His best known recordings are "Great Long Ways From Home" and "Hoist Your Window and Let Your Curtain Down". Callicott also recorded, as noted by one music journalist, "his lilting "Fare Thee Well Blues."" He served as a mentor to the guitarist Kenny Brown when Brown was ten years old. Joe Callicott is buried in the Mount Olive Baptist Church Cemetery in Nesbit. On April 29, 1995, a memorial headstone was placed on his grave arranged by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund with the help of Kenny Brown and financed by Chris Strachwitz, Arhoolie Records and John Fogerty.
Callicott's original marker was a simple paving stone which read simply "Joe". This was subsequently donated by his family to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. At the ceremony Arhoolie Records presented Callicott's wife Doll with a check for his past royalties. Bluesman Joe Calicott was born and lived his whole life in the small town of Nesbit, Mississippi, and is one of the most underrecorded legends of the Mississippi delta solo acoustic blues tradition. He first picked up the guitar at the age of 15 and, in 1929, first appeared on 78s as the second guitarist to Garfield Akers.
A year later he recorded two tracks with Jim Jackson, "Traveling Mama Blues" and "Fare Thee Well Blues," which have since appeared on many compilations including Blow My Blues Away, Vol. 2. His playing on these tracks is marked by an aggressive vocal that would mellow throughout the years. Callicott almost completely gave up the guitar in 1959, the year of Akers death, but picked up again in the mid-60s for his own personal enjoyment.
In 1967, blues documentarianGeorge Mitchell sought out the artist and recorded eleven tracks with the then slowed down but still magnificent musician. These tracks would later surface as part of Fat Possum's George Mitchell Archive and the 2003 album Ain't A Gonna Lie To You. Just before he died, in 1969, Callicott mentored Kenny Brown, a then 10-year-old boy who skipped school to learn guitar from this unassuming master who lived just down the street. Read more on Last.fm.
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