Bill's Pickin' Parlor at 710 Meeting Street in West Columbia, S.C., has long been a haven for true Bluegrass picker and fans.
A year or so after the community suffered the passing of Mr. Bill, his son Willie Wells is keeping the Bluegrass tradition alive, albeit with a tweak or two.
One venture the venerable venue is testing includes a Blues showcase on Saturdays.
The first such event is this evening at 7 p.m. (Nov. 10, 2012) and features New Orleans' Luke Winslow-King, a guitarist who favors traditional pre-WWII music and Walter Liniger.
Luke Winslow-King (from his Web bio): "Luke Winslow-King (born March 12th 1983) is a guitarist, singer, composer, and lyricist known for his slide guitar work, and interest in pre-war blues and traditional jazz. Winslow-King’s work consists of an eclectic mix, taking in delta-folk music, classical composition, ragtime, and rock and roll; juxtaposing original songs with those from a bygone era.
Whether solo, or with a band, Winslow-King is known for an original sound that is both rustic and elegant. He delivers energetic and dynamic performances, with his burgundy voice and versatile guitar playing.
Winslow-King, originally from Cadillac, Michigan, moved to New Orleans by chance in 2001. During a decade in New Orleans, he has collaborated with a revered list of local musicians, including: John Boutte, “Washboard” Chaz Leary, George Porter Jr., and Paul Sanchez.
Performing years of weekly gigs on Frenchmen Street, Winslow-King has honed his sound and earned respect as leader among the young traditionalists. His music appeals to countless vacationers making musical pilgrimages to New Orleans, selling thousands of records from the stage. Winslow-King has performed live on CNN and the Discovery Channel in recent years and was named ‘Writer of the Week’ by American Songwriter Magazine in January 2011.
Opening the show will be Walter Liniger,* who plays a powerful harmonica that makes one envision the train coming down the tracks. Liniger, who hails from Switzerland, but has made Columbia his home for a portion of each year was mentored by Son House and spent time honing his Blues craft from North Carolina's picking legend, Etta Baker. He teaches Blues for the Honors College at the University of South Carolina.
From his Web bio:
"From 1984 until 1992 Liniger worked as a Research Associate at the University of Mississippi's Blues Archive, directing the archive's oral history project, "The Original Down Home Blues Show."
In 1984, a Folk Art grant by the Mississippi Arts Commission allowed Liniger to start his apprenticeship with James Son Thomas (1926-1993), one of the Delta's great bluesmen. During the following seven years the duo appeared at most major Blues festivals throughout America and participated extensively in the statewide Arts in Education program. This valuable experience, mentioned in the Gerard Herzhaft's Encyclopedia of the Blues, was sobering and necessary: it allowed Liniger to re-evaluate his rather intellectual notion of the Blues. In addition, Liniger continued his studies under Sonny Boy Nelson (Eugene Powell), Jack Owens, Johnny Woods and Wilburt Lee Reliford, exponents of traditional Mississippi Blues.
In 1993 Liniger became a Distinguished Lecturer with the Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina. In addition to teaching his successful course ECHOES IN BLUES at the South Carolina Honors College, he continues to perform on a regular basis. In recent years he often joins guitarist and National Folk Heritage Award winner Etta Baker (b.1913) on stage.
In 2001 Wale Liniger became the first recipient of a stipend at the International Jazz Archive in Eisenach, Germany. This residency was sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General in Leipzig, Germany. It not only led to a number of performances and workshops at a variety of educational institutions throughout Thuringia and Saxony, but also to an extensive article about the Guenter Boas Collection, the core collection of the archive.
Maybe it is because of his own multi-cultural background that Liniger seeks to highlight the healing endeavors of artistic voices, maybe it is because he believes in the creativity of the human mind when the heart is in trouble. In his performances Wale Liniger not only examines some of the cultural roots and tonal lures of the Blues through musical interpretations on harmonica, guitar and voice, but he also explores the underlying issues of translation and exile."
*Liniger, a long-time friend of Blues Moon Radio, was one of the first musicians Clair DeLune interviewed on her radio show when it began in 1990. He plays rarely in the area, so it is a special treat to have him on the bill.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: music fans of all sorts will enjoy this fine show in this great music hall.
Music video links:
Liniger: As promised... the Blues train is a-coming... Walter Liniger takes you there with an instrument that can fit in the palm of his hand... but there is an entire train in there, you'll swear! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7dGxKeRh98
Winslow-King: Old-time music, performed beautifully - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z31pH8pycI0
Photo credits: Winslow-King (from Web bio); Liniger (Linda Van Hart, 2011, from Web bio).
See you there! clair delune