Wednesday, February 18, 2009

R.I.P. Snooks Eaglin

( photo, mahalo)

Sad news-one of my music heroes, New Orleans guitarist Snooks Eaglin, left the building after a battle with prostate cancer. I first encountered Snooks in 1988 on my voyage to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest, and I had lobbied the Lowell Folk Fest for years to get him up here, to no avail.

Snooks was a walking encyclopedia of American music, especially New Orleans music. Perhaps the latter was because he was right there...he started with a teenager named Allen Toussaint in the 1950s, and played gee-tar for just about every N'Awlins singer for years. He also wrote some of his own material, but was beloved for his great covers of others' tunes. He even did classical pieces on acoustic guitar.