Bill has been playing Delta blues since the early 1960’s inspired as he was by the great Delta bluesmen who were being rediscovered by a new young white audience during this period.Blues was originaly the popular music of the Afro-Americans living in the rural southern states of America.By the 1960’s the music music had become an anachronism
among this original audience who were by then listening to rock and roll and early soul then through the activities of folk music collectors the surviving original country bluesmen were being brought out of obscurity and dormancy as new recordings of them were being made and released on LP record for a new white audience who found inspiration in this raw powerful emotion charged Idiom.
Like many Bottleneck Bill the son of a straight laced shopkeeper from genteel olde worlde Sussex was enchanted by this entrancing genre of music so much so that he has continued playing nothing else but Delta blues for the last 50 odd years and has developed one of the most authentic representations of Mississippi Delta Blues in existence today.Bill doesn’t use lots of fancy tunings or posess a collection of expensive vintage guitars,he still plays the modified Hofner guitar that constructed over 40 years ago using marine fiberglass and his own amplifier set up,which he based upon his conception of that used by Jesse “Lone Cat” Fuller. Bill will tell you that the way he plays is so wrong it comes out sounding right that a student of blues would find his method impossible to mimic,but when you hear him playing and singing you will know you have heard the real thing.
Here he is in the late 1990’s at The Abbey Mills Blues festival organised by the late great Bob Brunning he of Fleetwood Mac fame and author of several blues histories,held at The William Morris Pub Colliers Wood Southwest London (near Wimbledon) performing a blues “How Long” made famous by late great Blues mann and pianist Leroy Carr. Bill is performing this blues in the style of J.D.Short the bluesman/Harmonica player who Bill mimics beautifully
Bottleneck Bill performed at the 100 Club the night Son House was recorded for the LP release of the event in the early 1970’s,Son House was very complimentary about Bill’s performance this was a great encouragement to Bill as Son House was one of Bill’s Idols.
All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2012