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Wouldn't you know that fellow'd get get somewhere like that. He came into Greenville when I was home on leave and he gives a dance, There were posters up and everything about him being Blind Boy number two. The people there wouldn't let me go until I got and played a number and the last time I saw Brownie after I played my number was him walking out the door and going to catch a bus out of town. - Baby Tate speaking of Brownie McGhee, from the liner notes to "The Blues of Baby Tate, See What You Done Done" Bluesville # 1072

Author Topic: George Higgs  (Read 3806 times)

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Offline blueshome

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George Higgs
« on: September 05, 2008, 03:42:15 PM »
While we're at it - go to youtube and search for George Higgs -tremendous downhome harp plus guitar and rack harp.

Offline jharris

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 08:29:38 PM »
You're absolutely right about about George Higgs. His Music Maker records don't do him justice. Pete Lowry recorded him in 1973 and 1979 but these recordings are unreleased. All feature George solo, or as lead with Elester Anderson. Pete was gracious enough to send me some of these for a show on the Trix label I'll be airing in a month - great stuff!

-Jeff H 

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2008, 12:06:41 AM »
Pete Lowry recorded him in 1973 and 1979 but these recordings are unreleased.
And of the 1979 recordings in his own right there's a fair amount.

GEORGE HIGGS
V/g with Elester Anderson, g ?1.
Speed, NC, 20 Jan 1979
79-1272   That?s alright   
79-1273   Worried mind blues   
79-1274   Geraldine (Jerdine?)   
79-1275   Poor boy, long way from home   
79-1276   So glad you?re mine -1   
79-1279   Going to the river -1   
79-1282   C.C. rider -1   
79-1284   Skinny woman blues -1   
79-1286   Crow Jane -1   
79-1287   If I can -1   

V/hca ?1/g -2 with Elester Anderson, v -3/g ?4.
Speed, NC, 3 Mar 1979
79-1358   Bad feet blues ?2, 4   
79-1359   So glad she?s mine ?2, 4   
79-1362   Worried mind blues ?2   
79-1363   Sitting on top of the world ?1, 4   
79-1364   Skinny woman blues ?1, 3, 4   
79-1367   I?m in the mood ?2, 4    
79-1368   She fooled me ?2, 4    
79-1369   John Henry ?2   
79-1370   Crow Jane ?2   

V/hca ?1/g ?2 with Elester Anderson, v ?3/g ?4.
Speed, NC, 25 Mar 1979
79-1486   Throw a poor dog a bone ?1?, 4   
79-1489   Skinny woman blues ?1, 3, 4   
79-1490   House on the hill/Good vegetables ?2, 4   
79-1493   Trouble in mind ?2, 4   
79-1494   Worried mind blues -2   
79-1496   Katy Mae -2   
79-1497   That?s alright ?2, 4   

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2008, 01:58:57 AM »
Mention of Elester Anderson got me searching my email archive and discovered this from August 3rd 2002:

Hello. My name is Margo Anderson. I am trying to find some information on my Grandfather Elester "Lestee" Anderson. He was a blues guitarist  In around 1960-1970 a man by the name of  Pete Lowery came from England to record an album by my grandfather but we never heard the album or heard from Mr. Lowery again. If you have any information on this album please email me back. Thank you for your time. Margo Anderson
==============
I didn?t think to ask who had suggested she might contact me but did reply thus:

Hello Margo,

I don't know if Pete Lowry recorded an entire album, if he did I don't seem to be able to discover if it was released, but I'm out of touch with current CD issues. However, in March 1973 Pete recorded the entire three day Fine Arts Festival, University Of North Carolina, Chapel Hill at which Elester Anderson appeared. A series of compilation albums were issued on the UK Flyright label containing performances from that festival. One of which, "Carolina Country Blues" (LP 505), contained "Further Down The Road" sung by your grandfather.

Pete, an American citizen who wasn?t from England but the company that released some of the material was, is now living in Australia but contributes a monthly column to the UK magazine Blues & Rhythm who I'm sure will put you in touch with him so that you can discover further information.

May I suggest that you forward this email exchange to the editor, Tony Burke.

Sorry not to have been of more help.
==========

I never heard from her again and can only assume the Tony Burke pointed her in the direction of Lowry.

[LATER EDIT: If only I knew then what I know now. A bit of research has turned up masses of Lowry recordings made between September 1972 and March 1979, 99.99% unreleased. Hope she evntually made contact with Pete.]
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 03:09:53 AM by Bunker Hill »

Online Johnm

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2008, 01:03:57 PM »
Hi all,
I know that Lightnin' Wells knows George Higgs and thinks highly of his music.  George was scheduled to be on staff at Port Townsend a few years ago and it fell through for some reason.  I've not heard the prospect of bringing him out there brought up again.
all best,
Johnm

Offline jharris

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2008, 01:12:02 PM »
Quote
[LATER EDIT: If only I knew then what I know now. A bit of research has turned up masses of Lowry recordings made between September 1972 and March 1979, 99.99% unreleased. Hope she evntually made contact with Pete.]

