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Yank Rachell, Sept 1990, San Francisco Blues Festival. American blues musician, dubbed an "elder statesman of the blues." His career as a performer spanned nearly seventy years, and was often teamed with the guitarist and singer Sleepy John Estes. Though a capable guitarist and singer, he was better known as a master of the blues mandolin. By the mid 1990s, Henry Townsend and his one-time collaborator Rachell were the only active blues artists whose performing lives stretched back to the 1920s.