Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton

Although only in his 20s, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920s and making them wish they could stay there for good. Paxton may be one of the greatest multi-instrumentalists that you have not heard of. Yet. And time is getting short, fast. Paxton performed to a sold out audience for the Lead Belly Tribute at Carnegie Hall on February 4, 2016 along with the likes of Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon, Dom Flemons, Tom Paley, and other stars. It is no exaggeration to say that Paxton impressed.

This young musician sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. Paxton was nominated for an inaugural International Folk Music Award in the category of Artist of the Year, and he headlinee the 2016 Brooklyn Folk Festival. 

Paxton is a world class talent and a uniquely colorful character who has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice, and he has been interviewed on FOX News. Paxton's sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and "Blind" Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is "virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and '30s."

Paxton was born in 1989, and his vast talent garnered him favorable comparisons early in his career with some of the greatest blues musicians, including John Hammond Jr., Taj Mahal, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Corey Harris, and Keb' Mo'. Banjo was the first instrument that he played seriously, beginning at the age of 14 (he started playing fiddle when he was 12, but he decided it wasn't quite the right fit for him.) He is witty, fast rhyming, poetic, fun, exciting, skilled as a musician and a fine singer. He is the son of Robert Johnson's cousin, so you could say it's "in the blood."

He hails from a Creole family in Watts, South Central Los Angeles, but his people come from Louisiana. Louisiana blues developed in the period after World War II. It is generally divided into two sub-genres: the jazz-influenced New Orleans blues based around the city, and the slower tempo swamp blues, which incorporated influences from zydeco and Cajun music from around Baton Rouge. Paxton has been blind since he was 16 years old. He is often cited to have said that at the age of 15-about the time he started to go blind-that he just didn't like anything written after 1934. He raised himself on 78s. He is a joyous entertainer, humorous with a dazzling wit, and a terrific storyteller who exudes an affable excitement.

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton

Blues artist Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton has WOWED the crowds in Raleigh and beyond with his humor and storytelling. From the streets of the Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest to the intimacy of Fletcher Theater, his performances are memorable and mesmerizing. This coming year, he’ll perform a full evening concert as part of the Down Home Series! Paxton is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who transforms traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country music into the here and now. He is still in his 20s, and he is often described as a young man with an old soul.

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton playing banjo beside a tree. He is wearing a hat, a jacket and button-down shirt, and he has a bright smile.
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