Yes indeed. Lowry's seventeen records released on his Trix label represent only a small portion of his recording activity between 1970 to 1980 (he made no field recordings in 1978). Lowry?s unreleased recordings far exceed the released recordings. Among those whose recordings went unreleased are artists such as Richard Trice, Pink Anderson, John Cephas, Phil Wiggins, Cecil Barfield, Marvin and Turner Foddrell, John Snipes, Dink Roberts, Elester Anderson, Charlie Rambo, Earnest Scott Clifford, Lee "Sam" Swanson and George Higgs among many others. One album that Lowry really regrets not issuing is by the recently departed Maurice Reedus. Reedus was Robert Jr. Lockwood?s great, long time sax player heard to good effect on Lockwood?s two Trix records. Reedus' record was mixed/mastered and titled Get Outta Town, Man (Trix 3318). Baby Tate was a good friend of Lowry?s and was recorded extensively but only issued one 45. Lowry was never happy with these recordings.

More on Pete Lowry & Trix: http://sundayblues.org/archives/198

-Jeff H.

Offline dj

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2008, 01:26:02 PM »
I realize I'm preaching to the choir, but I sure do wish Pete's recordings could be made available someway, somehow, somewhere. 

Offline RobBob

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2008, 08:58:27 AM »
Four or five years ago my band was hired to play a show with Etta Baker at the Stecoah Valley Center near Bryson City, NC.  Etta became ill and George Higgs replaced her on the bill,  He held the audience for 1-1/2 hours of blues  We only played 1/2 hour as their audience is mostly older folks who don't stay out too late (read go home early).  Armed with a one off Stratocaster and a medium sized amp, he laid down some great blues.  His CD he gave us is nowhere near as good as he is in person.  He can transport you in time with his music.  A night to be savored

RobBob

Offline oddenda

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 10:17:51 PM »
Dear Folks -

          Being the aforementioned Pete Lowry, I apologise for not having enough money to release all my recordings back in the day. I fully intended on issuing an album by Elester Anderson, as well as one by George Higgs... probably one with the two of them. BUT, nobody (relatively speaking) purchased the TRIX albums that I did release, and so I had to cease activities. While I did get 18 LPs out back then, there's probably enough unissued material for some 40-50 CDs. Wish that the world were different, or that some rich person decided to support such activities, but that ain't reality. Les-T was a wonderful person and became, once again, a very good musician (he had put it down for many decades when we met). Life is unfair.

May the farce be with you all.

yrs,
     Peter B. Lowry
« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 07:20:41 AM by oddenda »

Offline waxwing

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 12:13:40 AM »
Wow! Welcome to Weenie Campbell. Know that your efforts are greatly appreciated by those who post here, and we, too, lament the fact that the world is, indeed, not extremely different.

However, having just gone through the process of self producing my own efforts on CD, and attempting to distribute the CD through CDBaby, I have recently become aware that one may produce music strictly for digital download over the internet. No physical product is necessary to distribute music. All that is required is to have the music mastered into a digital form. CDBaby (as others) takes a relatively small percentage from digital sales and they distribute through all the major online digital retailers. (iTunes, Amazon, etc.)

I realize that the time, energy and funds needed to accomplish even this may be prohibitive, but I wonder if you would entertain the idea of a partnership with others who may be able to provide at least some of the energy, expertise and funds needed to bring this about?

I further wonder if there might be folks here at Weenie who could contribute, in whatever fashion, to such a project? Let's not clog the thread with a lot of "I'd buy one" posts, but any serious potential contributors among us?

All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 12:16:24 AM by waxwing »
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline oddenda

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2008, 06:40:23 AM »
Nice idea... been alerted to the 'net possibilities by Tim Duffy (Music Maker Relief Foundation), BUT... I've lived in Australia for over a decade, but my stuff is still in storage in New Jersey. Not helpful. While I DO have safety copies at The Library of Congress (one result of working there with Alan Lomax for about a year; the eventual result being the "Deep River of Song" portions of The Alan Lomax Collection out on Rounder) of my field tapes, they no longer provide the "owners" free copies anymore... Surprise! So it all hangs fire until I get re-united with my stuff.

Peter B.

Offline waxwing

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2008, 07:22:57 AM »
Well, please keep us posted if that comes to pass.

Once again, welcome to Weenie Campbell.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch-22

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2008, 12:21:03 PM »
Good to have you on board Oddenda (shades of Blues & Rhythm).

