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Floyd Council - Carolina Blues Man

floyd-council-carolina-blues-guitarIf you search authoritative web sites for "Floyd Council", you often get references to Pink Floyd, the 1970s mega-group. It's said that Sid Barrett used the names of Floyd Council and Pink Anderson, another 'minor' blues man, for the name of their new group.

Floyd Council (September 2, 1911 – May 9, 1976) was an American blues guitarist, mandolin player, and singer.

He became a well-known practitioner
of the Piedmont blues sound from that area, popular throughout the southeastern region of the US in the 1930s.


Born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States, to Harrie and Lizzie Council, Floyd began his musical career on the streets of Chapel Hill in the 1920s, performing with two brothers, Leo and Thomas Strowd as "The Chapel Hillbillies".

In the late 1920s and early 1930s he and Blind Boy Fuller busked in the Chapel Hill area. He recorded twice for ARC at sessions with Fuller in the mid-thirties, all examples of the Piedmont style.


Council suffered a stroke in the late 1960s which partially paralyzed his throat muscles and slowed his motor skills, but did not significantly damage his cognitive abilities.

Folklorist Peter B. Lowry attempted to record him one afternoon in 1970, but he never regained his singing or playing abilities. Accounts say that he remained "quite sharp in mind".


Council died in 1976 of a heart attack, after moving to Sanford, North Carolina. He was buried at White Oak AME Zion Cemetery in Sanford.                    (Source: wikipedia)

Jim performs 'Poor Ain't Got A Dime' by Floyd Council

Now compare Floyd's style with a Travis style picker - in the video below I show how to play Deep River Blues by Doc Watson.

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How Many Sides Did Floyd Council Record?

There aren't any records out there which just feature Floyd Council's guitar prowess. There is a CD however, called Carolina Blues, which contains six of his songs: "Lookin' For My Baby", "I'm Grievin' and I'm Worryin", "I'm Broke and I Ain't Got a Dime", "Working Man Blues", "Runaway Man Blues" and "I Don't Want No Hungry Woman".

When he was interviewed in 1969, Floyd said he cut twenty seven songs throughout his playing career, and seven of these were as second guitar to the legendary Blind Boy Fuller. Fuller's set of Complete Recorded Works features many pieces featuring the blues guitar of Council.

A preview of Jim's guitar lesson for 'Poor Ain't Got A Dime'


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Fuller did take the Trice Brothers to recording sessions sometimes but he didn't either one to record with him - Floyd played second guitar to Fuller on seven tracks on songs like Oozin' You Off My Mind and
Boots and Shoes.  Both Fuller and Reverend Gary Davis had a lot of respect for his guitar technique.

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