Kicking off the new week with some raw blues from Willie Farmer. Fat Possum Records are releasing a new album of his recordings via their imprint Big Legal Mess on March 1st.
Willie Farmer is ready to stop being an auto mechanic. He’s had his own shop in Duck Hill, MS (slightly to the east of the Delta) for over forty years and he’s hopeful that he can focus on blues full-time with the release of The Man From The Hill.
On ‘I Am The Lightnin” you can hear the influence of Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins in his rough and ready blues sound that kicks along with some mighty kinetic energy and a kicking live sound to the recording.
As a kid, Farmer also heard blues on the radio via Nashville’s WLAC, with Lightnin’ Hopkins his favorite. He says, “I like the old stuff, that’s the real blues. The blues they’re singing today, that ain’t blues to me, it just doesn’t have the feel.” Farmer’s first guitar was bought with money he saved up from picking cotton as a kid; other tasks he was assigned included shucking corn, toting water, and cutting wood. His mother preferring that Willie stick to gospel and his father secretly encouraging the boy to play the blues whenever mother was out of earshot.
The Man From the Hill was produced by Bruce Watson at Delta-Sonic Sound and features a backing band of some of Memphis’ and Mississippi’s best players, including Jimbo Mathus (Valerie June, Elvis Costello), Will Sexton (Amy LaVere), Mark Edgar Stuart (Alvin Youngblood Hart), and Al Gamble (St. Paul & The Broken Bones).