Born: January 4, 1926, Wilmot, Mississippi
Died: August 11, 2015
Photo credit: Francoise Digel email@example.com
Eddie Cusic grew up farming with his family and was first inspired to play the blues from hearing men play at suppers and other get-togethers in his community. Like many Delta musicians of his generation, his first attempts to play were done on a diddly-bow. He eventually moved up to a Sears Roebuck guitar and began playing with other local musicians. In the early 1950s, Cusic formed a group called the Rhythm Aces. The group they played the clubs in Greenville, Leland and in juke joints throughout the Delta. In the 1960s Cusic frequently teamed up with fellow Leland guitarist James “Son” Thomas, playing with him at picnics and other social events throughout the state. While he had played in groups and on electric guitar in the past, Cusic came back to the music as a solo acoustic performer. He was a mainstay at the Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival in Greenville for many years and more recently a featured performer at the Sunflower River Blues Festival in Clarksdale. He also travelled out of state to perform, including at the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife and the Chicago Blues Festival and at festivals in the Pacific Northwest. Cusic served as a master artist in the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Folk Art Apprenticeship program. His first feature recording was not done until late 1997. The CD, I Want to Boogie, was released by Hightone Records in 1998 and has received favorable reviews. The recording features songs Cusic has learned and performed from throughout his career, including traditional Delta blues like “Catfish Blues” as well as songs by Willy Dixon, Jimmy Reed, and others.