Discover New Music

Last.fm is a music discovery service that gives you personalised recommendations based on the music you play.

Start your Last.fm profile Close window

Mississippi Fred McDowell

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Biography

Rossville TN, United States

Mississippi Fred McDowell was born Fred McDowell in Rossville, Tennessee, January 12, 1904. He died in Memphis,Tennessee on July 3, 1972. He was a singer and guitar player in the North Mississippi style.

His parents, who were farmers, died when McDowell was a youth. He started playing guitar at the age of 14 and played at dances around Rossville. Wanting a change from ploughing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926 where he worked in a number of jobs and played music for tips. He settled in Como, Mississippi, about 40 miles south of Memphis, in 1940 or 1941, and worked steadily as a farmer, continuing to perform music at dances, and picnics. Initially he played slide guitar using a pocket knife and then a slide made from a beef rib bone, later switching to a glass slide for its clearer sound. He played with the slide on his ring finger.

A pure musician, he played “just the straight, natural blues,” and he “do not play no .” McDowell initially played the recognizable resonator guitar but, during tours and recordings beginning in the 1960s, he adopted the use of electric guitar and was probably the first original delta- or musician to do so. McDowell’s style is distinctive and recognizable; perhaps the dirtiest sounding guitarist ever and one of the most influential. The slide guitar styles of Bonnie Raitt as well as Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones, as well as Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys are all heavily influenced by McDowell’s technique.

Videos

Top Albums

Listening Trend

116,131listeners all time
876,536scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Start scrobbling and track your listening history

Last.fm users scrobble the music they play in iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and over 200 other music players.

Create a Last.fm profile

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.

Top Listeners

Email Newsletter

Universal Music Group Get exclusive tour, release & promotion updates on Mississippi Fred McDowell from Universal Music.