1. Ragtime Blues
Richard 'Hacksaw' Harney was born in Money, MS, on July 16, 1902. He passed away on Christmas morning in 1973 of stomach cancer.
I really think that Hacksaw was a big influence with Robert [Johnson]. He was the only somebody who could compete with him... He played the guitar very, very well. --Robert Lockwood, Jr., Living Blues
His talent, virtuosity and flair rank him with the likes of Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Reverrend Gary Davis and Blind Willie Johnson. And yet, if it were not for these Adelphi/Blues Vault tapes, he would be a blues equivalent of Buddy Bolden, the unrecorded giant whose mysterious legend enlivens early jazz lore. --Larry Hoffman.
Adelphi Records is pleased to present this ten song collection demonstrating the guitar wizardry of Richard Hacksaw Harney, the musician's musician from the motherland of American Music. Hacksaw was sought out by blues researchers in the 1960's because of the high esteem with which his contemporaries regarded him, many of whom were still awed by recollections of his occasional, impromptu appearances in Delta jukes or on the legendary King Biscuit Time radio show in Helena, Arkansas. In 1969, Adelphi's traveling studio followed the Harney reputation from Chicago to Jackson and back to Memphis, where Hacksaw was finally located, with the assistance of a posse of aging but enthusiastic blues musicians. Their persistence was amply rewarded by his sparkling and complex finger-picking playing.
Errata: In the liner notes, we mistakenly attribute the nickname 'Hacksaw' as originating during the artist's brief career in boxing. Pinetop Perkins set the record straight by reminding us that this outstanding musician (equally stunning as a piano player) supported himself by tuning and repairing pianos. "He always carried a little hacksaw with him, and he could grab a piece of anything and make a new key with that hacksaw. He taught me how to repair a piano."