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For decades, practically every big circus on the road had a black band and minstrel company attached to its sideshow, performing on the streets and inside the sideshow tent before people of all races, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the southern reaches of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. During the 1910s, these companies constituted a significant pathway for the dissemination of ragtime, blues, and jazz." - Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff, Ragged But Right: Black Traveling Shows, "Coon Songs", And The Dark Pathway To Blues And Jazz

Author Topic: Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton and Jontavious Willis at City Vinyard New York  (Read 153 times)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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    • MuckOVision

I saw and heard a double bill Jontavious Willis and Jerron Paxton. I've known and seen Jerron for years and he just gets better and better, amazing in fact among the most brilliant instrumentalists this music has ever had and a natural comedic performer in the Fats Waller vein. His harmonica solo train piece was a wow, and his Johnny St. Cyr Rag, was just great. Also, I have to put in a plug for his Todd Cambio Fraulini Guitar which sounded absolutely superb.
The big surprise though was Jontavious Willis whose youtube videos give no inkling of what a charming captivating and astute performer and singer he is and what a monster guitar player he's become. Fine singer too. He was Really great. Had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand.
I've been involved in this music sometimes professionally since I was 16 which was back in the Pleistocene Era. I've seen literally thousands of people with guitars singing and playing every possible kind of music. Some of them went on to become megastars, but I have to say that THIS performance, by these two young Men is the only performance I've seen that rates up there with seeing Son House, Lightnin' Hopkins, Gary Davis, Sonny and Brownie, Fred McDowell, Louisiana Red, etc. It felt as if it were establishing an almost historic level of excellence in African American Folk and Blues related performance.
Wow guys! Ya killed me daid!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline jtbrown

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Re: Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton and Jontavious Willis at City Vinyard New York
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2019, 08:01:18 AM »
Thanks for the report; I'm sure I'm not the only one who's feeling very envious! I got to see Jontavious Willis here in Tucson recently, and I totally agree that what's available on YouTube doesn't do him full justice. (Nor, in my opinion, do the recordings he's released so far.) I was there mainly for him, but he was opening for Keb' Mo, and it was fun to see how quickly & completely he won over an audience full of people who had probably never heard of him until just before he took the stage. And of course Jerron Paxton is just incredible.

Weenies within driving distance should note that Paxton and Willis are playing at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs tonight, and in Pittsburgh on Saturday. I had been hoping to watch the Caffe Lena show via the web, but it seems that Concert Window, which used to stream lots of Caffe Lena events, is now defunct. Maybe the Caffe Lena folks will put something on their YouTube channel.

Todd Brown

Offline CF

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Re: Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton and Jontavious Willis at City Vinyard New York
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2019, 05:41:17 AM »
I was wondering when these two might team up. I only know them from their online presence but I am a big fan. They are, to my taste, the two best Blues Roots musicians out there. I live in the wrong part of the world, I need to see these artists!
I would also recommend Our Native Daughters. They are four African-
American musicians, women, who teamed up to make "Songs of" from earlier this year. It is a great record from top to bottom. The album cover features the four artists holding their banjos which is a novel, powerful image in 2019.
There are a batch of 20-30 somethings coming up in many of the Roots music disciplines that are astounding talents. I think we're seeing a renaissance in these genres, it's exciting stuff.
Phil did you get a chance to talk to JW or Jerron? JW is becoming a walking encyclopedia of Blues history and culture. I'm sure he'd love to talk to someone who is a student of Rev. Gary
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

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