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Louisiana Blues

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Otis "Lightnin' Slim" Hicks

Otis Hicks (also known as Lightnin' Slim) was born March 13, 1913 on a farm outside St. Louis, Missouri. At an early age, Hicks left Missouri and moved to St. Francisville, Louisiana where he worked outside of music. Hicks learn to play the guitar from his brother Layfield Hicks during the 1930's. In the late 1940's Hicks worked the bars of Baton Rouge, Louisiana with other local bluesmen like Arthur Kelly. During the 1950's Hicks often worked with Slim Harpo, and they performed together occasionally in the 1960's (they were brother-in-laws). He recorded for Excello from the mid-50's to mid-60's during which time he moved to Detroit. In the 1970's, Hicks began his European tour which took him to England in 1972 as part of the American Folk-Blues Festival. He performed at the 1972 Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreaux, Switzerland and toured with the American Blues Legend Tour in 1973. On July 27, 1974, Otis V. "Lightnin' Slim" Hicks died of cancer and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Pontiac, Michigan.

Some of his songs include: Bad Luck Blues, Just Made Twenty-one, Lonesome Cabin Blues, Nobody Loves Me But My Mother, and Voodoo Blues.

Decribing Hicks' influence, Matthew "Boogie Jake" Jacobs of Living Blues magazine in the March 1977 issue (p. 26) says "Lighting Slim was the king of the blues in Louisiana, he influenced everybody."

Silas Hogan

Silas Hogan was born on September 15, 1911 in Westover, Louisana and his family moved to Irene, Louisana when Silas was two years old. He learned to play the guitar from his uncles in the late 20's. During the 1930's he performed at local parties, clubs, and picnics. In the late 1950's Hogan formed his own band working local cafes in Baton Rouge, Louisana and during the years 1962-1966 he recorded for the Excello label playing guitar and harmonica. From 1966 until the late 1970's Hogan performed in a trio with Guitar Kelly and Gene Douzier recording for Arhoolie and Excello.

Some of his songs include: Airport Blues, Darks Clouds Rolling, Honey Bee Blues, and Lonesome La La.

Arthur "Guitar" Kelly

Arthur Kelly was born on November 14, 1924 in Clinton, Louisiana. By the age of 14, Kelly was playing the guitar when he moved to Baker, Louisiana. There he performed at local parties from 1947 to 1950, and with Lightnin' Slim through the 1950's and 1960's. Kelly performed with Silas Hogan at clubs, bars, and dance halls in the Baton, Rouge area from 1966 into the 1970's.

Some of his songs include: Count the Days I'm Gone, I Got a Funny Feeling, Hurry Down Sunshine, and If I Ever Get Back Home.

Kelly has been described by Terry Pattison of Blues Unlimited magazine of the United Kingdom in the 1970 September issue (p. 7-8) as "truly representative of traditional Louisiana blues...".

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Joel Snow
Created July 15, 1996
Revised February 7, 1997