Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Elmore James

Elmore James was born on this date 91 years ago in Holmes County, Mississippi. Elmo is, arguably, the second most influential post War (II) blues artist, behind only Muddy Waters. Far more than the one trick pony some make him out to be, his innovative slide work influenced generations of guitarists and his home-made electronics propelled to new levels the nascent role of the electric guitar in Chicago blues. Musicians and historians tend to concentrate their study on Elmo's guitar work, but his song writing ability and his powerful, gravely voice were every bit as important. Enjoy a clip of his original, Done Somebody Wrong for his birthday. 


  1. I blame George Thorogood for creating the misguided impression that Elmore was a one-trick-pony. Once George dumbed Mr. James' style sufficiently to be appealing to boogie-rock hammerheads, and then name-dropped Elmore incessantly, po' Elmore never had a chance.

  2. GeeBee, did you recognize this as the inspiration for the Yardbirds' I Ain't Done Wrong?