Photos by Stanley Abraham
Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton plays a variety of instruments, and plays each very well. Influenced by early blues and jazz music, Paxton has earned praise from such diverse sources such as The Village Voice and Living Blues Magazine. The Oregon Food Bank’s Waterfront Blues Festival called him “the whole package,” describing him as “witty, fast rhyming, poetic, fun exciting and wonderfully skilled as a musician and a fine singer.”
I found this praise to be truthful, but more importantly, Paxton’s love of the music is apparent as he plays. The joy that is etched onto his face as the music flows from his instruments and from his soul made me smile and enjoy the show even more.
Paxton sounds great playing tunes from the 1800s on guitar, banjo, fiddle or harmonica. His vocals add depth to the music and provide a glimpse into his respect for the music that his smiling demeanor might belie. The lead in to one song didn’t hint at the song itself, so the audience had a nice chuckle when they realized what he was playing “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” and he displayed his virtuosity by emulating the sounds of different locomotives on the harmonica; “Blind Boy” made connections with the audience that made the evening feel even more special. In honor of Father’s Day, Paxton played the Gene Autry classic “Silver Haired Daddy of Mine.”
This young man performs with wisdom far beyond his years, and is bound for greatness.