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Cedell Davis

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CeDell Davis was born in 1927 in Helena, AR. His right hand was crippled by polio at the age of ten, so he switched his guitar to a left-handed bottleneck style, which makes for a unique, atonal sound. He played locally throughout the 1950s and '60s, with friends such as Robert Nighthawk, Big Joe Williams and Charlie Jordan. After a series of compilation appearances and several live dates in New York, Fat Possum Records signed Davis. Noted blues journalist Robert Palmer produced his debut, Feel like Doin' Something Wrong (1994). The Best Of... (1995) was also released, with help from Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit. The Horror of It All followed in 1998. Davis took time away from recording after these releases, and spent the next four years writing and performing. When he returned to the studio, he drafted musicians like R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and the Screaming Trees' Barrett Martin into his sessions. The final results, When Lightnin' Struck the Pine, arrived in stores that summer. ~ John Bush

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Birth Name:

Ellis Davis


09 June 1927 in Helena, AR

Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s