Diggin’: Neal Pattman – Disco Twist

inTheir Musicon November 21, 2017


Neal Pattman grew up one of fourteen children on a farm in Washington County, GA. He lost his right arm in an accident with a wagon wheel when he was seven. From an early age, he played harmonica on the streets of Athens, GA. He fed himself on the tips he made there until he married and took a job in a kitchen. He liked knowing that if work got too much to bear, he could always take his harp onto the street.

He joined Music Maker in 1994 and began touring with Tim, Guitar Gabe and Cootie Stark. Neal and Cootie developed a close friendship and travelled and performed together extensively until they both died in 2004.

Tim recalls the first time Cootie and Neal met, their boyhood was long gone. It was at a Blues Revue performance at the Charlotte Blues Festival, a low-key event that happened only once. Nevertheless, it was an important time for Cootie and Neal, upon meeting they were fast friends, exchanging numbers and making plans to play again. They went on to tour 42 cities with Taj Mahal and the Winston Blues Revue.

When Neal recorded, Cootie and Taj backed him up. When Cootie recorded, Neal and Taj backed him up. “Disco Twist” features only Neal and Taj, but no doubt, Cootie was nearby to celebrate after they put down this rug burner of a track.

Enjoy Disco Twist!

— Aaron Greenhood

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