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New Orleans Street Singer

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iTunes Review

After bumping around New Orleans as a pickup musician and busker, Snooks Eaglin had the first opportunity to record under his own name in 1958, when folklorist Harry Oster discovered him playing acoustic guitar on the streets of the Crescent City. At age 22, the blind guitarist had already developed an extraordinarily singular style, especially when it came to strumming and fingerpicking. It was later surmised that Eaglin’s technique derived from his ability to play bass and guitar parts simultaneously, a talent he honed playing in R&B bands in the early '50s. Befitting a busker, his repertoire here is strikingly diverse—ranging from Dixieland standards to deep blues and Nat King Cole–style R&B. Eaglin’s idiosyncratic guitar playing made him a New Orleans legend, but the real revelation of this early session is his singing. Though he was often compared to Ray Charles, Eaglin had a soothing, understated vocal tone that was quite distinctive from the soul shouter. His rich and intimate vocals are best experienced on “Drifting Blues,” a rendition of the Charles Brown classic.

Customer Reviews

My new favorite artist. !!! (!!)

I love him. I sure hope he's not dead :( . . .


I love Snooks Eaglin. This is my favorite Snooks record right now. Buy it and love it for yourself.


The 1971 acoustic session (also available on itunes) is terrrific too, but this is even better.


Born: January 21, 1936 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

When they referred to consistently amazing guitarist Snooks Eaglin as a human jukebox in his New Orleans hometown, they weren't dissing him in the slightest. The blind Eaglin was a beloved figure in the Crescent City, not only for his gritty, Ray Charles-inspired vocal delivery and wholly imaginative approach to the guitar, but for the seemingly infinite storehouse of oldies that he was liable to pull out on-stage at any second -- often confounding his bemused band in the process! His earliest recordings...
Full Bio
New Orleans Street Singer, Snooks Eaglin
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