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Bluesman Made Big Contribution in SeattleCopyright © 2001
Isaac Scott was a fixture on the Seattle blues scene, and is credited with doing much to help in its development. The loss of his right leg and left foot following complications of diabetes in 1987 confined him to a wheelchair, but did not deter him from continuing to perform from it.
He was born in Arkansas, and retained vestiges of the earthy southern feel in his playing, although he grew up in Portland, Oregon. He taught himself to play piano and guitar, and began his career performing with gospel groups (he toured later with the famous Five Blind Boys of Alabama).
He cited Texas blues guitarist Albert Collins and Seattle-born Jimi Hendrix as his major influences, but developed his own sound, incorporating elements drawn from gospel and soul into his style. Like Collins, he favoured playing with his thumb rather than a pick, and usually performed in a trademark black outfit, complete with cowboy hat (his wheelchair was also black).
He recorded a number of albums in the northwest, and was featured at events like the San Francisco Jazz Festival, as well as playing locally in Seattle. He was inducted into the Washington Blues Society's Hall of Fame in 1991, and was given the society's lifetime achievement award in 2000.
He is survived by three children, two brothers, three sisters, two stepsisters, and one granddaughter.