Today is the birthday of the great blues and ragtime guitarist William Samuel McTier, believed to have been born this day in 1898.
The world knows him as Blind Willie McTell and it’s possible more people are familiar with the Bob Dylan song honoring Willie than the Georgia native’s own music.
“Them charcoal gypsy maidens, can strut their feathers well
But nobody can sing the blues like blind Willie McTell…”
“When I first heard Blind Willie, I thought I was listening to two guitarists,” said Westminster blues musician Chris James, 44, of McTell’s “Piedmont” style. “There’s a lot of bounce to it.”
Adept on guitar, mandolin and banjo, James is a longtime member of the Baltimore Blues Society, which is strutting its feathers in celebration of the organization’s 35th anniversary, established in Crabtown in March of 1986.