Steve Onotera aka samuraiguitarist, who is a talented musician in his own right, offered a heart-wrenching list of guitarists who have overcome incredible adversity of different kinds, mostly through no fault of their own. Onotera’s list includes two-fingered Roma musician Django Reinhardt, Jewish musician Coco Schumann who survived the Holocaust because of his talent, the talented Jason Becker who hasn’t let ALS, stop him from playing music, elder Seasick Steve, who didn’t find fame until the age of 67 and Hugh D. Ledbetter aka Lead Belly, who had more than enough troubles for many lifetimes over and again.
Born in the late 1880s, Ledbetter found himself on the wrong side of the law regularly throughout his youth serving time in 1915 for carrying a pistol and then being imprisoned again in 1918 for murdering a family member….It was after he got out of jail for the third time that hi musical career started to take foot. The legendary ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax discovered Lead Belly and made field recordings of a number of his tunes. Songs like ‘Good Night Irene’ ‘Black Betty’, ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ and ‘Gallows Pole’ would inspire musicians for generations to come.