Introducing Little Willie Farmer!
inTheir Musicon January 9, 2018
Little Willie Farmer was born in 1956 in the small town of Duck Hill, MS. He grew up on a farm where his father raised cows, chickens, cotton and corn. On Sundays, he had the choice between picking cotton and going to church. He usually chose church. His uncles and father would entertain each other with blues and gospel songs when their work was done. Little Willie picked up the guitar as a child and began to teach himself how to play. His mother and father had differing attitudes about what music he should be playing. His mother preferring that Willie stick to gospel and his father secretly encouraging the boy to play the blues whenever mother was out of earshot.
As Little Willie was getting better and better, his father offered him a piece of advice, “don’t brag on yourself, if you’re playing it right, others will brag on you.” It was as much a lesson in humility as it was an advisory to his son to make sure news of his playing was slower to get back to his mother, who may have put a stop to it.
Little Willie began working in auto repair as a teenager and has operated his own shop for the past 44 years. On nights and weekends he travelled and performed in gospel quartet groups and at roadhouse music halls from Chicago, to Memphis, Clarkesdale and Montgomery.
In 2017, the Austrian blues label, Wolf, released Little Willie’s first album “I’m Coming Back Home.” On it, he alternates between acoustic and electric guitar, playing a style that closely resembles that of Lightnin’ Hopkins.
When Music Maker reached out to Little Willie, he told us he was ready to hit the road and focus on his music. Music Maker assisted in getting Willie a passport and have been busy trying to get him to US festivals. Willie Farmer will play the Bullpen on Friday, January 19th.