Charles "Chic" Powell of Port Arthur Texas, for more than twenty years, almost singlehandedly carried the blues flame in Jefferson County. He was truly the "Texas Highway Bluesman", an accomplished bandleader, rhythm player, and extraordinary harp player, one of the few harpists to master the harp's high register in the style of Jimmy Reed.
"ChicO" as he was affectionately known, combined a rare knowledge of various rhythm grooves with a dedication to the blues genre undemonstrated by any
other local blues musician apart from, perhaps, Johnny
Winter. From his own unique interpretation of Stevie Wonder's "Boogie On Reggae Woman", to
extended jams with John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillin", ChicO nailed the groove for blues lovers and, especially, dancers in blues clubs and juke
Scores of young musicians were tutored by Chic in the legendary "Texas
Highway Blues Band". Their names run the gamut of every young aspiring
blues player in the Triangle, from Freddie Savoy who made his Silvertone guitar cry with his metal finger pick style, to Chic's own young children
who played drums and percussion and gigged with their dad from the tender age of 10.
Lynn, Fat Floyd, Moore, Clifford Anton, and a host of others
were taught by and influenced by Chic Powell. For many years, when blues
giant Johnny Winter visited his family in the Triangle during various holidays, Winter would seek out
The Texas Highway Bluesman to sit in during
He was my blues mentor, my bandleader, my friend, a dedicated father to his many loving children, and an extraordinary fisherman. After having been out
of touch with ChicO for nearly ten years, I heeded some inner call to visit
him again. He, as always, proudly showed me the pictures of his children, his custom made lures, his collection of prized fighting roosters, and
finally, would sit down to either play me some blues or share a tape of some music he thought was unique and extraordinary. It was always
Steve Watson, Bass - March 7, 2000
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