When you hear the name Paul Simon you might not think of the Blues. But Paul Simon knows his blues. He grew up in New York City during the heyday of the blues revival. Drew inspiration from the likes of Leadbelly. So the blues surely works its way in to his music. Beyond that, early Blues artists provided the mold for what we call singer songwriters. It was a blues man—Blind Lemon Jefferson—who was the first real singing guitar superstar. And the first to make it big with just a guitar and some lyrics. So it makes sense to celebrate singer-songwriters on the Bluesmobile. Even if they don’t always land squarely in the genre.
But here’s a song that lands square. A decidedly blues track by Paul Simon. You’ll hear some wicked slide guitar by the man who wrote the first instructional book on blues guitar… Stefan Grossman. And studied with the best of em. Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi Fred McDowell, John Hurt, Son House, Skip James—Stefan went directly to the source. Featuring blues guitar historian Stefan Grossman, Paul Simon and “Paranoia Blues.”
Happy 75th Birthday, Paul Simon.