Sad news hit the local blues scene this week. Camden-based singer/guitarist Jeff Norwood, a busy performer who specialized in swampy Delta and Piedmont styles of blues, died on Sun. April 22 after battling cirrhosis of the liver and other ailments. He was 50 years old.
Known by fans and colleagues for his gnarly guitar tone, growly voice, and earthy sense of humor, Norwood was a favorite on the local blues scene for years. He regularly performed at local venues and festivals, including the annual Lowcountry Blues Bash and events at Awendaw Green and Home Team BBQ.
Norwood had recently been planning a Norwood Blues Barn Jam for Wed. May 2 at Awendaw Green’s Barn Jam venue, but he had to go into the hospital for surgery on an umbilical hernia. There were serious complications after the surgery, unfortunately, and he was unable to fully recover.
“He was one hell of a fine guy and very good friend of Awendaw Green and the Lowcountry’s music community,” says Awendaw Green’s Eddie White. “He lived the hard life of a true blues man, and he poured his heart into every song. Jeff made strong connections with a lot of Charleston musicians over the years — especially with many of the artists involved with Awendaw Green. We are proud to have been a part of it.”
Norwood’s most recent recordings include an EP titled Lord Help (very recently released on the Pennsylvania-based label Appalachia Burning) and a collection released last year titled Push Pilin’, which produced by James “Jimbo” Mathus of Knockdown South and the Squirrel Nut Zippers. In 2009, Norwood issued a live-to-tape collection recorded on the Awendaw Green studio’s front porch; it was simply titled Awendaw.
Visit jeffnorwoodblues.com for more.