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Since hearing Grandpa Elliott's voice on Mark Johson's first "Playing for Change" CD, "Stand by Me", I knew I HAD to meet the man behind the soul-stirring voice.
I found Grandpa in the French Quarters in New Orleans (pronounced Nawlins) listening to his daughter Doris Blackmon play the guitar he'd given her. She's also a talented Busker performing in a duet with the violonist Tanya Huang.
When Grandpa and I met, it was as if we'd always known one another. There was an instantaneous bond and he was as fascinated about me as I about him. Grandpa can be best described as a classy New Orleans Gentlemen who makes his living making people happy and giving a piece of his heart everyday. He felt bad that he had just finished for the evening when I spotted him, but I told him that meeting him already made my trip worthwhile. I didn't need anything more. The next day, before flying out, I stopped by Royal & Toulouse St. to say goodbye to Grandpa. That was when he dedicated to KaizenTao an acapella rendition of "Stand by Me" and a personal favorite, "House of the Rising Sun" with his magical passion.
When motorcycles passed by, Grandpa would ask me to re-film the clip to get the best possible clarity for my students. This man is a supremely caring and considerate perfectionist and when he gives, he gives his all... you heard!
What a pleasure to know fine folks like Grandpa Elliott are out there contributing so much love and kindness into the world.
Immense gratitude and love to you for the man you are and all that you do Grandpa Elliott! How's Momma & D'em? :)
- Thong & the KaizenTao Crew
Please visit- http://www.playingforchange.com/ for great music, a great cause and to learn more about Grandpa Elliott and other fine talents.