Blind Boy Chocolate and The Milk Sheiks

Asheville, NC

Back in the ’70s, underground cartoonist R. Crumb assembled a handful of likeminded musical traditionalists to bear witness to their collective love of Blues as it was found on 78s of the ’20 and ’30s. They called the aggregation R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders. Three and a half decades later, Dwight “Blind Boy Chocolate” Hawkins has taken his love of Charlie Poole, Charley Patton and a boatload of other vintage Charlies to do essentially the same thing only different. You’ll always remember this as the day you experienced someone playing a saw.

You’ll Dig It If You Dig: R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders with Crumb and the Serenaders replaced by clever forgeries. (Brian Baker)

 

Blind Boy Chocolate and the Milk Sheiks do a lot of busking. Hit YouTube to unearth ample clips of this band sitting on upside-down buckets and using a bowed handsaw, violin, washboard, and acoustic guitar (among other instruments) to spit out unadorned ruminations on life. Should you catch them setting up impromptu shop on a corner during MidPoint, give them a listen and toss a dollar or few to the cause.

You'll Dig It If You Dig: Handsaw player Dwight Hawkins' description of his group's music — “a lot of 1920s/’30s jug-band music.” (Reyan Ali)