There are tons of legends and myths running like a river through the landscape of American roots music. Take Blind Alfred Reed for example. He’s the guy who died of starvation in 1956, several decades before Ry Cooder and Bruce Springsteen recorded his music. Or Henry Thomas, probably the oldest African American voice to be heard on record, who mysteriously disappeared sometime in the late ’20s. The fans of old-time roots music can spend hours wondering just what instrument Washington Phillips was playing on those 18 recordings and why they sound so ethereal and mysterious. But in doing so, we are neglecting those pioneers and troubadours who are still with us.
Which brings me to Jerry McGill.