Rock - The Pioneers - Rock '51 - '63 | Rock '62 - '69-The British Invasion | Rock '68 - '74
Influential Blues Performers
(Click on individual Musician's Biography section to visit Musician's Home Page)
Throughout the history of music individual performers have had a major impact on the music scene. These influential/notable musicians have left their mark by expanding the envelope of their respective genres, either through technical proficiency, experimentation/exploration, or persona. The following list of notable/influential blues musicians is by no means complete. The influential blues performers listed are those that readily came to mind, and any additions to the list can be sent using the link at the bottom of the page. The individual home pages for the musicians listed can be reached by clicking on their name in the bio section.
Albert Collins - Albert King - Alvin "Youngblood" Hart - Amos Milburn - Anson Funderburgh - Anthony Gomes - B. B. King - Big Bill Broonzy
Big Joe Williams - Big Mama Thornton - Big Walter Horton - Billie Holiday- Blind Lemon Jefferson - Blind Willie McTell - Bo Diddley - Bonnie Raitt
Buddy Guy - Champion Jack Dupree - Charles Brown - Charley Patton - Charlie Musselwhite - Colin James - Dave Honeyboy Edwards - Deacon John Moore
Dick Heckstall-Smith - Dr.John - Earl Hooker - Earl King - Elmore James - Eric Clapton - Floyd Council - Fred McDowell - Freddie King - Furry Lewis
Gary Davis - Gary Moore - Hound Dog Taylor - Howlin' Wolf - JJ Cale - Jackie Neal - Jackie Washington - James Cotton - Janis Joplin - Jay McShann
Jesse Fuller - Jeff Healey - Jimmy Reed - Jimmy Rogers - Jimmy Witherson - John Lee Hooker - John P. Hammond - John Mayall - Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Johnny Otis - Johnny Shines - Johnny Winter - Jonny Lang - Joseph Spence - Junior Lockwood - Junior Parker - Junior Wells - Kansas Joe McCoy
Kenny Neal - Keri Leigh - Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Kim Wilson - Koko Taylor - Kokomo Arnold - Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter - Lee McBee
Lightnin' Hopkins - Little Hatch - Little Walter - Lonnie Johnson - Luther Allison - Luckey Roberts - Magic Sam - Mississippi John Hurt - Muddy Waters
Otis Rush - Otis Spann - Papa Charlie McCoy - Paul Butterfield - Paul Pena - Piano Red - Pinetop Perkins - Pinetop Smith - Professor Longhair
R. L. Burnside - Rabbit Brown - Raful Neal - Robben Ford - Robert Cray - Robert Johnson - Robert Lockwood Jr.- Rod Piazza - Ronnie Earl - Rory Gallagher
Ry Cooder - Roosevelt Sykes - Sam Chatmon - Smokin Joe Kubek - Sippie Wallace - Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Skip James - Slim Harpo - Solomon Burke
Son House - Son Seals - Sonny Boy Williamson I - Sonny Boy Williamson II - Sonny Terry - St. Louis Jimmy Oden - Stevie Ray Vaughan - Susan Tedeschi
Taj Mahal - T-Bone Walker - Teenie Hodges - Tinsley Ellis - Tommy Castro - Tommy McClennan - Willie Brown - Willie Dixon - Z. Z.Hill
Albert Collins - Born Oct. 1, 1932, Leona, Texas, died Nov. 24, 1993, Las Vegas, Nev. Albert Collins was a passionate instrumentalist and singer who became known as the "Master of the Telecaster" for the distinctively pure "icy" tone he produced from his Fender Telecaster electric guitar. Collins learned piano and guitar as a teenager in Houston, Texas, and played in local clubs as a band musician and pickup guitarist for other performers. 'Artist Discography'
Albert King - (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer. One of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with B.B. King and Freddie King), he stood at least 6' 4" (192 cm), weighed in at least 260 lbs (118 kg) and was known as "The Velvet Bulldozer". He was born Albert Nelson on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi. During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church. He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys, in Osceola, Arkansas. He also briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed's band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by Blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, but also interestingly Hawaiian music, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V, which he named "Lucy". King was a left-handed "upside-down/backwards" guitarist. He was left-handed, but usually played right-handed guitars flipped over upside-down so the low E string was on the bottom. In later years he played a custom-made guitar that was basically left-handed, but had the strings reversed (as he was used to playing). He also used very unorthodox tunings (i.e., tuning as low as C to allow him to make sweeping string bends). A "less is more" type blues player, he was known for his expressive "bending" of notes, a technique characteristic of blues guitarists. 'Artist Discography'
Alvin "Youngblood" Hart - born 2 March 1963, is an American musician. Though born in Oakland, California, Hart had family connections with Carroll County, Mississippi, and spent time there in his childhood, hearing his relatives stories of Charlie Patton, "being around these people who were there when this music was going on". Thus influenced by the country blues, Hart is known as one of the world's foremost practitioners of that genre. Hart is also known as a faithful torchbearer for the 1960s and 1970s guitar rock of his youth, as well as Western Swing and vintage country. His music has been compared to a list of diverse artists ranging from Leadbelly, Spade Cooley to Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy. Hart plays acoustic and electric guitar as well as banjo and sometimes the mandolin. Bluesman Taj Mahal once said about Hart that "The boy has got thunder in his hands." Hart himself said "I guess my big break came when I opened for Taj Mahal for four nights at Yoshi's. In 1996 he made a powerful and individual album debut, Big Mama's Door, playing street, slide and standard guitars and banjo on a mixture of dug-up and new-grown blues. In 2003, Hart's album Down in the Alley was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. In 2005, Hart received a Grammy Award for his contribution to Beautiful Dreamer - The Songs of Stephen Foster. Hart was featured in the 2003 Wim Wenders film "The Soul of a Man," which was featured in Martin Scorsese's film series "The Blues." Hart was also featured in the documentary "Last of the Mississippi Jukes." 'Artist Discography'
Amos Milburn - (April 1, 1927 – January 3, 1980) was an American rhythm and blues singer, and pianist, popular in the 1940s and 1950s. He was born and died in Houston, Texas. Born in Houston, one of thirteen children, by the age of five Milburn was playing tunes on the piano. He enlisted in the United States Navy when he was fifteen and earned thirteen battle stars in the Philippines, before returning to Houston and organizing a sixteen-piece band playing in Houston clubs, and mixing with the Houston jazz and blues scene. He was a polished pianist and performer and in 1946 attracted the attention of an enterprising woman who arranged a recording session with Aladdin Records in Los Angeles. Milburn's relationship with Aladdin lasted eight years during which he cut over seventy-five sides. His cover of "Down the Road a Piece" (1946), a blues with a rocking Texas boogie beat that bordered on rock, was ahead of its time. However, none caught on until 1949 when seven of his singles got the attention of the R&B audience. "Hold Me Baby" and "Chicken Shack Boogie" landed numbers eight and nine on Billboard's survey of 1949's R&B Bestsellers. He became one of the leading performers associated with the Central Avenue music scene of Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood. Among his best known songs was "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer". In 1950 Milburn's "Bad, Bad, Whiskey" reached the top of the R&B charts and began a string of drinking songs (none written by Milburn, but several penned by Rudy Toombs). 'Artist Discography'
Anson Funderburgh- born November 15, 1954, is a blues guitar player and band leader. He has led Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets since 1979. Their style incorporates both Chicago blues and Texas blues. In 1981, Funderburgh released the Rockets' debut album Talk to You By Hand from the New Orleans, Louisiana, based Black Top Records, with Darrell Nulisch on vocals and harmonica. The album included a cover version of Earl King's song, "Come On". Talk to You By Hand was also the first ever release by the record label. The outfit appeared on the bill at the 1984 San Francisco Blues Festival. When Nulisch left the band in 1985, Funderburgh invited the blues harmonica player Sam Myers from Jackson, Mississippi to fill in the spot. The first Rockets' recording featuring Myers was My Love Is Here To Stay which came out in 1986. He stayed with the band until his death on July 17, 2006, appearing on eight albums with them. As well as the studio recordings, Funderburgh and his band has played live at the Zoo Bar, in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1990 the band was on the bill at the Long Beach Blues Festival. 'Artist Discography'
Anthony Gomes - born in 1970, is a Canadian blues and blues-rock guitarist and singer. He was born in Toronto to a Portuguese father and a Canadian mother. After his 1997 debut album release Blues in Technicolor he began touring the United States and Canada and he has since recorded two more albums. He and his band are a hard working outfit, with an innovative style. Anthony Gomes resided in Chicago fusing his blues with rock and soul, powerful vocal skills and an energetic live experience with the Anthony Gomes Band that has been touring North America also Europe. 'Artist Discography'
B. B. King - B. B. King (born Riley B. King, September 16, 1925) is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter. Critical acclaim and widespread popularity have cemented his reputation as one of the most respected and influential blues musicians. Rolling Stone magazine named him the third-greatest guitarist of "the 100 greatest guitarists of all time". B. B. King arrived in Memphis for the first time in 1946 to work as a musician, but after a few months of hardship he left, going back to Mississippi. There he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit and returned to Memphis two years later. Initially he worked at the local R&B radio channel WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, where he gained the nickname "Beale Street Blues Boy", later shortened to "B. B.". It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker - "Once I'd heard him for the first time, I knew I'd have to have an electric guitar myself. Had to have one, short of stealing!" In 1949, King began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles-based RPM Records. Many of King's early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who later founded Sun Records. 'Artist Discography'
