Fred McDowell known by his stage name; Mississippi Fred McDowell, was an American Hill country blues singer and guitar player. Initially he played slide guitar using a pocket knife and then a slide made from a beef rib bone, later switching to a glass slide for its clearer sound. He played with the slide on his ring finger.
While commonly lumped together with Delta Blues singers, McDowell actually may be considered the first the north hill country blues artist to achieve widespread recognition for his work. The hill country – parallel to, but somewhat east of the Delta region – has a version of the state’s signature musical form somewhat closer in structure to its African roots. It often eschews the chord change for the hypnotic effect of the droning, single chord vamp.