Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton is an extraordinary young man, still in his 20s, who decided to become fluent in the variety of blues expressions of the 1920s and ’30s...on guitar, harmonica, piano, banjo, fiddle, Cajun accordion, and bones. And he’s a fine singer, and tells jokes and stories to boot.
Born and raised in the Watts district of Los Angeles, Paxton first took up banjo and quickly learned other instruments, all the while he began losing his eyesight. He listened to blues radio stations and to his Louisiana migrant grandmother’s repertoire of Cajun, religious, and country blues songs.
In addition he took to ragtime, blues, country, and early jazz. After attending college in upstate New York, he relocated to Queens and began playing in Brooklyn. His recordings include 2 EPs on APO records from 2013, as well as a set of banjo tunes, Recorded Music for Your Entertainment, done for the Beaumont label in 2014.
Two years ago he wowed a sold-out audience at a Carnegie Hall tribute to Lead Belly, on a bill that included Edgar Winter, Buddy Guy, Dom Flemons, and Eric Burdon. Last year Paxton appeared in the award-winning documentary, The American Epic Sessions. In it he is seen making a recording of Reverend Gary Davis’ Candy Man using one of the first electrical sound recording systems from the 1920s.