Big Bill Broonzy - ( June 26,1898 – August 14, 1958) was a prolific American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. His career began in the 1920s when he played Country blues to mostly black audiences. Through the ‘30s and ‘40s he successfully navigated a transition in style to a more urban blues sound popular with white audiences. In the 1950s a return to his traditional folk-blues roots made him one of the leading figures of the emerging American folk music revival and an international star. His long and varied career marks him as one of the key figures in the development of blues music in the 20th century. Broonzy copyrighted more than 300 songs during his lifetime, including both adaptations of traditional folk songs and original blues songs. As a blues composer, he was unique in that his compositions reflected the many vantage points of his rural-to-urban experiences. 'Artist Discography'
Big Joe Williams - (October 16, 1903 - December 17, 1982) was an American Delta blues musician and songwriter, known for his characteristic style of guitar-playing, his nine-string guitar, and his bizarre, cantankerous personality. Born in Crawford, Mississippi, Williams as a youth began wandering across the United States busking and playing stores, bars, alleys and work camps. In the early 1920s he worked in the Rabbit Foot Minstrels revue and recorded with the Birmingham Jug Band in 1930 for the Okeh label. In 1934 he was in St. Louis, where he met record producer Lester Melrose who signed him to a contract with Bluebird Records in 1935. He stayed with Bluebird for ten years, recording such blues hits as "Baby, Please Don't Go" (1935) and "Crawlin' King Snake" (1941), both songs later covered by many other performers. He also recorded with other blues singers, including John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Robert Nighthawk and Peetie Wheatstraw. Williams remained a noted blues artist in the 1950s and 1960s, with his guitar style and vocals becoming popular with folk-blues fans. He recorded for the Trumpet, Delmark, Prestige and Vocalion labels, among others. He became a regular on the concert and coffeehouse circuits, touring Europe and Japan in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and performing at major U.S. festivals. 'Artist Discography'
Big Mama Thornton - Willie Mae ("Big Mama") Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record the hit song "Hound Dog" in 1952. The song was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks. The B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama," and the single sold almost two million copies. Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his version, based on a version performed by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. In a similar occurrence, she wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain," which became a hit for her. Janis Joplin later recorded "Ball and Chain," and was a huge success in the late 1960s. Thornton was born in Montgomery, Alabama. Her introduction to music started in the Baptist church. Her father was a minister and her mother was a church singer. She and her six siblings began to sing at a very early age. Thornton's musical aspirations led her to leave Montgomery in 1941, after her mother's death, when she was just fourteen, and she joined the Georgia-based Hot Harlem Revue. Her seven-year tenure with the Revue gave her valuable singing and stage experience and enabled her to tour the South. In 1948, she settled in Houston, Texas, where she hoped to further her career as a singer. Willa Mae was also a self-taught drummer and harmonica player and frequently played both instruments onstage. 'Artist Discography'
Big Walter Horton - ( April 6, 1917 - December 8, 1981), Big Walter "Shakey" Horton is one of the all-time great blues harp (harmonica) players. Along with Little Walter, Horton defined modern amplified Chicago-style harmonica. There is no harp player (and that includes Little Walter) with Horton's big tone and spacious sense of time. Horton (who is said to have been somewhat shy) was not a natural group leader and therefore has produced few solo albums. His best work is as a sideman; his backup harmonica and virtuoso harp solos have graced many great Chicago blues recordings -- turning an otherwise good cut into a dynamite jam.Walter was the master of the single note and his characteristic walking bass line (usually with a deep tone and selection of notes that is unsurpassed) is instantly recognizable. As an accompanist, he had few equals. His backup harp was always unobtrusive yet bright and fresh -- enhancing whatever else is going on. Give Big Walter a chance to solo and you were in for some of the most tasteful lines Chicago-style harp has ever produced. 'Artist Discography'
Blind Lemon Jefferson - (September 24, 1893?– December 1929), was an influential blues singer and guitarist from Texas. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s, and has been titled "Father of the Texas Blues." His musical style was individualistic, and Jefferson's singing and self-accompaniment were distinctive as a result of his high-pitched voice and originality on the guitar. He was not influential on some younger blues singers of his generation, as they did not seek to imitate him as they did other commercially successful artists. However, later blues and rock and roll musicians attempted to imitate both his songs and his musical style. Jefferson was born blind near Coutchman, Texas in Freestone County, near present-day Wortham, Texas. Jefferson was one of eight children born to sharecroppers Alex and Clarissa Jefferson. Disputes regarding his exact birth date derive from contradictory census records and draft registration records. Jefferson began playing the guitar in his early teens, and soon after he began performing at picnics and parties. He also became a street musician, playing in East Texas towns in front of barbershops and on corners. Unlike many artists who were "discovered" and recorded in their normal venues, in December 1925 or January 1926, he was taken to Chicago, Illinois, to record his first tracks. Jefferson's first two recordings from this session were gospel songs ("I Want to be like Jesus in my Heart" and "All I Want is that Pure Religion"), released under the name Deacon L. J. Bates. This led to a second recording session in March 1926. His first releases under his own name, "Booster Blues" and "Dry Southern Blues," were hits; this led to the release of the other two songs from that session, "Got the Blues" and "Long Lonesome Blues," which became a runaway success, with sales in six figures. He recorded about 100 tracks between 1926 and 1929; 43 records were issued, all but one for Paramount Records. 'Artist Discography'
Billie Holiday - (born Eleanora Fagan; April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Billie Holiday was a true artist of her day and rose as a social phenomenon in the 1950s. Her soulful, unique singing voice and her ability to boldly turn any material that she confronted into her own music made her a superstar of her time. Today, Holiday is remembered for her masterpieces, creativity and vivacity, as many of Holiday's songs are as well known today as they were decades ago. Holiday's poignant voice is still considered to be one of the greatest jazz voices of all time. As a young teenager, Holiday served the beginning part of her so-called "apprenticeship" by singing along with records by Bessie Smith or Louis Armstrong in after-hours jazz clubs. When Holiday's mother, Sadie Fagan, moved to New York in search of a better job, Billie eventually went with her. She made her true singing debut in obscure Harlem nightclubs and borrowed her professional name - Billie Holiday - from screen star Billie Dove. Although she never underwent any technical training and never even so much as learned how to read music, Holiday quickly became an active participant in what was then one of the most vibrant jazz scenes in the country. 'Artist Discography'
Blind Willie McTell - Born William Samuel McTell in 1901, Blind Willie lost his sight in late childhood, yet earned the status as one of the most accomplished guitarists and lyrical storytellers in Blues history. Blind Willie became an accomplished musical theorist, able to both read and write music in Braille, through an encouraging family and strong faith. While few of his recordings ever earned mainstream popularity, his influence on the modern music and art scene is widely known. His songs (Statesboro Blues, Broke Down Engine Blues, etc...) have been recorded by famous artists such as the Allman Brothers, Taj Mahal and others. He left the music scene for the pulpit in later life and the details of Blind Willie's death remain nebulous; nonetheless, his legacy grows exponentially each year. 'Artist Discography'
Bo Diddley - (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008, born Ellas Otha Bates), was an original and influential American rock & roll singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He was known as "The Originator" because of his key role in the transition from blues music to rock & roll, influencing a host of legendary acts including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. He introduced more insistent, driving rhythms and a hard-edged guitar sound on a wide-ranging catalog of songs. Accordingly, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and also received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award." He was also known for his technical innovations, including his trademark rectangular guitar. Bo Diddley received an honorary degree from the University of Florida in August 2008 that was accepted by his daughter, Evelyn Kelly, on his behalf. 'Artist Discography'
Bonnie Raitt - Born to a musical family, the nine-time Grammy winner is the daughter of celebrated Broadway singer John Raitt (Carousel, Oklahoma!, The Pajama Game) and accomplished pianist/singer Marge Goddard. She was raised in Los Angeles in a climate of respect for the arts, Quaker traditions, and a commitment to social activism. A Stella guitar given to her as a Christmas present launched Bonnie on her creative journey at the age of eight. While
growing up, though passionate about music from the start, she never considered that it would play a greater role than as one of her many growing interests. In the late '60s, restless in Los Angeles, she moved east to Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a Harvard/Radcliffe student majoring in Social Relations and African Studies, she attended classes and immersed herself in the city's turbulent cultural and political activities. Raitt was already deeply involved with folk music and the blues at that time.
