Saturday, November 10, 2007

Howlin for Hubert in Yonkers: Buddy Flett sliding strings and singing alonside David Johansen, Levon Helm and blues legend Hubert Sumlin

Originally uploaded by trudeau
Here's what can happen to a Shreveport artist when he gets a break: Buddy Flett is being celebrated in Yonkers, saluted in Istanbul, feted in Athens, pumped on the House of Blues Radio Hour.

The break was provided by former Shreveporter Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who produced a DVD and record called 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads. Slide player Flett is in the movie, on the record and performed on the cross-country tour.

The next step was a sort-of musical partnership with Hubert Sumlin, also featured on the 10 Days Out project. Sumlin is age 76 and a blues legend. He recorded with Howlin Wolf and his playing has influenced Clapton, Page and Hendrix, among others.

Hubert and the Bluebirds did Istanbul together and now Buddy's on the Sumlin bill in Yonkers and in NYC at Terra Blues.

Happily, Flett was in an unusually good position to dust with this broom. He recently released a solo acoustic blues record called Mississippi Sea.

Lordy, looka here: Buddy even has a myspace site. It's a good place to sample the solo record.

There's a lesson for regional artists in the Buddy Flett story. First, don't be afraid to work on your art, singlemindedly, for a few decades. Second, keep the faith. Third, have some product ready when that sweet moment arrives and you find that "there's a hole in the bottom of the Misssissippi Sea."

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