately portray the image of the romanticized 1930s rural minstrel.

Amazingly, he’s not just the real deal, he may be the most sensational newcomer in the blues in many years. In a good decade maybe a rare brilliant voice will emerge to ignite the acoustic blues world, a massive new talent to take helm the future of the traditional blues. John Hammond Jr.,Taj Mahal, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Corey Harris and Keb’ Mo’ come to mind as milestone movers and shakers in their respective decades. A fabulous new country blues talent as impressive as Jerron Paxton is not just rare, his extraordinary talent is almost surreal.

Meet Jerron Paxton, a songster, busker and itinerant bluesman, the living embodiment of the true blues in the 21St Century. The young bard was born in 1989, but his vast talent rivals the greatest in the genre. He is the whole package. He’s witty, fast rhyming, poetic, fun, exciting, wonderfully skilled as a musician and a fine singer, he is the continuation of a proud tradition, literally and figuratively. He is even the real-life son of Robert Johnson’s cousin, so you can say it’s in the blood.

Blind since age 16, the charismatic bluesman, sometimes also called “J-Dog Paxton” or “Blind Boy Jerron Paxton”, hails from a Creole family in Watts, South Central Los Angeles, but his people come from Louisiana. He is a capable multi-instrumentalist who picks banjo and guitar, plays harmonica, piano and other instruments. He is yet unsigned and his biggest fame has been found through the Playing for Change Foundation video II, which has catapulted him to international fame, just as it had done for slide guitarist Roberto Luti. He’s also a favorite son of the Weenie Campbell website of Country blues fans, which was a sizable career boost. All of this is peanuts compared to what is ahead for this remarkable musician who vividly and passionately recreates the original blues and is in many ways an uncanny songster.

He is a joyous entertainer, humorous with a dazzling wit, a terrific storyteller, exuding an affable excitement. He told interviewer Peter Pantepinto, “All I do is play music; I’m too lazy to work.” He masters multiple blues styles and picks like Blind Blake. He feels home in the Piedmont tradition with its ragtime influence. Country blues fans will pick up on Blind Boy Fuller, Gary Davis, but also on the swampy blues of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta. He digs deep in the archives of the country blues, from Furry Lewis to Texas Alexander. On the piano he can remind you of Fats Waller. He is often cited to have said that at the age of fifteen– about the time he started to go blind– that he just didn’t like anything written after 1934. He raised himself on 78s. Sound familiar? Clearly he is destined for greatness. Just give him a little time. He is very young and his career will ascend like a rocket.

The young bard is actively touring and playing festivals nationwide. Keep your ears open for a CD. In the meantime, catch him on YouTube. Reprinted from The Country Blues web page.

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