Exposure to the album Blues at Newport 1963 at age 14 had kindled her interest in blues and slide guitar, and between classes at Harvard she explored these and other styles in local coffeehouse gigs. Three years after entering college, Bonnie left to commit herself full-time to music, and shortly afterward found herself opening for surviving giants of the blues. From Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sippie Wallace, Son House, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker she learned first-hand lessons of life as well as invaluable techniques of performance. Word spread quickly of the young redhaired blueswoman, her soulful, unaffected way of singing, and her uncanny insights into blues guitar. Warner Bros. tracked her down, signed her up, and in 1971 released her debut album, "Bonnie Raitt". 'Artist Discography'
Buddy Guy - George "Buddy" Guy, born July 30, 1936, is a five-time Grammy Award-winning American blues and rock guitarist and singer. Known as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and other guitarists, Guy is considered an important exponent of Chicago blues. He is the father of female rapper Shawnna and son Michael. He is the older brother of late blues guitarist Phil Guy. Guy is known for his showmanship: for example, he plays his guitar with drumsticks, or strolls into the audience while jamming and trailing a long guitar chord. Born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy grew up in Louisiana learning guitar on a two string diddley bow he made. Later he was given a Harmony acoustic guitar, which he later donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the early '50s he began performing with bands in Baton Rouge. Soon after moving to Chicago in 1957, Guy fell under the influence of Muddy Waters. In 1958, a competition with West Side guitarists Magic Sam and Otis Rush gave Guy a record contract. Soon afterwards he recorded for Cobra Records. He recorded sessions with Junior Wells for Delmark Records under the pseudonym Friendly Chap in 1965 and 1966. Guy’s early career was supposedly held back by both conservative business choices made by his record company (Chess Records) and "the scorn, diminishments and petty subterfuge from a few jealous rivals". Chess, Guy’s record label from 1959 to 1968, refused to record Buddy Guy’s novel style that was similar to his live shows. Leonard Chess (Chess founder and 1987 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee) denounced Guy’s playing as "noise". In the early 1960s, Chess tried recording Guy as a solo artist with R&B ballads, jazz instrumentals, soul and novelty dance tunes, but none were released as singles. Guy’s only Chess album, "Left My Blues in San Francisco", was finally issued in 1967. Most of the songs belong stylistically to the era's soul boom, with orchestrations by Gene Barge and Charlie Stepney. Chess used Guy mainly as a session guitarist to back Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor and others. 'Artist Discography'
Champion Jack Dupree - William Thomas Dupree, best known as Champion Jack Dupree, was an American blues pianist. His birth date is disputed, given as July 4, July 10, and July 23, in the years 1908, 1909, or 1910. He died January 21, 1992 Champion Jack Dupree was the embodiment of the New Orleans blues and boogie woogie pianist, a true barrelhouse "professor". His father was from the Belgian Congo and his mother was African American and Cherokee. He was orphaned at the age of 2 and sent to the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs (also the alma mater of Louis Armstrong). He taught himself piano there and later apprenticed with Tuts Washington and the legendary Drive'em Down, whom he called his "father" and from whom he learned "Junker's Blues". He was also "spy boy" for the Yellow Pochahantas tribe of Mardi Gras Indians and soon began playing in barrelhouses, drinking establishments organized around barrels of booze. As a young man he began his life of travelling, living in Chicago, where he worked with Georgia Tom, and Indianapolis, Indiana, where he hooked up with Scrapper Blackwell and Leroy Carr. While he was always playing piano, he also worked as a cook, and in Detroit he met Joe Louis, who encouraged him to become a boxer. He ultimately fought in 107 bouts and winning Golden Gloves and other championships, and picking up the nickname Champion Jack, which he used the rest of his life. 'Artist Discography'
Charles Brown - (September 13, 1922 – January 21, 1999), born in Texas City, Texas was an American blues singer and pianist whose soft-toned, slow-paced blues-club style influenced the development of blues performance during the 1940s and 1950s. He had several hit recordings, including "Drifting Blues" and "Merry Christmas Baby". In the late 1940s a rising demand for blues was driven by an increasing white teenage audience in the South which quickly spread north and west. Blues shouters got the attention, but also greatly influential was what writer Charles Keil dubbs "the postwar Texas clean-up movement in blues" led by stylists such as T-Bone Walker, Amos Milburn and Charles Brown. Their singing was lighter, more relaxed and they worked with bands and combos that had saxophone sections and used arrangements. As a child Brown demonstrated his love of music and took classical piano lessons. Early on, Brown moved out to Los Angeles, where the great influx of blacks created an integrated nightclub scene in which black performers tended to minimize the rougher blues elements of their style. 'Artist Discography
Charley Patton - (May 1, 1891 – April 28, 1934), is best known as an American Delta blues musician. He is considered by many to be the "Father of Delta Blues" and therefore one of the oldest known figures of American popular music. He is credited with creating an enduring body of American music and personally inspiring just about every Delta blues man (Palmer, 1995). Musicologist Robert Palmer considers him among the most important musicians that America produced in the twentieth century. Many sources, including musical releases and his gravestone, spell his name “Charley” even though the musician himself spelled his name "Charlie." He was extremely popular across the Southern United States, and, in contrast to the itinerant wandering of most of the notable blues musicians of the era, played scheduled engagements at plantations and taverns. Long before Jimi Hendrix impressed audiences with flashy guitar playing, Patton gained notoriety for his showmanship, often playing with the guitar down on his knees, behind his head, or behind his back. Although Patton was a small man at about 5 foot 5 and 135 pounds, his gravelly voice was rumored to have been loud enough to carry 500 yards without amplification. Patton's gritty bellowing was a major influence on the singing style of his young friend Chester Burnett, who went on to gain fame in Chicago as Howlin' Wolf. 'Artist Discography'
Charlie Musselwhite - born January 31, 1944, in Kosciusko, Mississippi) is an American blues-harp player and bandleader, one of the non-black bluesmen who came to prominence in the early 1960s, along with Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield. Though he has often been identified as a "white bluesman", he claims Native American and Thai heritage. Musselwhite was born in the rural hill country of Mississippi. He has said that he is of Choctaw descent, and he was born in a region originally inhabited by the Choctaw. However, in a 2005 interview, he said his mother had told him he was actually Cherokee. His family considered it normal to play music, with his father playing guitar and harmonica, his mother playing piano, and a relative who was a one-man band. At the age of three, Musselwhite moved to Memphis, Tennessee. When he was a teenager, Memphis experienced the period when rockabilly, western swing, electric blues, and some forms of African American music were combining to give birth to rock and roll. The period featured legendary figures such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, as well as minor legends such as Gus Cannon, Furry Lewis, Will Shade, Royal Bell, Memphis Willie B., Johnny Burnette, Red Roby, Abe McNeal, and Slim Rhodes. Musselwhite supported himself by digging ditches, laying concrete and running moonshine in a 1950 Lincoln. This environment was Musselwhite's school for music as well as life, and he acquired the nickname "Memphis Charlie." 'Artist Discography'
Colin James - Colin James Munn, born August 17, 1964, is a Canadian singer, guitarist, and songwriter who plays in the blues, rock, and swing genres. At a young age, Little Colin, as he was called, was a fixture on the Regina folk music scene, sitting in with various local and touring musicians, playing a preternaturally fast and delightful mandolin. He would often jump up on stage between sets to play his own sets, which were always entertaining. Summers, he would tour with local music revue, Sod Hut and The Buffalo Chips, with Connie Protz on saxophone. Colin taught guitar lessons on a local Aboriginal reserve, and he was introduced to the Texas Blues of various artists by his stepfather. 'Artist Discography'
David Honeyboy Edwards - born June 28, 1915, is an American delta blues guitarist and singer. Edwards was a friend to the legendary musician Robert Johnson and was present on the fateful night Johnson drank the poisoned whiskey that took his life. Folklorist Alan Lomax recorded Edwards in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1942 for the Library of Congress. Edwards recorded a total of fifteen sides of music. The songs included "Wind Howlin' Blues" and "The Army Blues." He did not record again commercially until 1951, when he recorded "Who May Your Regular Be" for Arc Records under the name of Mr Honey.Edwards is still touring the country performing and is the author of one book, The World Don't Owe Me Nothin', published in 1997 by Chicago Review Press. The book recounts his life from childhood, his journeys through the South and his arrival in Chicago in the early 1950s. A companion CD by the same title was released by Earwig Records shortly afterwards. He has also recorded at a church-turned-studio in Salina, Kansas and released albums on the APO record label. Honeyboy has written several blues hits, including "Long Tall Woman Blues" and "Just Like Jesse James". His discography for the 1950s and 1960s amounts to nine songs from seven sessions. Edwards is one of, if not the last, original delta blues guitarists still performing. In October 2004, the last four original delta blues musicians gathered together in Dallas, Texas for a once-in-a-lifetime concert. The line-up consisted of: Honeyboy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins, Henry Townsend, and Robert Lockwood, Jr. But two years later in 2006, Townsend died aged 96, and Lockwood also died aged 91. Pinetop Perkins still continues to tour, mainly in the USA. 'Artist Discography'
