"Blues Doctor" is the Real Deal

Charleston City Paper | September 30, 2006
Carolina singer and guitarist Drink Small, 73, has been belting out the Piedmont-style gutbucket blues since his early days in Bishopville (Lee County), S.C. with the Spiritualaires and the Vee Jay label in the late ’50s. Known by friends and family as “The Blues Doctor” and “The Real Deal,” Small plays a Yamaha hollow-body six-string named Geraldine.

The singer is a recent recipient of the S.C. Folk Heritage Award, a member of the S.C. Hall of Fame, and has spent his life touring, recording, and playing a spectrum of Southern roots musics at various blues festivals across the country. He’s been championed by local blues musician and promoter Gary Erwin (a.k.a. Shrimp City Slim) as one of the few genuine blues artists of the Carolinas. “If South Carolina has a blues patron saint, it’s surely Drink Small,” Erwin says.

The guitarist (www.drinksmallblues.com) recently celebrated the release of a new album titled Blues Doctor: Live & Outrageous!, featuring live recordings from local shows taped between 1986-1988. Across the album, Drink hollers and carries on the audience in jovial fashion over his microphone as much as picks his guitar and sings. Hopefully, he’ll perform his version of the rip-roaring classic “Charleston Women Blues” for fans in the audiences across the state this year.

Charleston City Paper

Founded in 1997, the locally owned and operated City Paper is Charleston's only weekly alternative newspaper and the second-largest publication in the metro Charleston area. Reaching a strong mix of active, affluent locals and tourists, the City Paper has thrived...
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