Lightnin’ Wells

Location: R.A. Fountain

from our promo for this concert

Lightnin’ Wells returns to Fountain General Store this coming Friday night for a concert of traditional blues and early Americana music. Simply Southern Bakery products will also be available at Friday’s show.

         Friday’s show will be Wells’ first U.S. performance since returning from a successful October tour in Germany, where his new CD was produced on the Blind Lemon Records label. O, Lightnin’, Where Art Thou? his sixth solo CD, has gotten rave reviews from the U.S. blues community since being released in April 2017.

         Simply Southern Bakery and Wine will open in downtown Farmville in early 2018. At Friday’s show, owner/chef Coleen Starling will be serving slices of carrot cake, German chocolate cake, and pecan pie. Bunting and her husband have recently re-located to western Pitt County from the Midwest.

         Wells, who lives near Fountain, performs and teaches workshops throughout the U.S. and Europe. “Lightnin’s been especially popular in Germany,” said Alex Albright, Fountain General Store proprietor. “And we’re always glad to have him performing here at ‘home.’ He gets to bring all his instruments with him for shows here, and that’s a rare treat.”

         Wells performances demonstrate a broad range of musical talents and interests. He plays acoustic and resonator guitars; harmonica; banjo; three kinds of mandolins; and three kinds of ukuleles. He also whistles and yodels and serves up with many of his songs an entertaining and lively historical perspective. “Wells shows are really variety shows,” added Albright. “He plays Piedmont and Delta blues, early vaudeville and hokum, country, early 20th century pop, gospel, and old-time songs. Expect a full evening’s entertainment.”

         Mike “Lightnin'” Wells was born in West Virginia and grew up in Goldsboro. Before moving to Fountain, he lived for many years in Farmville. He earned degrees at UNC-CH and ECU and worked for several years as a music therapist before embarking on a career as a solo musical artist. 

         Wells built his national and international reputations as one of the most outstanding proponents of Piedmont blues, and he has performed with many of the best second generation of Piedmont blues people, including Big Boy Henry of Beaufort; George Higgs of Tarboro; Algia Mae Hinton of Johnston County; and John Dee Holeman of Durham. 

         He also teaches at blues workshops in North Carolina, New York, and Washington State.

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