PICKENS — The Hagood Mill Historic Site & Folklife Center will present “Roots of the Carolina Blues” from noon to 3 p.m. April 12 as an opening tribute to the “Clemson Blues festival.”
This event will feature Hunter Holmes from Laurens, a music historian and dynamic performer. Holmes will perform in several blues styles grounded in South Carolina music history.
It is documented by the South Carolina Harmony project that when the federal troops swept through Laurens, the soldiers were sitting around their campfire, when out of the woods came a lively group of slave musicians playing the “quills,” a primitive panpipe instrument.
Holmes, one of the few quills performers in the country, will play this unusual instrument as well perform the original “talking blues,” originated in the 1920s by Walhalla’s Chris Bouchillon and his band, the “Greenville Trio.”
Also contributing will be H. Dean Watson, local folk historian, and other Carolina Blues musicians.
A viewing will be held at 11 a.m. of some restored recordings of Peg Leg Sam, who was from Jonesville. Arthur “Peg Leg Sam” Jackson (1911-1977) was a black harmonica player, singer, and comedian who made his living “busking” on the street and performing in patent-medicine shows touring southern towns. His music and performance style was a great influence on many musicians.
To find out more about the Clemson Blues Festival and their schedule of events, visit www.clemsonbluesfest.org. Contact the Pickens County Museum at 864-898-5963 for more information about this event. The Hagood Mill is located at 138 Hagood Mill Road.