I wish I could say I came across this guy while thumbing through a record bin and coming across his album. Instead, I heard one of his songs on KEXP, our local independent radio station, the other day. He's an interesting story, full of the hardship and personal tragedy worthy a blues man. I guess I'll go ahead and compare him to Sam Cooke, too, because everyone else does. All but two of the tracks on his first two albums are original compositions, which I guess surprises me for a guy who spent most of his life as a street performer. Of course, not many street performers have the talent he had.
It's not often I find a new (to me) artist that grips me the way he has. As a result, I went a little crazy with the YouTube uploads. Take your pick from these three:
And here's his take on our national health-care crisis:
All three of the above come from his 1982 debut, "Watch Your Step." I did go out and find his second album, "Happy Hour," on vinyl, which is even better than the first. But I can't for the life of me find a digital copy.