born William Samuel McTier
photo: Blind Willie and Kate McTell, 1930s
Jesse & Lula with Blind Willie
McTell’s influence extended over a wide variety of artists, including The Allman Brothers Band, who famously covered McTell’s “Statesboro Blues“, and Bob Dylan, who paid tribute to McTell in his 1983 song “Blind Willie McTell“; the refrain of which is, “And I know no one can sing the blues, like Blind Willie McTell”. Other artists influenced by McTell include Taj Mahal, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Ralph McTell, Chris Smither and The White Stripes.
“I tried to emulate my favourite guitar players, the old bluesmen like Blind Willie McTell and Big Bill Broonzy. You can never copy someone completely, so you end up developing your own style.”