b. Matthew Jacobs, c.1929, Marksville, Louisiana, USA. Like many blues artists with a small discography, Jacobs was a reluctant performer, even at the height of his (limited) popularity. Learning guitar from a neighbour, Ernest Barrow, Jacobs’ first public performance was with his second cousin, Little Walter Jacobs, at the Golden Lantern Club in Marksville. Soon afterwards, he moved to Baton Rouge, met drummer Joe Hudson, and played clubs such as the Apex & Rhythm. He came to the notice of Jay Miller and was invited to play on a Slim Harpo session, supposedly playing the distinctive guitar riff on ‘King Bee’. Miller recorded Jacobs some time later, in company with Lazy Lester and Katie Webster; of several titles, only ‘Early Morning Blues’ and ‘I Don’t Know Why’ were issued decades later on Flyright. In 1959, he was approached by New Orleans record distributor Joe Banashak, who proposed that Jacobs launch his Minit Records label. ‘Early Morning Blues’ and ‘Bad Luck And Trouble’ (‘I Don’t Know Why’ in disguise) were recorded in June of that year. About a month later, a second single was recorded, ‘Loaded Down’, and the swamp-pop ‘Chance For Your Love’. Jacobs’ music had the flavour of the juke joint and his first single was picked up for national distribution by Chess Records. For a time, he toured with other Minit artists and alongside Lightnin’ Slim, but disillusionment caused him to take his family west to California, remaining outside music throughout the 60s. His appearance at the 1974 San Francisco Blues Festival led to more regular work and a session for the Blues Connoisseur label in 1977. At this time, he had formed a partnership with another Louisiana migrant, ‘Schoolboy’ Cleve White.
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