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J.A.W.

Bluesman Lazy Lester has died, aged 85.

15 posts in this topic

Terrible news. Definitely a big fan. And I had no idea that was him in the Geico commercial!  Gotta spin some Lazy Lester today, and I'll proudly be wearing this t-shirt courtesy of bluesbeat.com.

lazy lester T.JPG

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If I could die and be known worldwide as "Lazy Jim", and have it be said in admiration rather than scorn, I would consider that winning at life.

RIP to a winner!

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I heard him play live in a local club 25-30 years ago and he was still playing great then. I spoke with him in between sets and he seemed like a genuinely nice man.

Thanks for the music you gave us, Mr. Johnson. You were one of the good ones.

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21 hours ago, JSngry said:

If I could die and be known worldwide as "Lazy Jim", and have it be said in admiration rather than scorn, I would consider that winning at life.

RIP to a winner!

Well said. 

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RIP! A couple of things I remember about his times at the Twist & Shout club in Bethesda, MD in the late 80s early 90s. He had a really HOT back up band, and the custom at the time was for the back up band to play a set to open up, then do a sort of build up, "And now! From deep in SW Louisiana, direct to your stage, one of the true icons of the blues, Your friend and mine, let's give him a hand! LAZY LESTER! THE GREAT LAZY LESTER!" And the crowd would of course go crazy, worked up by such an introduction! THEN he'd show up on stage and instead of performing he'd spend what seemed to me like 10 minutes slowing it down, checking every piece of equipment, stooping over his case of harmonicas, chatting with the crowd, sipping a Coca-Cola, doing I don't know WHAT til the whole build up for him had died down. THEN he'd launch off on the hottest music you ever heard! I'm a Lover Not a Fighter. Sugar Coated Love. I Hear You Knocking. Everything you wanted to hear. The second thing I remember about him is that when he'd end his first set he'd humbly invite you to stay for set 2. "We'll be back. We have nowhere to go and nothing to do when we get there." He's remembered for really co-engineering blues recordings with the very talented J.D. Miller in Crowley, LA for people like Slim Harpo and Lightnin' Slim, sometimes playing interesting percussion such as shaking a bicycle chain, playing bongos on a card board box, etc. Major talent!

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"Same Thing Could Happen to You" and "You're Gonna Ruin Me, Baby" are two favorites. What was Lazy about his music?  Was it just the drawl?  Because singing and playing he always was on top of the beat and Neal is right, his music is hot.  Less stylized than the Chicago singers like Muddy and Wolf, so the minimal accompaniments of the Excellos were an asset: Bigger bands sounded like they were competing with him.  Sorry I'll never get to see/heat him in person.

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All those guys working names were invented by, I think, J D Miller, before their first masters ever got to Nashboro; Lightnin' Slim, Slim Harpo, Lonesome Sundown and Lazy Lester. Great names but not true nicknames and meaningless within those guys' lives.

MG

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Stage names/record label names given to attract attention. And it worked.

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8 hours ago, The Magnificent Goldberg said:

All those guys working names were invented by, I think, J D Miller, before their first masters ever got to Nashboro; Lightnin' Slim, Slim Harpo, Lonesome Sundown and Lazy Lester. Great names but not true nicknames and meaningless within those guys' lives.

MG

Lonesome Sundown - total stage name. And I'm pretty sure Lightnin' Slim wasn't born or conceived in a thunderstorm.  But Lazy Lester captured an essential part of the man:

Miller gave Johnson his Lazy Lester moniker. “Because I’m never in a hurry,” Johnson said.

https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_f5008af2-a6f6-11e8-a6be-e79cdba7af55.html

 

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Just now, Dan Gould said:

Lonesome Sundown - total stage name. And I'm pretty sure Lightnin' Slim wasn't born or conceived in a thunderstorm.  But Lazy Lester captured an essential part of the man:

Miller gave Johnson his Lazy Lester moniker. “Because I’m never in a hurry,” Johnson said.

https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_f5008af2-a6f6-11e8-a6be-e79cdba7af55.html

 

Well, I'm glad. Thanks.

MG

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His moniker reminds me of a calypso song that my parents said resembled me when we lived in Trinidad in 1960-61. 

 

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I was in Austin, in a small club called C-Boys, a couple of years ago.  Mike Flanigin and Jimmie Vaughan were playing on the small stage, with Frosty Smith on drums. In the middle of their set, this guy walks in the front door, past the small crowd, and hops on stage and just begins wailing along on harmonica.  Mike and Jimmie's faces couldn't have been happier, and after the song was over, they all hugged and started another number.  It was Lester.  He stayed for a couple more songs, then just as he'd entered, he hopped off the stage, walked back through the crowd and out the door into the night.  

Here's a picture I took.

Image may contain: 2 people

Edited by Aggie87

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Cool story.

Here's a photo of Lester and Little Sam Davis:

[IMG]

Two harp cats hangin' out.

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Lonesome Sundown - what a great name for a blues singer.

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