The people at Fogartyville are billing Saturday’s concert as “The Past & Future of Blues Together.”
Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton may indeed be the future of blues, or at least a significant piece of it. He’s an acclaimed young multi-instrumentalist — he sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion and percussion. His style is reminiscent of the classic blues of the 1920s. But it’s not nostalgic. It’s eclectic and original, blending traditional jazz, blues, folk and country into something that feels contemporary.
If he’s the future of blues, the Fogartyville folks must be implying that Roy Book Binder, who’s sharing the bill with Paxton, is its past. And Book Binder has indeed been around for decades, a perennial favorite with clubs and audiences that seek out virtuosic and distinctive musicians. He’s a blues guitarist, singer-songwriter and storyteller. He was a student and friend of the late, influential blues man Rev. Gary Davis. Book Binder has been making albums since the 1970s and he’s toured with blues legend Bonnie Raitt.
But while he may have a long history with the blues, he’s also very much part of the today’s blues scene. His latest album of original material, “The Good Book,” reached No. 3 on AirPlayDirect’s Americana chart.