Joe Callicott

Bluesman Joe Calicott was born and lived his whole life in the small town of Nesbit, Mississippi, and is one of the most underrecorded legends of the Mississippi delta solo acoustic blues tradition. He first picked up the guitar at the age of 15 and, in 1929, first appeared on 78s as the second guitarist to Garfield Akers. A year later he recorded two tracks with Jim Jackson, “Traveling Mama Blues” and “Fare Thee Well Blues,” which have since appeared on many compilations including Blow My Blues Away,” Vol. 2. His playing on these tracks is marked by an aggressive vocal that would mellow throughout the years.

Callicott almost completely gave up the guitar in 1959, the year of Akers death, but picked up again in the mid-60s for his own personal enjoyment. In 1967, blues documentarianGeorge Mitchell sought out the artist and recorded eleven tracks with the then slowed down but still magnificent musician. These tracks would later surface as part of Fat Possum’s George Mitchell Archive and the 2003 album Ain’t A Gonna Lie To You. Just before he died, in 1969, Callicott mentored Kenny Brown, a then 10-year-old boy who skipped school to learn guitar from this unassuming master who lived just down the street.

Listen to Come Home to me Baby: