Little Hatch, a.k.a. Provine Hatch, Jr., was Kansas City’s premier blues musician during a popular resurgence of the form in the 1990s. Born in Mississippi in 1921, the harmonica player, vocalist and bandleader died in 2003.
Why we're listening to him this week:
1. As KCUR reported in May, the Kansas City Kansas Street Blues Festival returns this weekend after a prolonged hiatus. Pillars of the local music scene scheduled to perform on Friday and Saturday at Lavender’s Circle L Ranch (3924 N 49th Drive in Kansas City, Kansas) include Linda Shell, Ida McBeth, D.C. Bellamy, Danny Cox and Millage Gilbert, among many others.
A “Little Hatch Memorial Tribute Show" is set for 3 p.m. on Friday. Directed/led by John Paul Drum and Diane ‘Mama’ Ray,” it will include many of the musicians who once performed with Hatch.
2. He was a staple on the entertainment calendar of the legendary, now-closed Grand Emporium, which was sold a year after Hatch’s death.
3. The popularity of the blues ebbs and flows. A case can be made that young Kansas City bands such as Katy Guillen & the Girls and Samantha Fish have initiated a new blues revival in Kansas City. Fannie Mae,” an acoustic track featuring Hatch and guitarist Bill Dye, was recorded in 1998.
Bill Brownlee’s writing appears weekly in The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine. He blogs about Kansas City’s jazz scene at Plastic Sax.