Little Joe Washington, the blues maven of Third Ward and one of Houston’s finest musicians died Wednesday after a lengthy battle with illness. He was 75. His friend and caretaker Jomonica Phoenix confirmed the news on Facebook.

Wiry and frail, Washington had made numerous trips to hospitals in the Houston area over the past few years but always returned to the stage, ready to engage fans and thrill them one last time. He played guitar with his teeth, sometimes his crotch at various clubs in the city such as Boondocks, the Continental Club and Blue Iguana. He was eccentric on stage, taking time to play skeletal fragments of songs before stopping abruptly.

He was wild, he flung himself into the music despite being all of five feet, five inches and in the end – remained true to the blues.