If you click on the Trix Records tag below this message it will take you to a thread called Trix Is Walkin' Some More. By clicking that you can not only read the appreciative things folk have to say about your enterprise but also discover a link in one of the messages to a web page dedicated to a illustrated Trix discography.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 12:22:52 PM by Bunker Hill »

Offline oddenda

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2008, 03:32:52 AM »
Fellow Weenies (male & female) -

          I'm going to ask Jeff Harris to kindly put up one of George's recordings for y'all - "Haunted House". In his spare time. Enjoy.

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline jharris

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2008, 04:57:58 AM »
As per Peter's request:

George Higgs - Haunted House

-Jeff



Offline oddenda

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2008, 06:10:09 AM »
Thanks for that, Jeff. For the curious, the second guitar is Elester Anderson - recorded in Speed, NC in 1979.

Peter B.

Offline Lignite

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2008, 09:36:52 PM »
I am a friend, neighbor and sometimes playing partner of George Higgs and was real excited to finally get to hear a cut from the unreleased sessions Pete Lowry did of George and Elester Anderson in Speed, N.C. in the 1970s. George was disappointed that the sessions were never released but he hung onto the old Gibson guitar that Pete gave him at the last session until it was water damaged beyond repair during hurricane Floyd in 1999 which also destroyed his home and property. (It's O.K. He's since rebuilt and has more guitars now than he ever had). Anyway, I really don't think that Haunted House is by George Higgs at all. It's not in his style, the title is not included in the track listing for the session and I've never heard him play it. It sounds alot more like Turner Foddrell to me who did have that particular song in his repertoire and in fact recorded it with his brother Marvin on the LP The Foddrell Brothers "Patrick County Rag" on the small Outlet label from Ferrum,Va.in 1983. I think somehow the sessions got mixed up with the Elester Anderson/George Higgs one being replaced by the Foddrell Brothers sesssion.Is there any chance of posting another tune from the 1979 George Higgs session? Are the other recordings from the radio program really the Foddrell Brothers instead? George is playing fine still although not in public as often as he was. He had kindney failure several years ago and nearly died but has since recovered although he has to recieve dialysis twice a week and is not able to travel far from his home in Tarboro. The Youtube videos were recorded last year at George's home by my friend and webmaster Cliff Nelson and are a good example of how he sounds these days.

Offline oddenda

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2008, 02:58:00 AM »
lignite -

          While I recorded both George and Elester, and Marvin and Turner, I DO know the difference! That was recorded in 1979 - you may be right, though, as Turner did it for me in that same time period w. Marvin in a succeeding session. I recorded both duos extensively in '79. That means that the Library of Congress screwed up when they duplicated the George Higgs materials for me to give him! I'll have to check what I've got more closely when I have time. Doesn't give me a warm, fuzzy feeling, now does it. (They have safety copies of ALL my field recording tapes, the legacy of my working with Alan Lomax one year at the Archive.)

          The other Foddrell stuff is definitely by them. Turner was MAGNIFICENT - there's at least three potential albums from all that Foddrell mess; one each brother, and one combined w. Turner's son, Lynn, added. Planned one each by George, and Les-T, but my ready money ran out and I never got back into it - there was NOT a long line banging on my door back in the way, by the way. That's why none of that stuff has been issued.

yrs,
     Peter B.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2008, 03:03:39 AM by oddenda »

Offline Lignite

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2008, 09:08:48 AM »
I talked to George Higgs on the phone today and played him a bit of Haunted House over the phone and he said that it definately was not him.  I'm pretty sure that it is the Foddrell Brothers, though. I read Mr. Higgs the list of songs from the '79 session that Bunker Hill posted and he remembered all of them. Is there any way to hear the real Lester Anderson/George Higgs sessions from the 70s? I think the LOC must have done the old switcheroo and misappropriated the Higgs/Anderson sessions with the Foddrell Brothers.George said he'd really like to hear these sessions as he never has heard a copy of them.Is there any way to obtain a copy for him?

Offline oddenda

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2008, 04:23:28 PM »
Lignite -

I got copies made by the Library a few years ago which were then copied and sent to Tim Duffy, who supposedly gave them to George Higgs. Nobody noticed anything then! Since the originals are in NJ and the Library no longer gives the original owners of deposited materials free dubs (one of many annoying cut backs due to the past eight years). I've done all that I can on this. If you want to pay the LofC to dub, then do so... I'll give my permission for that (and that only). Tell George that I'm sorry to have missed him when he was here in Oz at Byron Bay.

Peter B.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2008, 04:24:43 PM by oddenda »

Offline Lignite

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Re: George Higgs
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2008, 08:17:03 PM »
Thanks Pete,
I'll ask Tim Duffy if he has copies of the recordings and tell George about the possibility of obtaining dubbed copies from the Library Of Congress.
L.W.

 


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