"People are impressed to see a black woman play like a man," once said Atlanta, Georgia’s Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins. It’s sad that people still have to make that distinction because Watkins is just a great guitarist, and vocalist, full stop.
A professional musician since the late 1950s, Beverly worked with the likes of BB King and James Brown but never achieved breakthrough success for herself. After falling off the radar in the 80s, she bounced back in 1999 with a brilliant album, aptly titled Back In Business. Watching her wring notes from a red Fender Mustang on the album’s title track is a real treat (click here to see her in action).
Asked to about her style Beverly described it as "real Lightnin' Hopkins lowdown blues. I would call that hard classic blues, hard stompin' blues, you know... railroad smokin' blues!" Amen to that.
Listen: Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins - Back In Business (live on the Winston Blues Revival tour, 1999)