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Hayes Shepherd

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Banjoist Hayes Shepherd (his given name is sometimes listed as Hays) lived in the Jenkins area of eastern Kentucky, near the Kentucky/Virginia border in Letcher County, an area famous for its old-time banjo players. Shepherd (affectionately dubbed "the Appalachia Vagabond"), in conjunction with his brothers Bill Shepherd (fiddle) and Hence Shepherd (also a banjo player), recorded ten tracks in various instrumental configurations for Lonesome Ace Records in 1932. Only four of the sides were ever issued, two under Bill Shepherd's name ("Bound Steel Blues" and "Aunt Jane Blues") and two that were credited to Hayes Shepherd ("Hard for to Love" and "Peddler and His Wife"). "Peddler and His Wife" was based on the 1896 murder of a peddler that led to the last public hanging in Harlan County, Kentucky. Shepherd, like another blues banjo player from the area, Dock Boggs, spent most of his life working in the Appalachian mines. ~ Steve Leggett

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