Johnny Woods

b. 1 November 1917, Looxahoma, Mississippi, USA, d. 1 February 1990, Olive Branch, Mississippi, USA. Like his sometime partner, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Woods was not discovered until he was in his…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography

b. 1 November 1917, Looxahoma, Mississippi, USA, d. 1 February 1990, Olive Branch, Mississippi, USA. Like his sometime partner, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Woods was not discovered until he was in his fifties and it was through McDowell that he had his first chance to record, although they had not seen one another for eight years at that time. A self-taught harmonica-player, he developed his technique, which relied upon rhythmic figures, by adapting the work hollers he heard in the fields in which his family worked. Because of that, Woods was at his best when performing solo on ‘So Many Cold Mornings’ and ‘Going Up The Country’, or playing a typical one-chord traditional Mississippi piece such as ‘Long-Haired Doney’ (also known as ‘My Jack Don’t Need No Water’), which he recorded with both McDowell and R.L. Burnside.