Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mance Lipscomb

Mance Lipscomb is a blues giant. He was born Beau De Glen Lipscomb near Navasota, Texas, in 1885, where he lived until his death in 1976. As a boy, he took the name Mance - short for "emancipation". He was a tenant farmer whose clean finger-picking style and songwriting prowess were discovered during the country blues revival in the early sixties, which brought him great fame, but, sadly, as a black man in the south, not much wealth. Once, hitchhiking around the country in the early seventies, I was picked up by two budding guitarist who were on their way to Navasota to sit at the feet of the wiry little guy with a booming voice and a special way with wire stretched over a wooden box. I think there were a lot of guys doing that. Between his own albums on Arhoolie Records, and his appearance on compilation and folk festival albums, he was on over forty records.

That he played in little old Winfield in 1967 is a pretty big deal, and a legacy that should not be forgotten. He played on Friday night, April 28, sharing top billing with another legend from another part of the country, Jimmie Driftwood.

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