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A local blues legend is remembered with the music he loved

9 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 September 23, 2018 10:11 PM September 23, 2018 in News
Source: WBRZ Staff

BATON ROUGE- Legendary bluesman, Leslie Johnson, is known as "Lazy Lester," he was born and raised in Pointe Coupee Parish and died last month at 85-years old.

National artist Kenny Neal wanted to celebrate the life of his dear friend Lester after his passing.

"He contributed so much to the blues music, I just didn't want to have him die and cremated and just go off in the air," said Neal

Neal did so by organizing a live blues tribute in honor of Lester. The event was held at the West Baton Rouge Museum in Port Allen, Sunday evening where several local blues artists performed in memory of the musician.

Neal's father, Rayful Neal and Lester began playing together back in the 1950's. Lester's harmonica style rubbed off on the younger Neal, and he didn't realize until he got older.

"It's upside down, like Jimi Hendrix played the guitar, with the left hand, that's the way we played the harmonica, so I picked up a lot of stuff that I didn't realize until I got older that it was from him," said Neal.

Neal and Lester played in the New Orleans Jazz Fest this year, following that they spent much time together, talking and laughing until the early hours of the morning.

"He'd be sitting in the kitchen singing, and I'm crying over you dear. I go, 'man its 2-o'clock in the morning,'" said Neal.

Neal also says, he plans on buying a marker for Lazy Lester and placing it in the cemetery next to his father's grave.

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