Deacon John Moore - born 23 June 1941, is a blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll musician, singer, and bandleader. He grew up in New Orleans' 8th Ward. He plays guitar and is the brother of the Creole scholar Sybil Kein. He was active on the New Orleans R&B scene since his teens, and became a session man on many hit recordings of the late 1950s and the 1960s, including those by Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey, Ernie K-Doe, and others. His band at New Orleans' Dew Drop Inn attracted an enthusiastic following, sometimes upstaging visiting national acts Moore was hired to open for. While highly regarded locally and by his fellow musicians, lack of hit records under his own name kept him from the national fame achieved by a number of his peers. In 2000 Moore was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame. He is featured in the film Deacon John's Jump Blues. As of 2006 he remains a local favorite on the New Orleans music scene. On 25 July 2006 Moore became president of the local branch of the American Federation of Musicians. 'Artist Discography'
Dick Heckstall-Smith - ( September 16, 1934 – December 17, 2004) was an English jazz and blues saxophonist. He played with some of the most important English blues-rock and jazz-rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s. Heckstall-Smith was born Richard Malden Heckstall-Smith in Ludlow, England (his father then being headmaster of the local Grammar School), and brought up in Knighton, Powys. He learned to play piano, clarinet and alto saxophone in childhood. Heckstall-Smith was an active member of the London jazz scene from the late 1950s. He joined Blues Incorporated, Alexis Korner's groundbreaking blues group, in 1962, recording the album R&B from the Marquee. The following year, he was a founding member of that band's breakaway unit, the Graham Bond Organisation; the lineup also included two future members of the blues-rock supergroup Cream: bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. In 1967, Heckstall-Smith became a member of keyboardist-vocalist John Mayall's prominent group the Bluesbreakers. That jazz-skewed edition of the band, which also included drummer Jon Hiseman and future Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, released the album Bare Wires in 1968. 'Artist Discography'
Dr.John - the stage name of Malcolm John Rebennack Jr., born November 21, 1940, is a pianist, singer, and songwriter, whose music spans, and often combines, blues, boogie woogie, and rock and roll.Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, his professional musical career began in New Orleans in the 1950s. He originally concentrated on guitar and he gigged with local bands included Mac Rebennack and the Skyliners, Frankie Ford and the Thunderbirds, and Jerry Byrnes and the Loafers. He had a regional hit with a Bo Diddley influenced instrumental called "Storm Warning" on Rex Records in 1959. Rebennack's career as a guitarist came to an end when his left ring finger was injured by a gunshot while he was defending singer/keyboardist Ronnie Barron, his bandmate, Jesuit High School classmate, and longtime friend. After the injury, Rebennack concentrated on bass guitar before making piano his main instrument; pianist Professor Longhair was an important influence on Rebennack's piano stylings. He moved to Los Angeles in 1963 where, as a session musician, he provided backing for Sonny & Cher, Canned Heat and many other acts of the mid to late 1960s. Rebennack gained fame beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with music that combined New Orleans-style rhythm and blues with psychedelic rock and elaborate stage shows that bordered on voodoo religious ceremonies, including elaborate costumes and headdress. For a time he was billed as "Doctor John, The Night Tripper". The name "Dr. John" came from a legendary Louisiana voodoo practitioner of the early 1800s. 'Artist Discography'
Earl Hooker - (January 15, 1929 – April 21, 1970 ), was an American blues guitarist. Hooker was a Chicago slide guitarist in the same league as Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, and his mentor, Robert Nighthawk. Some Chicago blues guitarists even consider Hooker to have been the greatest slide player ever. Born Earl Zebedee Hooker in Clarksdale, Mississippi, from a music-inclined family (he was a cousin of John Lee Hooker), taught himself to play guitar around the age of 10 and shortly thereafter his family migrated to Chicago where he began attending the Lyon & Healy Music School in 1941. From the knowledge he gained there Hooker eventually became proficient on the drums and piano as well as on such stringed instruments as the banjo and mandolin. While a teen, Hooker performed on Chicago street corners, occasionally with Bo Diddley. He also developed a friendship with slide guitarist Robert Nighthawk, which led to Hooker's interest in slide guitar and some performances with Nighthawk's group outside of Chicago. In 1949, Hooker moved to Memphis, joined Ike Turner's band, and toured the South. Being in Memphis led to some performances with harmonica ace Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) on his KFFA radio program, "King Biscuit Time," and to Hooker's first recording dates. By the mid-'50s Hooker was back in Chicago and fronting his own band. He became a steady figure on the Chicago blues scene, and regularly traveled to cities such as Gary and Indianapolis, Indiana, playing blues clubs. 'Artist Discography'
Earl King - (February 7, 1934 – April 17, 2003), was a singer, guitarist, and songwriter, most active in blues music. Being a composer of well known standards such as "Come On" (covered by Jimi Hendrix), and Professor Longhair's "Big Chief", he is considered to be one of the most important figures in New Orleans R&B music and beyond. King was born with the name Earl Silas Johnson IV in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, a local piano player, died when King was still a baby, and he was brought up by his mother. With his mother, he started going to church at an early age. In his youth he sang gospel music, but took the advice of a friend to switch to blues to make a better living. King started to play guitar at age 15. Soon he started entering talent contests at local clubs including the Dew Drop Inn. It was at one of those clubs where he met his idol Guitar Slim. King started imitating Slim, and his presence gave a big impact on his musical directions. In 1954, when Slim was injured in an automobile accident (right around the time Slim had the #1 R&B hit with "The Things That I Used To Do"), King was deputized to continue Slim's band tour, representing himself as Slim. After succeeding in this role, King became a regular at the Dew Drop Inn . His first recording came in 1953. He released a 78 "Have you Gone Crazy b/w Begging At Your Mercy" on Savoy label as Earl Johnson. The following year, talent scout Johnny Vincent introduced King to Specialty label and he recorded some sides including "Mother's Love" which created a little stir locally. In 1955, King signed with Johnny Vincent's label, Ace. His first single from the label "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights" become huge hit reaching #7 on the R&B chart. He continued to record during his stay at the label which lasted for 5 years, and during the time, he also he started writing songs for other artists such as Roland Stone and Jimmy Clanton. 'Artist Discography'
Elmore James - (January 27, 1918 – May 24, 1963), was an American blues guitarist, singer, song writer and band leader. He was known as The King of the Slide Guitar and had a unique guitar style, noted for his use of loud amplification and his stirring voice. James was born Elmore Brooks in the old Richland community in Holmes County, Mississippi, (not to be confused with two other locations of the same name in Mississippi, one in Humphreys County and the other in Rankin County). He was the illegitimate son of 15-year-old Leola Brooks, a field hand. His father was probably Joe Willie "Frost" James, who moved in with Leola, and so Elmore took this as his name. His parents adopted an orphaned boy, Robert Holston, at some point. Elmore began making music at age 12 using a simple one-string instrument ('diddley bow' or 'jitterbug') strung up on a shack wall. As a teen he was playing at local dances under the names Cleanhead and Joe Willie James. Other well-known musicians of that time, with whom he played, included the 'second' Sonny Boy Williamson, and the legendary Robert Johnson. Although Robert Johnson was murdered in 1938, James (like many other musicians) was strongly influenced by him, and also by Kokomo Arnold and Tampa Red. Elmore recorded several of Tampa's songs, and even inherited from his band two of his famous 'Broomdusters', 'Little' Johnny Jones (piano) and Odie Payne (drums). There is a dispute as to whether Robert Johnson or Elmore wrote James's trademark song, "Dust My Broom".. Elmore was still under 20 when Johnson had recorded his version of the song. 'Artist Discography'
