My father called me this Sunday afternoon as he always does to recap the past weekend at the 308 Blues Club. However, his words were slow… “Lil’ Dave Thompson died this morning.” The phone call and his wording were so frightening similar to another. I told him that I had to find out for myself. I logged into Lil’ Dave’s website (www.lildavethomspon.com) and read the tragic truth.
Andrew Galloway of Electro-Fi Records reported February 14th, 2010: “It is with immense regret that we inform you of the passing of Lil’ Dave Thompson at 7am this morning as the result of an automobile accident outside of Augusta, Georgia, while touring with his band. The other band members were not seriously injured. A dynamic artist, widely acknowledged as one of the very best of the current generation of Mississippi Blues Artists, Lil’ Dave will be sadly missed by his family, friends and blues music lovers world wide. More details will be posted as they become available.”
I was at pause once again. “Dave played the 308 just last month. We talked. He let me sit in with the band and play his rig.”
I’m not going to give you his full bio, but I will say that the Mississippi Delta has lost yet another true bluesman. Lil’ Dave Thompson was a young, guitar master who was blessed with a strong, soulful voice. He oozed Albert King on the 6-string with a touch of Otis Redding in his story-telling and the snazz of Z.Z. Hill. He was the real deal… the future. He had many more years left and now he’s gone.
In my opinion, Lil’ Dave Thompson was more appreciated for his talent outside of the very Delta which he lived. We would often talk about this under-appreciation of our local blues artists. In an area filled with upstart, hip-hop acts and younger crowds more interested in packing bars to see “party” bands; Lil’ Dave was everything anti-pop(ular) for the area. He told me blues was a dying art, but he appreciated what we were trying to do at the 308 Blues Club. I remember one night he performed on our stage during Indianola’s Annual B.B. King Homecoming Festival. The 308 was packed. Dave and the audience traded energy and our younger crowd finally got “it”… just for that one night. He told me, “Trying to make the blues cool with the young people. I dig that. Keep it up.”
Thank you, Dave. You will be missed.
Lil’ Dave Thompson leaves behind his life-long partner of 15 years, Susan White, and five children, David Jr. (20), Danielle (19), Shequeena (18), Shirleiah (16) and Destiny (13). He is also survived by sisters Patricia, Barbara Denise, Jennifer and Pasty Thompson, Zenovia Henderson and Rose Marie Richmond; and brothers John, Sam, Elijah Allen and Tyrone Thompson.
A support fund has been set up by the family, and contributions to the family can be mailed to:
PO Box 28
Indianola, MS 38751
For the benefit of Dave “Lil’ Dave” Thompson
c/o John Thompson
Cards and letters to the family are also welcome, and can be sent to:
PO Box 512
Moorhead, MS 38761
Or email to John Thompson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Funeral arrangements for Lil’ Dave Thompson will be at 2:00 PM, Saturday February 27th, 2010 at Bell Grove Mission Baptist Church:
1301 BB King Rd
Indianola, MS 38751
Walnut Street Blues Bar at 128 S Walnut Street in Greenville will host a tribute to Li’l Dave Thompson benefiting his family this Thursday, February 18, beginning at 8 PM. Call 662-378-2254 for additional info.
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