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Alec Seward

There are at least three different blues musicians who utilized the moniker "Guitar Slim." In this case, the "Slim" in question was the first. Born Alec Seward on March 16, 1902, in Charles City, VA, as a child (he had 14 siblings), he picked up the guitar and began playing regularly at local dances. When he turned 18, he packed up and moved to New York with the intention of professionally playing music. Along the way, Seward struck up a friendship with two bluesmen who played in the same acoustic Piedmont style as he did, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. While the Piedmont style was rapidly becoming outdated and even considered corny in comparison to the newly polished urban blues, Seward stayed true to his roots. Luckily, he also came in contact with another transplanted Carolina country blues stylist who was also striving to make it New York named Louis Hayes, aka both Fat Boy Hayes and Jelly Belly. Sharing similar backgrounds and musical styles, the two began performing as the Blues Servant Boys, Guitar Slim & Jelly Belly, and the Backporch Boys. While the moniker Guitar Slim was the one that stuck with Seward over the course of his career, he had also taken on several other short-lived aliases, including "Blues Servant Boy," "King Blues," and "Georgia Slim." Over the next two decades, Seward played and recorded with Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee. He also released an album on Blueville, Creepin' Blues, under his real name. Seward's accompaniment on that date was provided by a young guitarist and harmonica player named Larry Johnson. The remainder of the '60s found Seward playing live whenever possible and working the folk/blues festivals that had become popular in that decade. On May 11, 1972, Alec Seward was admitted to a hospital in New York where he died of natural causes. ~ Al Campbell
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Jook Joint Blues: That's What They Want

Disc 1

1. Wine, Women, Whiskey

4. Hydramatic Woman

5. Lucy Mae Blues

6. Goin' To New Orleans

7. Another Fool Like Me

10. She's Gone

11. Down At The Depot

12. Calling All Cows

13. Courtin' In A Cadillac

15. Ride Hooker Ride

17. Cool Down Mama

19. Lillie Mae Boogie

22. I'm Gonna Leave You Baby

23. Evil And Hanky

25. Central Avenue Blues

26. On My Way

28. Mama Does The Boogie

Disc 2

2. Chicken Hearted Woman

4. Sneaky Groundhog

6. Sugar Mama

7. One Room Country Shack

10. Mean Old Train

12. Jealous Man

13. Winehead Swing

15. Leave My Money Alone

19. Someday You'll Understand

20. Alley Corn

21. I Got Them Blues

23. She's So Good To Me

24. New Orleans Bound

26. I'm Him

27. Neglected Woman

Disc 3

1. A Fool No More

2. Johnny Mae

3. Got My Call Card

5. Jump The Boogie

7. A Dream

9. Bugger Bugger Boy

10. Sweet Angel

11. You Don't Love Me No More

13. Goin' Home To Mother

16. Alabama Boogie

17. Wolf Call Boogie

18. Congo Mombo

19. Big Time Woman

20. Paper Wooden Daddy

27. The $64 Question

Disc 4

3. Lost Child

4. 1958 Blues

6. Lost Without Love

7. Alla Blues

13. She's Taking All My Money

14. Let Me Be Your Handy Man

16. Strange Letter Blues

23. Good Road Blues

25. On The Hook

27. Philippine Blues

28. Harpin' On It

Comments

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