Vanwyksdorp, Western Cape, South Africa. One of those pass-the-torch kind of moments. This young man arrived early enough to catch my set up and sound check- and was full of questions. "How do you tune that thing?" His parents let him stay for the whole show, and he was clearly captivated by the storytelling of the blues. Next year he'll bring his own guitar along for a free lesson.
I'm in the same age bracket as my musical heroes were when I first met them, so it means a lot to me to be passing the blues along in the same fashion. I remember when I'd arrive early to help carry Brownie McGhee's gear in, when I'd hang around outside of Willie Dixon's hotel, waiting for him to come down for breakfast, when I'd call Son House up from a payphone and invite myself over... and I wasn't alone in my pursuit of the blues. But those are other stories.
I've come a long way in over 50 years of shows. Now there are often a few older guys watching my hands as I play- but having a young lad ask "how do you tune that thing?" reminds me of how wonderful my journey has been, and how gentle and honest and kind were its beginnings.