Sometimes we read, watch, or simply imagine about what it would be like to live, say fifty or more years ago, or in a simpler way of life. Lately, there have been many musicians who have immersed themselves in past cultures, embracing everything from the clothes to the music. Not only is this entertaining for us to watch, but it also makes us appreciate various forms of music and keeps them in the forefront of our mind when they are otherwise subject to extinction altogether.
Take for instance a rising young musical star, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton,” a 29-year-old multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from Los Angeles, California. Paxton’s music style is unique in this day in age simply due to his infatuation with pre-WWII jazz and blues musicians who helped to shape the individuals we know and love today. He has studied and listened to musicians like Fats Waller, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Robert Johnson to exhaustion and has dug up his own voice from these influences.
At 16, Paxton began to go blind, but he never let the ailment stop him from pursing his musical dreams he had since he was a young boy. It seems like Paxton can play just about any instrument you can think of, adding things like piano, harmonica, accordion, ukulele, guitar, and even bones “to his musical arsenal.”
On stage, Blind Boy Paxton has a calm and inviting demeanor and that attitude is translated into each song he plays.
You can tell from the video that Paxton full-heartedly embraces a real old school mentality in music and lifestyle. Here, he is playing with clarinetist Dennis Lichtman on the stop of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens. Musicians who are keeping old styles of music around like this are few and far between but are vital, especially in today’s society.