Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton
Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton (born January 26, 1989) is an American musician from Los Angeles. A vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Paxton's style draws from blues and jazz music before World War II and was influenced by Fats Waller and "Blind" Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is "virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and '30s, the blues of Bessie Smith and Lonnie Johnson."
Originally from the Watts district of Los Angeles, Paxton's grandparents moved from Louisiana to California in 1956. These southern roots would have an influence on Paxton as a young boy. After spending time listening to his hometown blues radio station, as well as the old Cajun and country blues songs his grandmother used to sing, Paxton became interested in these early sounds, developing a breadth of knowledge pertaining to such music along the way. He began playing the fiddle when he was twelve, only to pick up the banjo two years later. As a teenager, he began to go blind, losing most of his eyesight by the age of 16. Since his childhood, he has added piano, harmonica, Cajun accordion, ukulele, guitar, and the bones to his musical arsenal, although the banjo was his first serious instrument. In addition to blues and jazz, he uses these instruments to play ragtime, country blues, and Cajun music.
In 2007, Paxton moved to upstate New York to attend college and soon after began playing gigs in and around the Brooklyn area. Although not signed to a record label, he continues to play old-time, blues, and roots festivals throughout the United States, as well as various shows opening for old-time string bands including The Dust Busters.
Paxton's talent and contributions to acoustic blues have earned him comparisons to contemporary artists such as Taj Mahal, Keb' Mo', and Corey Harris. Similar to groups such as the Carolina Chocolate Drops, he is one of the few contemporary African-American banjo players touring today.
Paxton was named Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop and Festival in 2014 by Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington. He succeeded musicians Daryl Davis, Corey Harris and Phil Wiggins in the role.
In 2014, he voiced and sang the lines of "The Highwayman", a character from the fourth episode of Over the Garden Wall, "Songs of the Dark Lantern."
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- Panepinto, Peter (July 11, 2011). "Musician Blind Boy Paxton Shares Love of Song With Others at Roots Music and Arts Festival". Carroll County Times. Archived from the original on April 7, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
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- "Blind Boy Paxton with Brandon Bailey". folkandroots. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- "Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton". thecountryblues. Retrieved February 17, 2013.