12 January 1904, Rossville, Tennessee, USA, d. 3 July 1972, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. A self-taught guitarist, McDowell garnered his early reputation in the Memphis area with appearances at private parties, picnics and dances. He later moved to Como, Mississippi, and was employed as a farmer until discovered by field researcher Alan Lomax in 1959. Sessions for Atlantic Records and Prestige confirmed the artist as one of the last great exponents of the traditional bottleneck style and McDowell became a leading light of the 60s blues renaissance. He undertook several recordings with his wife, Annie Mae and, in 1964, appeared at the Newport Folk Festival alongside other major rediscoveries Mississippi John Hurt and Sleepy John Estes; part of his performance was captured on the attendant film.
The following year he completed the first of several releases for the California-based Arhoolie Records. These recordings introduced a...
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