Archive for the ‘Third Ward’ Tag

Little Joe Washington, RIP   Leave a comment

little-joe-washington-3-8-0300108-5-blog-iiHouston Blues Legend, Little Joe Washington, — 2003 Image by kenne

From the Houston Blues Society’s Newsletter:

On Wednesday afternoon, bluesman Little Joe Washington passed on, leaving a hole in the blues community’s heart that belies his diminutive 5′ 5″ frame. One of Third Ward’s legendary blues guitarists, comprising Albert Collins, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Joe “Guitar” Hughes, Little Joe displayed a raw and sparkling talent that earned great respect from his peers.

It’s true to say that he knew more than a few dark days in his 75 years, but with surprising tenacity he’d always bounce back to delight audiences with his virtuoso guitar skills, often finishing his set by running around the room and using his hat for a tip jar before disappearing into the night on a rickety bicycle.

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Roger Wood wrote of the Third Ward eccentric guitarist in his 2003 book on Houston blues, Down In Houston: Bayou City Blues:

“I first picked up a guitar when I was playing drums with Albert Collins. I taught myself after that,” Washington explains. “I figure it out on my own.” Once he began to experiment with the guitar, however, the diminutive and now perpetually scruffy-looking fellow developed a unique style that is best described as raw and unpredictable — some would say wild. “I play with my teeth, my tongue, my head. I used to hang on the rafters when I was in Old Mexico,” he said.

“. . . Little Joe Washington has evolved into a Houston folk hero of sorts.”

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