Lonesome Road Blues
Poor Howard Stith has been performing 12-string barrelhouse blues for over thirty years. Born in Kansas City, and raised on a farm in Iowa., Howard emerged on the Minneapolis folk/blues scene in the late 60's. His 12-string guitar style proved that Delta blues could be found at both ends of the Mississippi and led a fellow performer to tag him with the moniker "Poor Howard", after the Ledbelly song. Over the years, Poor Howard has performed across the U.S., Europe and Japan, entertaining audiences in coffeehouses, bars and at festivals with his dazzling guitar, heartfelt voice, and seemingly endless supply of anecdotes, puns and shaggy dog stories. Poor Howard\'s blues style is drawn from the tradition of Huddle Ledbetter (Leadbelly) and Blind Willy McTell, incorporating a powerful bass line along with flashy finger-picking, His guitar style and poignant vocals can carry the listener into the world of rowdy barrelhouses or into the field at the end of a long day of weeding crops. His passion and reverence for the country blues of the 20's and 30's is infectious, and he instills a new interest in this roots music where ever he performs. Poor Howard also has a wide collection of traditional and contemporary ballads that can take the listener on a musical odyssey, from the fishing village of Newfoundland to the wheat covered plains of the midwest and on to the California coast. His love of traveling has filled his repertoire with many songs and stories of the places he has passed through, and an evening concert is often turned into an enjoyable geography lesson. In addition to his unique guitar style, Poor Howard\'s show is punctuated with regional and eclectic humor and puns that have caused more than one person to call out, \'That\'s poor, Howard!\' (There are those who believe that\'s how he picked up the name.) While Poor Howard is no stranger to the club and coffeehouse scene, he has performed at family oriented folk festivals, and in schools and libraries. His ballad, \'Melita\', about being homesick for a small town in Canada, has become a standard at Windsor Mountain Camp in New Hampshire, where it has been carried on by campers and counselors for twenty years. "Poor Howard\'s 12-string guitar has the solid, propulsive groove of a steady-moving freight train; and he has the uncanny way of singing classic blues tunes as if their hard-luck stories were happening today. In his care, old songs never seem old, but timeless, personal, pulsing with knowable human emotions. His own songs nestle beside them as if they grew up together. ...His Droll patter, outrageous jokes, tall tales, and bald-faced lies felt as if they grew from the same rich folk soil that the songs did. Somehow, he delivers it all - ancient blues, modern ballad, and wild-eyed pun - in a way that makes you think you're just sitting around his kitchen table, passing a jug and whiling away an easy Saturday night" -Scott Alarik Principal folk music writer of the \'Boston Globe\' Author, "Deep Community: Adventures in the Modern Folk Underground"