Monday, July 17, 2006

Sam Myers RIP

Sam Myers 00024, originally uploaded by NoVARon.

Just received word that Sam Myers passed away today (I believe he was 70). The Jackson, Mississippi bluesman is today best known for his association with Texas blues guitarist and bandleader Anson Funderburgh with whom he toured for over a decade. Prior to that he was associated with Elmore James, with whom he played harmonica on some recordings. Sam had recorded the deep south downhome blues "Sleepin' in the Ground" for Ace.

I first saw Sam Myers when he was drummer playing with Robert Lockwood, Jr., at a Washington DC club. Sam was late but it was a treat to see him arrive and get to sing with the authority he invested his songs with. Teaming up with Anspon Funderburgh certainly helped expand his recognition and gave him opportunities to record as he fronted the band with his singing and harp while Funderburgh and the Rockets played crisply and strongly behind him.

Sammy mentored numkerous perfomers. 2006 Blues Music Award winner for Best New Artist, Zac Harmon, knew Sammy growing up in Jackson, MS, and cites Sam as a major personal influence on his music influence. I could list countless otyhers like Hash Brown from the Dallas area and numerous other performers who will say the same thing about him.

Sam had been receiving treatment from throat cancer for the past year and recently had returned to his home and seemed to be making great progress when he died relatively suddenly, He will be missed for his music and his warmth and friendship he extended to so many. Hopefully we will continue learning from those lessons he taught us, and not simply the ones dealing with playing the blues.

Here he is seen at the 2002 National Capital BBQ Battle in Washington DC

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