Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, who is performing in the second annual Reading Blues Fest as presented by Berks Arts Council, was named Most Outstanding Musician (Other) – Banjo/Fiddle in the 25th annual Living Blues Awards Critics’ Poll.
The announcement was made by Living Blues magazine.
Paxton will have two performance at Reading Blues Fest on Saturday, Nov. 17, at noon and 6 p.m. at the Crossroads at the DoubleTree.
Paxton is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist whose style draws from blues and jazz before World War II and was influenced by Fats Waller and “Blind” Lemon Jefferson.
Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920s and 1930s and making them wish they could stay there for good. Playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin among other implements, Blind Boy fully assimilates the blues of Bessie Smith and Lonnie Johnson.
He embodies the true blues of the 21st century but he plays it all in the true songster tradition: ragtime, hokum, old-time, French reels, Appalachian mountain music, blues and more. His vast talent rivals the greatest in the genre. He is witty, fast-rhyming, poetic, fun, exciting and wonderfully skilled as a musician and a fine singer.
Paxton performed to a sold-out audience for the Lead Belly Tribute at Carnegie Hall in 2016 along with the likes of Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon and Tom Paley. Paxton appeared in the American Epic documentary episode on American music that aired on PBS in 2017.
Paxton’s talent and contributions to acoustic blues have earned him comparisons to Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’ and Corey Harris.
Three artists performing in this year’s Reading Blues Fest previously received nominations in the Living Blues Awards Readers’ Poll but were not winners.
Vocalist Shemekia Copeland received two nominations — Blues Artist of the Year (Female) and Most Outstanding Blues Singer.
Copeland will be part of the four-concert Reading Blues Fest finale starting at noon on Sunday, Nov. 18, in the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading Grand Ballroom.
Soul-blues rocker Tommy Castro was nominated for Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar).
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers plus Tinsley Ellis will perform on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. in the DoubleTree Grand Ballroom.
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials were nominated for Best Live Performer.
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials will perform on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 1:30 p.m. in the DoubleTree Grand Ballroom along with Chicago Plays the Stones featuring Ronnie Baker Brooks and Billy Branch.