The Original Rolling Stone: The Travelin’ Riverside Blues of Eugene Powell
Eugene Powell Biography — Intro by Brian O’Connor
I love my co-author’s heartfelt tribute in the Eugene Powell biography, Book One in the Riverside Blues Series. To give you an idea of the emotional depth of the book, read the excerpt below by Brian.
“This book is written in posthumous tribute to Eugene Powell, a musical genius who played guitar to perfection in the Mississippi Delta and beyond. I was in awe of his music before ever meeting him, but this hardly prepared me for my first encounter. He was such a wise and gentle man. Being in his presence was a gift, for he taught me what it meant to counter adversity with faith, forgiveness, and joy.”
Brian began the book with these words:
“As the last manager and perhaps the only official manager of Eugene Powell, let me preface this book by stating I’m a longtime friend and fan of the original “rolling stone” bluesman of the Mississippi Delta. There’s much to admire, for Eugene transformed the earliest and richest blues forms into a transcendent style all his own—the Delta Blues.
I had very great friendship with Eugene, who called me his son. I felt extremely blessed at what he, his family, and his friends did for me. You see, I was blessed to meet several old black Mississippi forefathers—the hard-working plantation sharecroppers of the American south—who looked at life as being “real simple.” There was a God, and there was a devil. There was good, and there was evil. These humble-hearted people believed in what had been passed down to them, and harvested wisdom drawn from the truth of Jesus’ Divine law. Eugene introduced me to an amazing blend of common sense and biblical foundation, mixed with hard-knocks knowledge.”
There is no other Eugene Powell biography in existence. There is no other account of his story arc — a nearly 90-year span the included World War I, the Mississippi River flood, the tornado in Sunflower County, the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam and the blues resurgence of the 70s.
In the 80s and 90s Eugene was still active, warming up for an hour or two just to play from his porch. There, he dispensed folksy wisdom and entertained a full yard of people with his beloved guitar. As an author and editor, what an honor it is to write his true-life story.
Buy the Eugene Powell Biography on Amazon.