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Moses Smith

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Biography

b. 25 January 1932, Union Church, Mississippi, USA, d. 19 April 1984, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Smith is more associated with the blues of Louisiana, where he settled in his twenties, than that of his birth state. He learned harmonica in his teens and was playing regularly while still in Mississippi, but it was following his relocation to Baton Rouge, and taking up with Lightnin’ Slim, that he made his first records. His harmonica work was uncomplicated but effective, and his voice had a distinctive, almost hoarse quality, with an extraordinary power that gave him his sardonic nickname. The handful of singles Smith recorded in 1963 and 1964 earned him a reputation on which he was able to capitalize during the blues revival some years later. There were a few more recordings released on albums in the 70s, and a single in the early 80s showed he was still a convincing blues performer.