3 February 1911, Logansport, Louisiana, USA, d. 13 August 1995, Shreveport, Louisiana. Although he was the younger brother of blues guitarist Willard Ramblin Thomas, Jesse was not influenced by his style. On his 1929 debut for Victor records, he imitated Lonnie Johnson and Blind Blake, but by the time of his next recordings in 1948, he had developed an individual electric guitar style of great fluency. This stemmed from formal training, an acquaintance with jazz, and his serious attempts to transfer his piano playing to the guitar. His singing and playing were still placed firmly within Texan blues traditions. Thomas recorded intermittently on the west coast until 1957, when he returned to Louisiana. While there, he occasionally released records on his self-operated Red River label, a successor to Club, which had briefly traded in the early 50s. A mid-60s soul recording was less successful than a blues single released on Red River in 1989. This showed that...