Song of the Day: “Matchbox Blues”


Perhaps no other blues artist in history, along with contemporaries like Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, had such an influence on later generations of musicians as Blind Lemon Jefferson. After growing up in Texas and reputedly playing on the streets from eight at night until four in the morning, Jefferson was one of the first to record solo blues performances in the early 1920s. Considering the foundational role of the blues in soul, R&B, and rock music, one could argue that Blind Lemon Jefferson is the most influential artist of the 20th century. Unfortunately, only a few of his surviving singles are recorded audibly. One of those, “Matchbox Blues,” demonstrates his nimble voice and unique mastery of the guitar.

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte,, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →