Leadbelly was the name Huddie Ledbetter received in prison after he was found guilty of murder in 1917. Texas governor Pat Neff pardoned Huddie only a few years into the twenty year sentence after he sang a song for him. Five years later Lead Belly was involved in a stabbing incident which led to ‘assault with murder’ charges and subsequently another prison sentence. Built like a bull, loved hard liquor, Leadbelly’s tough guy reputation was borne from numerous back-alley knife fights and he was as infamous for his violent exploits as was for his deep resonating voice & powerful  twelve-string guitar. His legacy was rich and artists such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan & Tow Waits have always been vocal about how deeply influenced they were by him. Leadbelly once responded to being stabbed in the throat with a prison shank by pulling the shiv out of his own  neck and almost killing the attacker with it. Firmly embedded in the grey, Leadbelly, who could be looked upon as a treacherous  individual sure did make some powerfully raw music, which will be around for years to come.

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