Mudcat Café message #3019495 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131081   Message #3019495
Posted By: Stringsinger
30-Oct-10 - 04:55 PM
Thread Name: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
Subject: RE: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
It seems that the point of this thread it to offer a personal opinion and have it countered.

Leadbelly was an amazing 12 string guitar player. Pete Seeger once told me that he would trade in his banjo playing and singing if he could play like Leadbelly.

Most legends, however, tend to be overrated and that's why they become legends in the first place. People put certain artists on pedestals without considering really what they do. Music criticism is filled with this type of meaningless detail.

The reasons Leadbelly was great was because:
1. He played with power and rhythm together.
2. His bass runs have never been successfully duplicated by any one.
3. His guitar was unique. An old Stella restrung with heavy gauge strings, the bottom
sixth and fifth two octaves apart.
4. He was a true representative of African-American folk song from the Louisiana and Texas chain gangs.
5. He had a powerful voice and magnetic stage presence.
6. He was a repository of folk songs such as Fannin Street, The Grey Goose, Kisses Sweeter Than Wine, Good Night Irene, Midnight Special, Bring a Little Water Silvy,
Bourgeois Blues, Red Cross Store and the wonderful "I Don't Lie Buddy" with Josh White.
7. He was the model for Lonnie Donegan who attempted to imitate him with dubious
consequences.