Folk Singers: Little John

It doesn't sound quite like the blues. The thumb strums a steady one-two beat on the two lowest guitar strings while two fingers play arpeggio melodies on the upper strings. There are no leaning, sliding blue notes, no full chords. The music is light and nimble, and the guitar accompanies the singer's baritone voice in note-for-note unison:

No more potatoes,

Frost done killed the vine

The blues ain't nothin'

But a good woman on your mind.

The song is C. C. Rider, and the verse expresses the bitterest feelings of its author and singer,...

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