Eric Clapton - born 30 March 1945, is an English blues-rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. He is "probably most famous for his mastery of the Stratocaster guitar."Clapton has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Yardbirds, of Cream, and as a solo performer. Often viewed by critics and fans alike as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Clapton was ranked fourth in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #53 on their list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Although Clapton has varied his musical style throughout his career, it has always remained grounded in the blues. Yet, in spite of this focus, he is credited as an innovator in a wide variety of genres. These include blues-rock (with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds) and psychedelic rock (with Cream). Additionally, Clapton's chart success was not limited to the blues, with chart-toppers in Delta blues (Me and Mr. Johnson), pop ("Change the World") and reggae (Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff"). One of his most successful recordings was the hit love song "Layla," which he played with the band Derek and the Dominos. Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, England, the son of 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton and Edward Walter Fryer, a 24-year-old soldier from Montreal, Quebec, Canada; the two were not married. Fryer shipped off to war prior to Clapton's birth and then returned to Canada. Clapton grew up with his grandmother, Rose, and her second husband Jack, believing they were his parents and that his mother was his older sister. Their surname was Clapp, which has given rise to the widespread but erroneous belief that Clapton's real surname is Clapp (Reginald Cecil Clapton is the name of Rose's first husband, Eric Clapton's maternal grandfather). Years later, his mother married another Canadian soldier, moved to Canada and left young Eric with his grandparents. 'Artist Discography'
Floyd Council - (September 2, 1911–May 9, 1976), was an American blues guitarist and singer. He became a well-known practitioner of the Piedmont blues sound from that area, popular throughout the southeastern region of the US in the 1930s. Born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Harrie and Lizzie Council, Floyd began his musical career on the streets of Chapel Hill in the 1920s, performing with two brothers, Leo and Thomas Strowd as "The Chapel Hillbillies". He recorded twice for ARC at sessions with Blind Boy Fuller in the mid-thirties, all fine examples of the Piedmont style in full bloom. Council suffered a stroke in the late 1960s which partially paralyzed his throat muscles and slowed his motor skills, but didn't cause any damage to his brain. Folklorist Peter B. Lowry attempted to record him one afternoon in 1970 - the results are of historical note only - but he never regained his singing or playing abilities. Accounts say that he remained "quite sharp in mind". Council died in 1976 of a heart attack, after moving to Sanford, North Carolina. 'Artist Discography'
Fred McDowell - (January 12, 1904 - July 3, 1972), often known as Mississippi Fred McDowell, was a blues singer and guitar player in the North Mississippi style. McDowell was born in Rossville, Tennessee, near Memphis. His parents, who were farmers, died when McDowell was a youth. He started playing guitar at the age of 14 and played at dances around Rossville. Wanting a change from ploughing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926 where he worked in a number of jobs and played music for tips. He settled in Como, Mississippi, about 40 miles south of Memphis, in 1940 or 1941, and worked steadily as a farmer, continuing to perform music at dances, and picnics. Initially he played slide guitar using a pocket knife and then a slide made from a beef rib bone, later switching to a glass slide for its clearer sound. He played with the slide on his ring finger. While commonly lumped together with "Delta Blues singers," McDowell actually may be considered the first of the bluesmen from the North Mississippi region - parallel to, but somewhat east of the Delta region - to achieve widespread recognition for his work. A version of the state’s signature musical form somewhat closer in structure to its African roots (often eschewing the chord change for the hypnotic effect of the droning, single chord vamp), the North Mississippi style (or at least its aesthetic) may be heard to have been carried on in the music of such figures as Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside; as well as the jam band The North Mississippi Allstars, while serving as the original impetus behind creation of the Fat Possum record label out of Oxford, Mississippi. 'Artist Discography'
Freddie King - (September 3, 1934 – December 28, 1976), was an influential American blues guitarist and singer best known for his recordings from early 1960s including "Hide Away" and "Have You Ever Loved A Woman". King was born Frederick Christian in Gilmer, Texas on September 3, 1934. His mother was Ella May King, his father J.T. Christian. His mother and uncle, who both played the guitar, began teaching Freddie to play at the age of six. He moved with his family from Texas to the South Side of Chicago in 1950. There, at age 16 he used to sneak in to local clubs, where he heard blues music performed by the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, and Sonny Boy Williamson. Howlin' Wolf took him under his wing, and Freddie also began jamming with Muddy Waters' sidemen, who included Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Lockwood, Jr. and Little Walter. By 1952 he had married a Texas girl, Jessie Burnett. He gigged at night and worked days in a steel mill. He got occasional work as a sideman on recording sessions. Two bands that he played with during this period were the Sonny Cooper Band, and Early Payton's Blues Cats. He formed the first band of his own, the Every Hour Blues Boys, with guitarist Jimmy Lee Robinson and drummer Sonny Scott. In 1953 he made some recordings for Parrot. In 1956 he recorded "Country Boy", a duet with, Margaret Whitfield, and "That's What You Think", an uptempo shuffle. This was for a local label, El-Bee. Robert Lockwood, Jr. appeared as a sideman on guitar. 'Artist Discography'
Furry Lewis - (March 6, 1893 - September 14, 1981), was a country blues guitarist and songwriter from Memphis, Tennessee. Lewis was one of the first of the old-time blues musicians of the 1920s to be brought out of retirement, and given a new lease of recording life, by the folk blues revival of the 1960s. Walter E. Lewis was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, but his family moved to Memphis when he was aged seven. Lewis acquired the nickname "Furry" from childhood playmates. But by the time he was re-discovered in the 1950s not even Furry himself could remember why. By 1908, he was playing solo for parties, in taverns, and on the street. He also was invited to play several dates with W. C. Handy's Orchestra. The loss of a leg in a railroad accident in 1917 does not seem to have slowed his life or career down — in fact, it hastened his entry into professional music, because he assumed that there was no gainful employment open to crippled, uneducated blacks in Memphis. His travels exposed him to a wide variety of performers including Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Slow Blind Driveway, and Texas Alexander. Like his contemporary Frank Stokes, he tired of the road and took a permanent job in 1922. His position as a street sweeper for the City of Memphis, a job he would hold until his retirement in 1966, allowed him to remain active in the Memphis music scene. In 1927, Lewis cut his first records in Chicago for the Vocalion label. A year later he recorded for the Victor label at the Memphis Auditorium in a session that saw sides waxed by the Memphis Jug Band, Jim Jackson, Frank Stokes, and others. He again recorded for Vocalion in Memphis in 1929. The tracks were mostly blues but included two-part versions of "Casey Jones" and "John Henry". He sometimes fingerpicked, sometimes played with a slide. Lewis' style of Memphis blues was in many ways typical of the songsters who operated in and around Memphis in the 1920s, for whom the value of a song was the story it told, and who tended to back their words with hypnotic repetitive riffs and subtle slide guitars. 'Artist Discography'
Gary Davis - Reverend Gary Davis, also Blind Gary Davis, (April 30, 1896 – May 5, 1972), was a blues and gospel singer and guitarist. His unique finger-picking style influenced many other artists and his students in New York City included Stefan Grossman, David Bromberg, Roy Book Binder, Woody Mann, Nick Katzman, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Winslow, and Ernie Hawkins. He has influenced the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Wizz Jones, Jorma Kaukonen, Keb Mo, Ollabelle and Resurrection Band. Born in Laurens, South Carolina, Davis became blind at a very young age. He took to the guitar and assumed a unique multi-voice style produced solely with his thumb and index finger, playing not only ragtime and blues tunes, but also traditional and original tunes in four-part harmony. Bull City Blues, Durham, North Carolina In the mid-1920s, Davis migrated to Durham, North Carolina, a major center for black culture at the time. There he collaborated with a number of other artists in the Piedmont blues scene including Blind Boy Fuller and Bull City Red. In 1935, J. B. Long, a store manager with a reputation for supporting local artists, introduced Davis, Fuller and Red to the American Record Company. The subsequent recording sessions marked the real beginning of Davis' career. During his time in Durham, Davis converted to Christianity; he would later become ordained as a Baptist minister. Following his conversion and especially his ordination, Davis began to express a preference for inspirational gospel music. In the 1940s, the blues scene in Durham began to decline and Davis migrated to New York City. By the 1960s, he had become known as the "Harlem Street Singer" and also acquired a reputation as the person to see if you wanted to learn to play guitar. As a teacher, Davis was exceptionally patient and thorough, making sure students would learn and adapt his original left-hand fingerings. 'Artist Discography'
