Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"StringBean" Wilson Needs Your Help

Several weeks ago I had the privilege of interviewing an old-time blues man, Elijah "Stringbean" Wilson. Although even StringBean couldn’t remember exactly how old he really is, we know, based on information in the Library of Congress, that he has been writing and recording the blues for over 70 years. Wilson’s lyrics reflect his passionate personality, creative use of grammar, and experience with “hard livin’” (with the exception of those works created during the ‘80’s when StringBean attempted a genre-shift to New Wave music and toured with Culture Club.)

Here are excerpts from my interview:
TW: "You haven't written anything new in a while. What's up with that?"
SB: “My mind ain’t what it used to be. I mostly can start a song, but I can’t finish ‘um anymore. I am thinking about using the Internets to let my fans finish the words for me.”
TW: "Don't you mean the 'Internet'? Is singular, you know. It's just one bug network."
SB: "Son, I may be old as dirt, but I can still kick your punk a$$..."
Currently, his fans can participate in submitting lyrics on the GreanBeans blog. Mr. A. Green, blogmaster for GreanBeans claimed “This is a unique opportunity for fans, new and old, to collaborate online with one of the world’s most average blues men to create something that will at least be classified and ‘interesting’. After all, how often does someone get to publish something they’ve created on the Internet?”

In closing my interview with StringBean, I promised that if his current work got finished in time, that it would be performed live at my birthday/reunion concert coming up on Jan 26th. He replied, “Huh? What are we talking about? Do you smell boiled eggs?”

If you would like to help collaborate on StringBean Wilson’s current project, go to the GreanBeans Blog and leave your lyric suggestions in the comments section.


Jim said...

George, I may have some recordings of Stringbean, I'm in the process of going through some archived tapes, I'll let you know. He is the real deal. I think he just turned 87, no too many teefers left in the noggin.

Alan said...

That stock footage of Mr. Wilson in the canoe is awesome. I understand that his health (and mental capacity) is failing and your interview represents one of the few that he allowed. Thanks for sharing a bit of musical history. I, for one, can't wait to read the entire interview when you make it available. Thanks and congratulations!

George said...

Oh that is not stock footage. That's a photo my great-grandfather took when my grandmother was a child. I previously posted it on my blog ( but only recently found out that th man in the picture was none-other-than StringBean Wilson himself (although back then he was only known as split-pea Wilson.) Small world, huh?

Kyle said...

Is this for real?

George said...

As real as we want it to be...

Kyle said...

Hey Gorge, Ed was over at the house last night making double devil horns with his hands and head banging a stylish shampoo horn robbie had fashioned for him while scatting the guitar riffs from Kiss' Escape From the Island.
After it was all over he calmly said, "See if that Gorge guy could do us all the honor of going so far as to update his blog. We'll all appreciate it so very much."

Hey... I'm just telling you what the man said.