Lightnin’ Wells

Location: R.A. Fountain

from our promo for this concert

Wells, a West Virginia native who grew up in Goldsboro, is one of best known of the third generation of Piedmont blues artists. He has performed throughout the U.S. and in Europe with most of the second generation, including the late Big Boy Henry from Beaufort and Tarboro’s George Higgs. Wells regularly conducts Piedmont blues workshops at three of the most prestigious music camps, and his CD of Piedmont blues classics, Ragtime Millionaire, has recently been re-released.

Wells concerts are an entertaining mix of blues, both Piedmont and Delta style, as well as gospel, country, old-time, vaudeville and pop standards of the early 1900s. He accompanies himself on acoustic and resonator guitars, harmonica, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele and also whistles and yodels.

“Anything recorded after World War II is pretty much too modern for Lightnin’,” said Alex Albright, Fountain General proprietor. “He’s an entertainer first and foremost, and we’re lucky to have someone as talented as he living so close by. His knowledge of early 20th century American music is encyclopedic, and his talent for performing songs how the original artists played them, many of them songs he’s rescuing in his performances from near total obscurity, is impeccable.”

Wells has lived outside Fountain, in Edgecombe County, for four years.

Tags: blues, Concert, Delta blues, folk, guitar, hokum, Piedmont blues