Blues guitarist Etta Baker Dies at 93

Published: 2006-09-27
Etta Baker, one of the greatest female Piedmont blues guitarists, passed away Saturday, September 23 in Fairfax, Virginia.

She played the guitar for nearly nine decades but it wasn't until the late '50s that her musical career really began with her appearance on 1959's Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians. Baker's influential finger-picking style won admiration from artists like Bob Dylan and Taj Mahal.

The guitar legend, a family woman and mother of nine, only pursued music full-time after the death of her husband in 1967, working before in a textile mill for 26 years.

Baker played at festivals around the world and went on to release One-Dime Blues in 1991, Railroad Bill in 1999 and recorded an album with Taj Mahal in 2004.

For her contribution to music, Baker was awarded the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1989, the National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1991 and the North Carolina Award in 2003.

Writer: Meghan Wubs



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Mother Etta will always be loved and remembered for her soft spoken, smooth talking, blues picking, melodic sound.

La Vida Mason
Upper Marlboro, MD
Posted by: Anonymous on September 27, 2006
You want to hear some real relaxin', take-the-stress-out-of-my-life-NOW music? I love the blues, but I experienced them through a totally different dimension about two years ago. By accident, I discovered finger pickin' Piedmont Blues Lady Etta Baker while listening to the Smithsonian Institute's Folkways collection CD. Etta's "One Dime Blues" was awesome. Ms. Etta's pickin' brings with it a most welcome sense of peace, especially in today's world. The sad news is Etta passed away this past Sunday at 95 years old. But her music, let alone her life story, lives on. God Bless you and your family Etta. And thanks for playing long enough so that your extended family of appreciative fans could have the opportunity to hear you too.

Andy Black
Manchester, NH

Posted by: Anonymous on September 29, 2006
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