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R.I.P. Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins

Jimmy Fast Fingers Dawkins obituaryJimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, the Chicago blues guitarist known for his excellent playing and mellow voice, died last Wednesday, according to a report in the Associated Press. He was 76 years old.

Dawkins was born in Tchula, Mississippi and moved to Chicago in the 1950’s after teaching himself guitar. Once he moved there, he started playing guitar for tips before starting a band and playing blues clubs in the city. He eventually became a sought-after sideman, playing with the likes of Buddy Guy and Otis Rush. Rush even appeared on Dawkins’ second album, All For Business.

While he never became a huge star in America, Dawkins maintained a sizable fanbase outside of the United States, particularly in Europe and Japan. Besides being a musician, Dawkins also wrote about music, contributing a column for Living Blues magazine for many years.

Bob Koester, owner of Delmark Records (the label that put out many of Dawkins’ albums), described the guitarist as a singular talent, both as a guitarist and as a vocalist. “His voice was feathery, soft,” Koester told AP. “He wasn’t a shouter, which is unusual in blues.”

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