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MP3 Bliggins and Goines - The Legend

Bliggins and Goines are a guitar and harmonica duo playing and singing country blues, americana and folk music; these are original songs that tell the story of the Sourlands region in New Jersey. * Winner 2005 New Jersey Folk Festival Songwriters Contest

15 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Country Blues, FOLK: Folk Blues

Jr. Bliggins was born, Robert Liana Jr., on September 13, 1955 in the piedmont section of west central New Jersey. He caught the wanderlust young and in 1976 hit the road criss-crossing the U.S.A. and later Europe on a ten-speed bicycle. Sometime in the late 1970''s Jr. Bliggins met a master harmonica player Jordan Webber in the North Carolina hill country. Jordan Webber befriended Jr., gave him his nickname (Bliggins) and taught him to whoop the blues. Jr. Bliggins has been whooping ever since.

Bliggins has mastered an almost forgotten style of thigh slapping hootenanny country harmonica that has you want to jump up and dance a jig. And, he offers more and more. He is versatile adding exquisite Chicago blues harp as well as subtle jazz styles on a number of tunes. One of the last of the best, Bliggins will have you hollering for more and dancing for joy. Steve Guyger has said "(Bliggins) is the best Sonny Terry stylist, I have ever heard".

According to Rev. Goines, he is the son of a military man and a dance hall girl, or at other times a bank robber and a school marm. Rev. Goines also says, "it''s all one and the same; besides the truth is nothing but an unnecessary distraction". A childhood friend of Jr. Bliggins, Truman Madison Goines was born, Seth Andrew Grossman, on December 7, 1955 in Philadelphia Pa. Goines moved to New Jersey in 1965 and grew up in the old 1843 Poor Farm in central New Jersey in the Sourland Mountains. It''s interesting to note that the Goines family purchased the farm or part of it from the Bliggins family. That connection shows just how long Bliggins and Goines have known each other.

The Sourlands are a rocky inaccessible wooded ridge between Lambertville/Hopewell and Somerville. Because the area was useless for farming and because it had no swift running streams to drive early manufacturing the area has been mostly ignored since John Hart a signer of the Declaration of Independence hid from the British there. Today it is one of the largest and last tracts of old growth forests in New Jersey.

Playing a shiny steel body guitar, Rev. Goines style is reminiscent of ragtime banjo with a taste of Philadelphia soul. He has also developed one of the more distinct and original vocal styles to appear from this rugged area. Songs about Hillbilly Hall, Harbourton, Lambertville, Hopewell, Rocktown, John Ringo, West Amwell, John Hart,Mountain Road, Zion, Minnietown, Rileyville, murders, apparitions, and romance. A voracious songwriter, Goines writes and performs songs about the New Jersey Sourlands, its beauty and mystery. Goines is winner of the 2005 New Jersey Folk Festival, New Folk songwriters contest.

Known as the Sourland troubadour, by the age of 14 he was playing at "Hill Billy Hall" in the Sourland Mountains near Hopewell, New Jersey where he took the stage name, Truman Goines, to avoid being noticed by the truant officer. He later picked up gigs throughout the region playing guitar, bass, tenor guitar, and piano. Influenced by Dr. John, Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Josh White, Jr. Bliggins, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Blind Blake, Rev. Gary Davis, William Moore, Willie Walker, Curley Weaver, Blind Willie McTell as well as blues and folksters, he merges the Piedmont style with urban folk, soul and jazz idioms of the region.

Jr. Bliggins and Rev. Goines began playing their special blend of blues, folk and hillbilly songs as children. Rev. Goines refers to the duos musical style as New Piedmont because it merges New York/ New Jersey urban folk/ blues with East Coast country/blues and mountain music. Although Rev. Goines spent nearly 20 years away from the Sourlands, becoming an ordained minister in 2001, eventually he moved back. Coming from New York City back to Lambertville, NJ to become Bliggins''s neighbor once again. Bliggins in Georgia for several years and has spent extensive time in the Netherlands. Now together again, telling stories they knew as children as well as new songs that constantly drip out of Rev. Goines as if they come from a leaky bucket.

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