Elizabeth Cotten

Elizabeth Cotten was an outstanding folk musician and composer. She toured extensively right up to her death in her 90s.


Elizabeth Cotton isn’t a widely known guitarist, even in the Folk world.  And yet she was an outstanding musician and composer.  She toured extensively in North America right up to her death, and composed some of folk’s greatest tunes.  Smithsonian Folkways describes her as a “Master of American folk music”.    As you will see from the video she had a unique left handed guitar style.

For a time in her 30s she lived with the Seeger family.  Charles and Ruth were both musicians and encouraged her to play.  They discovered she had remarkable musical skill and son Mike (brother to Peggy and Pete) recorded her playing.  She continued to tour until her death in 1987 aged 92.

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