Blues Enigma

Bluesman Robert Petway is an enigma in Blues folklore.  Little information about Petway is known. For instance his name. It may have been spelled “Pettway” or “Pettiway”. Some say he was born on the J.F. Sligh Farm near Yazoo City, Mississippi. Others believe he was born in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, today it is known as Boykin. We know he recorded 16 songs for Bluebird Records. He traveled around with fellow Bluesman Tommy McClennan as they made their rounds on the Chitlin’ Circuit. McClennan would wind up in Chicago and Petway would follow him. While in Chicago he laid down his 16 tracks over 2 sessions, for Bluebird. Petway wrote or co-wrote the song “Catfish Blues”. A modern day Blues standard that has been recorded by many artists, including Jimi Hendrix. Petway never received the mystique that seem to swirl around his counterpart Robert Johnson, but his influence has had the same ripple effect throughout popular music. Knowing of; and understanding Robert Petway’s  impact is overlooked by the majority of music lovers. But those who have delved deeper into roots music, and have had the fortunate delight to listen to Petway’s 16 tracks, know what a diamond in the rough he is.

blueshighwaydj@gmail.com

Been a lover of Blues music since picking up on it from the British bands I adored. Cream, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eric Burden and so many others.

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