King Solomon Hill /
JOE HOLMES

 

 


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Born Joe Holmes in 1897 in Mississippi, singer and guitarist 'King Solomon' Hill left only a very small recording history, four songs to be precise, on which his worth can be judged. Nevertheless these suggest that he was an artist of considerable originality and force.  It seems that he spent most of his early years in Louisiana, travelling the party, picnic and juke joint trail with some success. Probably a self-taught guitarist, he is said to have later roamed the Mississippi Delta region playing alongside Sam Collins, Ramblin' Thomas, Bogus Ben Covington and possibly Blind Lemon Jefferson. Hill signed to Paramount in 1932 and recorded his four songs in Grafton, Wisconsin. (He produced six sides in total as he provided alternative takes on two of them.) Songs like "Gone Dead Train" and "Down on Bended Knee" feature almost alien vocals certainly unique to their time and place, although the best known song from that sole session was probably "Whoopee Blues". After that Hill returned to the streets and the party circuit, and little else is known of him. He was said to be a heavy drinker and he died of a brain haemorrhage in Louisiana in 1949.

    Whoopee Blues