Gary Moore - (April 1952 - February 2011), is a Northern Irish guitarist. In a career dating back to the 1960s, he has played with artists including Thin Lizzy, Colosseum II, Greg Lake and the Blues-rock band Skid Row, as well as having a successful solo career. Among many cameo appearances over the years, he performed the lead guitar solo on "She's My Baby" from Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3. Moore grew up on a road opposite Stormont, off the Upper Newtownards Road in east Belfast and started performing at a young age, having picked up a battered acoustic guitar at the age of eight, and got his first quality guitar at the age of fourteen, learning to play the right-handed instrument in the standard way despite being left-handed. Like so many others, Moore's early influences were artists such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Later, having seen Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in his home town of Belfast, his own style was developing into a blues-rock sound that would come to dominate his career. His largest influence in the early days came from Peter Green, of Fleetwood Mac fame, who acted as a mentor when Moore was playing in Dublin. Green continued to influence Moore, and Moore later paid tribute to Green in his 1995 album Blues for Greeny, an album consisting entirely of Peter Green compositions. On the album Moore played Peter Green's celebrated 1959 Les Paul standard guitar which Green had loaned to Moore after leaving Fleetwood Mac. Moore ultimately purchased the guitar, at Green's request, so that "it would have a good home". Gary Moore has remained relatively unknown in the US, although his work has "brought substantial acclaim and commercial success in most other parts of the world - especially in Europe". 'Artist Discography'
Hound Dog Taylor - Theodore Roosevelt "Hound Dog" Taylor (April 12, 1915 - December 17, 1975) was an American blues guitarist and singer. "Hound Dog" Taylor was born in Natchez, Mississippi, around 1915 . He originally played piano, but began playing guitar when he was 20 and moved to Chicago in 1942. He became a full-time musician around 1957 but remained unknown outside of the Chicago area, where he played small clubs in the black neighborhoods and also at the open-air Maxwell Street Market. He was known for his electrified slide guitar playing, his cheap Japanese guitars, and his raucous boogie beats. He was also famed among guitar players for having six fingers on his left hand. After hearing Taylor with his band, the HouseRockers (consisting of Brewer Phillips, second guitar, and Ted Harvey, drums) in 1970 at Florence's Lounge on Chicago's South Side, an idealistic young white man named Bruce Iglauer attempted unsuccessfully to get him signed by his employer, Delmark Records. Iglauer then decided to form a small record label with a $2500 inheritance and recorded Taylor's debut album, Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers, on his fledgling Alligator Records in 1971. It was the first release on Alligator records, now a major blues label. It was recorded live in studio in just two nights. Iglauer began managing and booking the band, which toured nationwide and performed with stars like Muddy Waters and Big Mama Thornton. The band became particularly popular in the Boston area, where Hound Dog inspired a young protege named George Thorogood. 'Artist Discography'
Howlin' Wolf - Chester Arthur Burnett has probably had more impact worldwide than the 19th-century American president after whom he was named. With a musical influence that extends from the rockabilly singers of the 1950s and the classic rock stars of the 1960s to the grunge groups of the 1990s and the punk-blues bands of the 21st century, plus a legion of imitators to rival Elvis’s, he was one of the greatest and most influential blues singers ever. Chester Burnett was born to Leon “Dock” Burnett and Gertrude Jones on June 10, 1910, in White Station, Mississippi, a tiny railroad stop between Aberdeen and West Point in the Mississippi hill country, many miles away from the Delta. Fascinated by music as a boy, he would often beat on pans with a stick and imitate the whistle of the railroad trains that ran nearby. He also sang in the choir at the White Station Baptist church. 'Artist Discography'
JJ Cale - born John W. Cale on December 5, 1938, is a Grammy Award-winning American songwriter and musician best known for writing two songs that Eric Clapton made famous, "After Midnight" and "Cocaine", as well as the Lynyrd Skynyrd hits "Call Me the Breeze" and " I Got the Same Old Blues". Some sources incorrectly give his real name as "Jean Jacques Cale". In fact, a Sunset Strip nightclub owner employing Cale in the mid-1960s came up with the "J.J." moniker to avoid confusion with the Velvet Underground's John Cale. In the 2006 documentary, To Tulsa and Back: On Tour with J. J. Cale, Rocky Frisco tells the same version of the story mentioning the other John Cale but without further detail. Cale is one of the originators of the Tulsa Sound, a very loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz influences. Cale's personal style has often been described as "laid back", and is characterized by shuffle rhythms, simple chord changes, understated vocals, and clever, incisive lyrics. Cale is also a very distinctive and idiosyncratic guitarist, incorporating both Travis-like fingerpicking and gentle, meandering electric solos. His recordings also reflect his stripped-down, laid-back ethos; his album versions are usually quite succinct and often recorded entirely by Cale alone, using drum machines for rhythm accompaniment. Live, however, as evidenced on his 2001 Live album and 2006 To Tulsa And Back film, he and his band regularly stretch the songs out and improvise heavily. 'Artist Discography'
Jackie Neal - Jacqueline "Jazzy Jackie" Neal, (July 7, 1967 – March 10, 2005), was a Southern Soul/Blues singer who was very popular in Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama and all surrounding Southern states. Prior to her very untimely death, she had completed four albums: The Blues Won't Let You Go (1995), Lookin For a Sweet Thang (2000), Money Can't Buy Me Love (2002) and Down In Da Club (2005). Flamboyant and full of life, Jackie was a crowdpleaser like no other and she is greatly missed by family and fans alike.. She was fatally shot by a scorned ex-boyfriend in March of 2005. 'Artist Discography'
Jackie Washington - born 12 November 1919, is a legendary Canadian blues musician. In addition to his own albums, he has appeared on recordings by Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot. He has also been a regular performer at many Canadian folk and blues festivals, several of which have named awards in his honour. Jackie comes from a large family of musicians, including his brothers Reg (Hammond B3) and Dickie (drums) Washington (now both deceased), who played with saxophonist Freddie Purser for many years during the 1970s and 1980s at the Windsor and Royal taverns in Hamilton. He was nominated for a Juno Award in 1993 for Best Roots & Traditional Album, along with Ken Whiteley and Mose Scarlett, for their album Where Old Friends Meet. In 1995 Washington was inducted into Hamilton's Gallery of Distinction. 'Artist Discography'
James Cotton - born July 1, 1935, is an American blues harmonica player, singer, and songwriter who is the bandleader for the James Cotton Blues Band. He also writes songs alone, and his solo career continues to this day. His work includes the following genres: blues, delta blues, harmonica blues, and electric harmonica blues. Cotton became interested in music when he first heard Sonny Boy Williamson II on the radio. He left home to find Williamson in West Helena, Arkansas. For many years Cotton claimed that he told Williamson that he was an orphan, and that Williamson Boy took him in and raised him; a story he admitted in recent years is not true. Williamson did however mentor Cotton during his early years. When Williamson left the south to live with his estranged wife in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he left his band in Cotton's hands. Cotton was quoted as saying, "He just gave it to me. But I couldn't hold it together 'cause I was too young and crazy in those days an' everybody in the band was grown men, so much older than me." While he played a few instruments, Cotton was famous for his work on the harmonica. Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howling Wolf's band in the early 1950s. He made his first recordings as a solo artist for the Sun Records label in Memphis, Tennessee in 1953. Cotton began to work with the Muddy Waters Band around 1955. He performed songs such as "Got My Mojo Working" and "She's Nineteen Years Old", although he did not appear on the original recordings; long-time Muddy Waters harmonica player Little Walter was utilized on most of Muddy's recording sessions in the 1950s. Cotton's first recording session with Waters took place in June 1957, and he would alternate with Little Walter on Muddy's recording sessions until the end of the decade, and thereafter until he left to form his own band. In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, utilizing Otis Spann on piano to record between gigs with Waters' band. Their performances were captured by producer Samuel Charters on volume two of the Vanguard recording Chicago/The Blues/Today!. After leaving Muddy's band in 1966, Cotton toured with Janis Joplin while pursuing a solo career. He formed the James Cotton Blues Band in 1967. They mainly performed their own arrangements of popular blues and R&B material from the 1950s and 1960s. Two albums were recorded live in Montreal that year. 'Artist Discography'
Janis Joplin - Janis Lyn Joplin was born January 19, 1943 and died October 4, 1970. Joplin was born at St. Mary's Hospital in Port Arthur, Texas. The daughter of Seth Joplin, a worker of Texaco, she had two younger siblings, Michael and Laura. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith, Odetta, and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. Joplin graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur in 1960 and went to college at the University of Texas in Austin, though she never completed a degree. It was at Thomas Jefferson High that she started listening to and singing blues with her friends. Joplin styled herself in part after her female blues heroines, and in part after the beat poets. She joined Big Brother and The Holding Company in 1966,a band that was gaining some popularity with the Haight Ashbury crowd.. The band signed a deal with independent Mainstream Records and recorded an album in 1967. However, the lack of success of
their early singles led to the album being withheld until after their subsequent success. The band's big break came with their performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, which included a version of Big Mama Thornton's "Ball and Chain". Their 1968 album Cheap Thrills featured more raw emotional performances and together with the Monterey performance, it made Joplin into one of the leading musical stars of the late Sixties.
