Described by the late Bert Jansch as “the most underrated guitarist ever” and now in his 70s, Wizz Jones is a British blues guitar legend.
Wizz pays a second, very welcome, visit to the String Jam Club at the County Hotel, Selkirk, on Saturday, March 18.
With his unique guitar style, an eclectic repertoire and “a right hand worthy of Broonzy” Wizz still continues to tour on the acoustic folk and blues circuit. Originally inspired by hearing Big Bill Broonzy, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Muddy Waters, Wizz learnt his guitar licks from the likes of Davy Graham and Long John Baldry whilst playing in the coffee bars of London’s Soho in the late 1950s.
He then followed the time-honoured buskers’ trail from the streets of Paris to the markets of Marrakesh during the early 1960s ultimately returning to Britain where he formed a blue-grass duo with banjo-picker Pete Stanley.
This partnership which was to last for four years and led to a single and LP Album for EMI, and considerable success.
Wizz decided to return to solo work, carving out a career which spans decades, from the start of the folk and blues revival in the 1950s right through to the current time, producing a back catalogue of some 20 solo albums, excluding his many collaborative recordings. He has had a huge influence on some of the greatest blues guitarists we now consider household names such as Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, and his classic song, ‘When I Leave Berlin’, has been covered by Bruce Springsteen.
Why Wizz Jones isn’t an international folk hero and recipient of all the lifetime achievement awards going is almost impossible to fathom, other than because of his modest self-effacing nature.
With his brilliant playing, strong original songs and his endlessly witty repartee, his performance will be full of some of the greatest blues picking and music you’re ever likely to hear. Wizz is a true musicians’ musician.
A legend in his lifetime, Wizz is truly the biz and is all set to give the String Jam Club another historic night.
Show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets £13, available by phone from the venue 01750 721233,