Lightnin’ Wells

Location: R.A. Fountain

From our promo for this concert:

Lightnin’ Wells, the globe-trotting troubadour, plays a hometown gig at Fountain General Store on Friday night.

The Marlboro Boys, one of East Carolina’s most popular bluegrass gospel groups, plays Saturday night.

Wells, a Goldsboro native who lived in Farmville for about 20 years before re-locating to Fountain three years ago, is best known nationally and in Europe as one of the premier practitioners of the intricate finger-picking Piedmont blues style guitar.

But to think of him as a “blues singer” discounts the varied repertoire that makes up one of his shows, said Fountain General proprietor Alex Albright. “Lightnin’s an entertainer, first and foremost. His shows cover the first four decades of twentieth century American popular music: folk, gospel, country, vaudeville, old-time, and hokum as well as Piedmont and Delta blues.”

“No two of his shows are ever alike,” added Albright. “And knowing how much Lightnin’ thinks of Woody Guthrie, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a few May Day appropriate songs tonight.”

Wells accompanies himself on acoustic, electric, and resonator guitars, banjo, two kinds of ukuleles, harmonicas, and whistles and yodels. He performs throughout the U.S. and returns to Germany for another 2-week tour in June.

Wells is beginning the ’09 touring season with two new CDs released in late 2008. Shake ’em on Down was produced in Seattle. The locally produced Jump, Little Children: Old Songs for Young Folks is a collection of old-time favorites aimed at capturing a child’s attention. Both will be available at his Fountain concert.

Tags: blues, Concert, Delta blues, folk, gospel, guitar, hokum, old-time, Piedmont blues