After splitting from Big Brother, she formed a new backup group, modeled on the classic soul revue bands, named the Kozmic Blues Band, which backed her on I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! (1969: the year she played at Woodstock). The Kozmic Blues Band was indifferently received and soon broke up, and Joplin then formed what was probably her best backing group, Full Tilt Boogie. The result was the posthumously released Pearl (1971). It became the biggest selling album of her short career and featured her biggest hit single, the definitive cover version of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee", as well as the a capella "Mercedes-Benz", written by Joplin and beat poet Michael McClure. 'Artist Discography'
Jay McShann - (January 12 1916 – December 7 2006), was an American blues and swing pianist, bandleader, and singer. He was born James Columbus McShann in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Musically, his 'real education came from Earl Hines' late-night broadcasts from Chicago's Grand Terrace Ballroom. . He began working as a professional musician in 1931, performing around Tulsa, Oklahoma and neighboring Arkansas. He moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1936, and set up his own big band, which featured Charlie Parker (from 1937 to 1942), Bernard Anderson, Ben Webster and Walter Brown. Although they included both swing and blues numbers, the band played blues on most of its records; its most popular recording was "Confessin' the Blues." The group disbanded when McShann was drafted into the Army in 1944, and he was unable to successfully restart it when he got out. After World War II McShann began to lead small groups featuring blues shouter Jimmy Witherspoon. Witherspoon started recording with McShann in 1945, and fronting McShann's band, and had a hit in 1949 with "Ain't Nobody's Business." As well as writing much material, Witherspoon continued recording with McShann's band, which also featured Ben Webster, until 1951, whence McShann then played in obscurity until 1969. McShann then became popular as a singer as well as a pianist, often performing with Claude Williams. He continued recording and touring through the 1990s. Well into his 80's, McShann still performed occasionally, particularly in the Kansas City area and Toronto, Ontario. 'Artist Discography'
Jeff Healey - ( March 25, 1966 – March 2, 2008), was a blind Canadian jazz and blues-rock guitarist and vocalist. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Jeff Healey was raised in the city's west end. He was adopted as an infant; his adoptive father was a firefighter. When he was eight months old, Healey lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given artificial replacements. After living cancer-free for 38 years, he developed sarcoma in his legs. Despite surgery for this, the sarcoma spread to his lungs and ultimately was the cause of his death. Healey began playing guitar when he was three, developing his unique style of playing the instrument flat on his lap. When he was 17, he formed the band Blue Direction, a four-piece band which primarily played bar-band cover tunes. Among the other musicians were bassist Jeremy Littler, drummer Graydon Chapman, and a schoolmate, Rob Quail on second guitar. This band played various local clubs in Toronto, including the Colonial Tavern. Shortly thereafter he was introduced to two musicians, bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen, with whom he formed a trio. This new band made their first public appearance at The Birds Nest, located upstairs at Chicago's Diner on Queen Street West in Toronto. They received a write-up in Toronto's NOW magazine, and soon were playing almost nightly in local clubs, such as Grossman's Tavern and the famed blues club Albert's Hall (where Jeff Healey was discovered by guitar virtuosos Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins). On March 2, 2008 Healey died of cancer at St. Joseph's Health Centre in his home town of Toronto; he was 41. His death came a month before the release of his new album, Mess of Blues, which was his first rock album in 8 years. 'Artist Discography'
Jesse Fuller - (March 12, 1896 — January 29, 1976), was an American one-man band musician, best known for his song "San Francisco Bay Blues". Fuller was born in Jonesboro, Georgia, near to Atlanta. He was sent by his mother to live with foster parents when he was a young child, in a rural setting where he was badly mistreated. Growing up, he worked a multitude of jobs: grazing cows for ten cents a day, working in a barrel factory, a broom factory, a rock quarry, on a railroad and a streetcar company, shining shoes, and even peddling hand-carved wooden snakes. He came west and in the 1920s worked briefly as a film extra in The Thief of Bagdad and East of Suez. Eventually he settled in Oakland, California, across the bay from San Francisco, where he worked for the Southern Pacific railroad. During World War II, he worked as a shipyard welder, but when the war ended he found it increasingly difficult to find work, especially because of being black. Around the early 1950s, Fuller's thoughts turned toward the possibility of making a living playing music. Up to this point, Fuller had never worked professionally as a musician, but had certainly been exposed to music, and had learned to play guitar and picked up quite a number of songs: country blues, work songs, ballads, spirituals and instrumentals. And he had carried his guitar with him and played for money by passing the hat. When he decided to try to work as a professional, he found it hard to find other musicians to work with: thus was his one-man-band act born. Starting locally, in clubs and bars in San Francisco and across the bay in Oakland and Berkeley, Fuller became more widely known when he performed on television in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and in 1958 his recording career started with his first album on the Good Time Jazz record label. Fuller's instruments included 12-string guitar, harmonica, kazoo, cymbal (high-hat) and fotdella, several of which could be played simultaneously. 'Artist Discography'
Jimmy Reed - ( September 6, 1925 - August 29, 1976), There's simply no sound in the blues as easily digestible, accessible, instantly recognizable and as easy to play and sing as the music of Jimmy Reed. His best-known songs -- "Baby, What You Want Me to Do," "Bright Lights, Big City," "Honest I Do," "You Don't Have to Go," "Going to New York," "Ain't That Lovin' You Baby" and "Big Boss Man" -- have become such an integral part of the standard blues repertoire, it's almost as if they have existed forever. Because his style was simple and easily imitated, his songs were accessible to just about everyone from high school garage bands having a go at it to Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams, Jr., and the Rolling Stones, making him -- in the long run -- perhaps the most influential bluesman of all. 'Artist Discography'
Jimmy Rogers - (June 3, 1924 – December 19,1997), was a blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, best known for his work as a member of Muddy Waters' band of the 1950s. Jimmy Rogers was born James A. Lane in Ruleville, Mississippi, and was raised in Atlanta and Memphis. He adapted the professional surname "Rogers" from his stepfather's last name. Rogers learned the harmonica alongside his childhood friend Snooky Pryor, and as a teenager took up the guitar and played professionally in East St. Louis, Illinois (where he played with Robert Lockwood, Jr., among others), before moving to Chicago in the mid 1940s. By 1946 he had recorded his first record as a harmonica player and singer for the local Harlem record label (not to be confused with the New York based label of the same name), although his name was not included on the label — the record was issued under the names "Memphis Slim and his Houserockers". Rogers joined Muddy Waters the next year, with whom he helped shape the sound of the nascent Chicago Blues style. Although he had several successful releases of his own on Chess Records beginning in 1950 with "That's Alright", he stayed with Waters' until leaving his band for a solo career in 1954. In the mid 1950s he enjoyed several successful record releases on the Chess label, most notably "Walking By Myself", but as the 1950s drew to a close and interest in the blues waned, he gradually withdrew from the music industry. In the early 1960s he worked as a member of Howling Wolf's band, before finally withdrawing from the music business altogether for almost a decade. He worked as a cab driver and owned a clothing store, until his store was burned in the Chicago riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. He gradually began performing in public again, and in 1971 when fashions made him a reasonable draw in Europe, Rogers began occasionally touring and recording again, including a 1977 reunion session with his old bandleader Waters. By 1982, Rogers was again a full-time solo artist. In 1995 Rogers was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. He continued touring and recording albums until his death in 1997, in Chicago. 'Artist Discography'
