Growing up in New Paltz, I remember regarding Little Elliot Lloyd, a highly visible presence in town, as a legend and not being sure why. Only after his untimely death from leukemia at the age of 45, in 1993, did I really get a grip on his remarkable story.
Lloyd Elliott Paioff, Brooklyn-born blues lifer, credentialed singer, harpist and songwriter, was a Pratt Institute graduate and a relative of Man Ray. He settled in the mid-Hudson Valley in the late ’60s, where he fronted band after band for decades and founded Larkin Talent Associates, a company that helped to guide the careers of cutting-edge jazz artists Matthew Shipp, David S Ware, Kali Fasteau and Rob Brown. In his too-short career, he performed with Eddie Kirkland, Little Sammy Davis, Harvey Brooks, Brad Lee Sexton, Lonnie Mack, Pee Wee Ellis and Johnny Mars, among others.
Now, more than 20 years after his passing, Little Elliot Lloyd has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. The induction will take place in Middletown on Sunday, February 15 at Brian’s Back Door B-B-Q. The time will be 2 p.m. For more information, call (845) 692-3227 or www.briansbackyardbbq.com.