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Bluegrass sounds better than it is. Old-time is better than it sounds - Frank Basile, on how to distinguish Oldtime music from Bluegrass

Author Topic: blind Gussie Nesbitt  (Read 711 times)

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Offline blueshome

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blind Gussie Nesbitt
« on: December 25, 2013, 03:39:37 AM »
Just re-acquainted myself with Gussie Nesbitt via Santa's delivery of the Blues Images calendar. wonderful stuff!

A real similarity between his singing style and Gary Davis IMO, as well as some overlap in repertoire. I believe he was around the Laurens area according to a post on another thread here - where RGD came from.

Offline oddenda

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Re: blind Gussie Nesbitt
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2013, 05:19:51 PM »
Bruce Bastin and I met Nesbitt at his home in Charlotte, NC. The good Reverend was a lovely man who told us a few things about the area's music. He remembered Jack Gowdelock, but could tell us little about him. When we saw him, he was digging a cellar/basement under his house! I took a photo of him in coveralls with my Gibson SJ that was published... probably in BLUES UNLIMITED, as I cannot find it in either of Bastin's books! An interesting man.


Offline Johnm

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Re: blind Gussie Nesbitt
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 01:46:52 PM »
Hi all,
Apropos of Phil's starting this thread I listened to the four Gussie Nesbit tracks on the JSP set, "The Guitar Evangelists, Volume 2".  There is a lot of variety in them--he was not a musical one-trick-pony by any means.  Certainly the most striking of his tracks, if only for its oddity is his version of "Motherless Children".  He plays it with a slide, in Vestapol, and gets a really odd, bi-tonal sound by playing his bass, alternating and brushing his open strings, while at the same time playing his melody and singing the song with a home pitch, or "do" located at the fourth fret of his first string.  The result is that his chordal back-up and his melody are in two different keys.  It's vaguely reminiscent of Kelly Harrell's version of "Wild Bill Jones", where he sings the song in F while Henry Whitter accompanies him in B flat.  Gussie Nesbit's sound is stranger, though, because it is completely self-contained, he's playing and singing it all.  The cut is definitely worth seeking out, as are all of Nesbit's recordings. 
Incidentally, without having heard him before, I'd always assumed that Gussie Nesbit was a woman, since the name Gussie is almost always given to women, at least in the States.
All best,


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