Beverly Guitar Watkins
If you’ve never seen a blues lady who can play her guitar behind her head, belt out songs and roll over to sweet gospel, you’ve never been in the house when Beverly “Guitar” Watkins was on stage. “My style is real Lightnin’ Hopkins lowdown blues. I call it hard classic blues, stompin’ blues, railroad smokin’ blues.” Beverly Guitar Watkins (born c. 1939, Atlanta, Georgia) is an American black female blues guitarist. Sandra Pointer-Jones writes, Beverly Watkins is a pyrotechnic guitar maven whose searing, ballistic attacks on the guitar have become allegorical tales within the blues community. George Varga, reviewing her debut CD, observed that Watkins “sings and plays with enough poise and verve to make musicians half her age or younger consider alternative means of employment.” When Watkins was approximately 12 years old, her family moved to Commerce, Georgia. She began playing music as a schoolchild, and then in high-school played bass for a band called Billy West Stone and the Down Beats. In approximately 1959, her junior year of high school, she was introduced to Piano Red, who had a daily radio show on WAOK, and she subsequently joined Piano Red and the Meter-tones, who played in a number of towns in the Atlanta area, and then Atlanta clubs such as the Magnolia Ballroom and the Casino, before starting to tour throughout the southeast, primarily at colleges. About the time the group renamed itself Piano Red and the Houserockers, they started touring ...
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