Nehemiah Curtis “Skip” James(June 9, 1902 – October 3, 1969) was an American Delta blues singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter. His guitar playing is noted for its dark, minor-key sound, played in an open D-minor tuning with an intricate fingerpicking technique. James first recorded for Paramount Records in 1931, but these recordings sold poorly, having been released during the Great Depression, and he drifted into obscurity. James was born near Bentonia, Mississippi. His father was a bootlegger who reformed and became a preacher. As a youth, James heard local musicians, such as Henry Stuckey, from whom he learned to play the guitar, and the brothers Charlie and Jesse Sims. James began playing the organ in his teens.