Pop Ferguson Blues Festival IV
June 8th & 9th, 2012
Celebrating the Blues Heritage of the Appalachians in Historic downtown Lenoir, NC. We welcome Pop Ferguson and the sounds of Blues Legends Drink Small “The Blues Doctor”, Boo Hanks, Beverly Watkins, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues! — at The Square.
Pop Ferguson and the Blues Revue came together about three years ago. Pop Ferguson has been playing the blues for 72 years but even now at age 82 he still has a burning passion for what he has sang and lived all his life. Pop has been noted as being one of the last true “practitioner” of traditional blues in America living in the foothills of North Carolina by the Smithsonian Institute. (You can find his story there) The band (the Revue) Lance Main rhythm guitar, Wade Scronce harmonica, Clyde Ferguson Jr. bass guitar, Scott Snip drummer,
The Blues Trio: Pop Ferguson lead guitar and vocals “smokin” Joe Randolf Rhythm guitar, Clyde Ferguson Jr. bass guitar The music we play is BLUES Real and Pure down home Blues no rock no roll just Blues 98% from 1920 to 1950 and almost none beyond 1965…our motto is “Blues up close and Personal
Drink Small (his real name) was born in 1933 in Bishopville (Lee County), SC. Known worldwide as “The Blues Doctor”, he plays virtuoso blues guitar, two-fisted piano and sings in an inimitable basso profundo voice.
Drink is a recipient of the S.C. Folk Heritage Award, a member of the S.C. Hall of Fame, and has spent his life touring, recording, and playing a spectrum of Southern roots musics. He has performed at some of the nation’s top music festivals – Chicago Blues Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, King Biscuit Blues Festival, Smithsonian-Folklife Festival, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Lincoln Center and Central Park concert series (NYC), and every major blues festival in the Southeast. He has been written up in myriad music magazines (downbeat, Metronome, Blues Revue, Il Blues, Juke Blues, Soul Bag, Blues News) and even made the cover of Living Blues (July/August, 1992 issue).
At the age of 75, Drink Small is at the top of his game and performing better than ever. https://www.facebook.com/DrinkSmall
For more than 50 years Beverly “Guitar” Watkins has been a phenomenon in the blues community. As one critic observes, “She sings and plays with enough of what it takes to make musicians half her age or younger consider alternative means of employment.” The Georgia native discovered music through her Mother’s gramophone. Listening to records by Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Memphis Minnie she began to play guitar at age eight, studying with several of her aunts. As a junior in high school, she was introduced to the bandleader Piano Red and soon joined his backing band, which eventually came to be known as The House Rockers. They gigged at local clubs, performed at colleges in the region and eventually started to tour nationally. They opened spots for James Brown, Ray Charles, and many others. In 1965, she hooked up with Eddie Tigner from the Ink Spots and later joined up with Leroy Redding, working with him into the late 1980s. She made another breakthrough by creating a residency for herself at the nightclub Underground Atlanta. The Music Maker Relief Foundation soon booked her on the all-star Women of the Blues “Hot Mamas” tour in 1998 and released her first CD “Back in Business,” which received a W.C. Handy Blues Award nomination in 2000. She has toured internationally, and her reputation as a live performer is unmatched; as she observes, “When I get on stage, it’s electrifying. I light up and get into the crowd. That’s what I call ministering to the public.”
Boo Hanks grew up , the only son of share croppers on the farm of Robert Taylor, a wealthy land owner in the Townsville community. He was the younger of two childern, having a sister Mary Ruth, 12 years his senior. Boo was married at a very young age(18) and became the father of 8 childern, 2 having preceeded him in death. Boo also was a share cropper for many, many years. After his marriage break-up, Boo left the farm and worked at many different jobs over a period of time. Presently, Boo lives in Virgilina, Va. He is finally living his dream of playing his music publically. He travels all over the United States and has been to Paris and Belguim.