Jimmy Witherspoon - (August 8, 1920 – September 18, 1997), was an American blues singer. James Witherspoon was born in Gurdon, Arkansas. He first attracted attention singing with Teddy Weatherford's band in Calcutta, India, which made regular radio broadcasts over the U. S. Armed Forces Radio Service during World War II. Witherspoon made his first records with Jay McShann's band in 1945. In 1949, recording under his own name with the McShann band, he had his first hit, "Ain't Nobody's Business", a song which came to be regarded as his signature tune. In 1950 he had hits with two more songs closely identified with him: "No Rollin' Blues" and "Big Fine Girl". Another classic Witherspoon composition is "Times Gettin' Tougher Than Tough". Witherspoon's style of blues - that of the "blues shouter" - became unfashionable in the mid-1950s, but he returned to popularity with his 1959 album, Jimmy Witherspoon at the Monterey Jazz Festival. 'Artist Discography'
John Chatman (Memphis Slim) - (September 3, 1915 – February 24, 1988), was a blues pianist, singer, and composer. He led a series of bands that, reflecting the popular appeal of jump-blues, included saxophones, bass, drums, and piano. His 1952 composition "Every Day I Have the Blues" was recorded by Joe Williams, and Lowell Fulson, B. B. King, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Natalie Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Mahalia Jackson, Sarah Vaughan, Carlos Santana, Lou Rawls, John Mayer to name a few. He cut over 500 recordings and influenced blues pianists that followed him for decades. His birth name was John Len Chatman, although he claimed to have been born Peter Chatman. His father Peter Chatman sang, played piano and guitar, and operated juke joints. It is commonly believed, though, that he took the name to honor his father, Peter Chatman Sr., when he first recorded for Okeh Records in 1940. Although he performed under the name Memphis Slim for most of his career, he continued to publish songs under the name Peter Chatman. He spent most of the 1930s performing in honky-tonks, dance halls, and gambling joints in Memphis, Arkansas, and southern Missouri. He settled in Chicago in 1937, shortly after teamed with Big Bill Broonzy in clubs. In the late 1940s he recorded two songs for Bluebird Records that became part of his repertoire for decades, "Beer Drinking Woman," and "Grinder Man Blues," which were released under the name "Memphis Slim," given to him by Bluebird's producer, Lester Melrose. Slim became a regular session musician for Bluebird, and his piano talents supported established stars such as John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Washboard Sam, and Jazz Gillum. In particular, many of Slim's recordings and performances until the mid-1940s were with guitarist and singer Broonzy, who had recruited Slim to be his piano player after Josh Altheimer's death in 1940. 'Artist Discography'
John Lee Hooker - (August 22, 1917 – June 21, 2001), was an influential American post-war blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter born in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi. From a musical family, he was a cousin of Earl Hooker. John was also influenced by his stepfather, a local blues guitarist, who learned in Shreveport, Louisiana to play a droning, one-chord blues that was strikingly different from the Delta blues of the time. John developed a half-spoken style that was his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta blues, his music was rhythmically free. John Lee Hooker could be said to embody his own unique genre of the blues, often incorporating the boogie-woogie piano style and a driving rhythm into his masterful and idiosyncratic blues guitar and singing. His best known songs include "Boogie Chillen" (1948) and "Boom Boom" (1962). Hooker was born on August 22, 1917 in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi, the youngest of the eleven children of William Hooker (1871–1923), a sharecropper and a Baptist preacher, and Minnie Ramsey . Hooker and his siblings were home-schooled. They were permitted to listen only to religious songs, with his earliest musical exposure being the spirituals sung in church. In 1921, his parents separated. The next year, his mother married William Moore, a blues singer who provided John's first introduction to the guitar (and whom John would later credit for his distinctive playing style). The year after that (1923), John's natural father died; and at age 15, John ran away from home, never to see his mother and stepfather again. Throughout the 1930s, Hooker lived in Memphis where he worked on Beale Street and occasionally performed at house parties. He worked in factories in various cities during World War II, drifting until he found himself in Detroit in 1948 working at Ford Motor Company. He felt right at home near the blues venues and saloons on Hastings Street, the heart of black entertainment on Detroit's east side. In a city noted for its piano players, guitar players were scarce. Performing in Detroit clubs, his popularity grew quickly, and seeking a louder instrument than his crude acoustic guitar, he bought his first electric guitar. 'Artist Discography'
John P. Hammond - John P. Hammond (born John Paul Hammond, 13 November 1942, New York, is a blues singer and guitarist. He is the son of the famed record producer and talent scout John Henry Hammond, Jr, which makes him a great-great-grandson of William Henry Vanderbilt and a member of the Vanderbilt family. Hammond usually plays acoustic and National Reso-Phonic guitars and sings in a barrelhouse style. Since 1962, when he made his debut on Vanguard Records, Hammond has made twenty nine albums. In the 1990s he recorded for the Pointblank record label. Hammond has earned one Grammy Award and been nominated for four others. Although critically acclaimed, Hammond has received only moderate commercial success. Nonetheless, he enjoys a strong fan base and has earned respect from the likes of John Lee Hooker, Roosevelt Sykes, Duane Allman, Robbie Robertson, and Charlie Musselwhite, all of whom have contributed their musical talents to Hammond's records. In addition, he is the only person who ever had both Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix in his band at the same time, even if it was only for five days in the 1960s when Hammond played The Gaslight Cafe in New York. To his regret, they never recorded together. Hammond also deserves some credit for helping boost The Band to wider recognition: he recorded with several of their musicians in 1965, and recommended them to Bob Dylan, with whom they undertook a famed and tumultuous world tour. 'Artist Discography'
John Mayall - born 29 November 1933, is a pioneering English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His musical career spans over fifty years but the most notable episode in it occurred during the late '60s. He was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and has been influential in the careers of many instrumentalists, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond, Jon Mark, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya, and Buddy Whittington. Mayall's father was Murray Mayall, a guitarist and jazz music enthusiast. From an early age, he was drawn to the sounds of American blues players such as Leadbelly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, and taught himself to play the piano, guitars, and harmonica. Mayall served three years of national service in Korea and, during a period of leave, he bought his first electric guitar. Back in Manchester he enrolled at Manchester College of Art, now part of Manchester Metropolitan University, and started playing with semi-professional bands. After graduation he obtained a job as an art designer but continued to play with local musicians. In 1963 he opted for a full time musical career and moved to London. His previous craft was put to good use in the designing of covers for many of his own albums. John Mayall married twice and has six grand-children. Mrs Maggie Mayall is an American blues performer and since the early 1980s takes an active part in the management of her husband's career. In 2005 Mayall was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Honours List. 'Artist Discography'
Johnny "Guitar" Watson - (February 3, 1935 - May 17, 1996) was an American musician whose long career influenced the development of blues, soul music, rhythm & blues, funk, rock music, and hip-hop music. John Watson, Jr. was born in Houston, Texas. His father John Sr. was a pianist, and taught his son the instrument. But young Watson was immediately attracted to the sound of the guitar, in particular the electric guitar as practiced by the "axe men" of Texas: T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. His grandfather, a preacher, was also musical. "My grandfather used to sing while he'd play guitar in church, man," Watson reflected many years later. When Johnny was 11, his grandfather offered to give him a guitar if, and only if, the boy didn't play any of the "devil's music"--blues. Watson agreed, but "that was the first thing I did." A musical prodigy, Watson played with Texas bluesmen Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland. His parents separated in 1950, when he was 15. His mother moved to Los Angeles, and took Johnny with her. In his new city, Watson won several local talent shows. This led to his employment, while still a teenager, with Jump blues style bands such as Chuck Higgins's Mellotones and Amos Milburn. He worked as a vocalist, pianist, and guitarist. He quickly made a name for himself in the African-American juke joints of the West Coast, where he was billed as "Young John Watson" until 1954. That year, he saw the Sterling Hayden film "Johnny Guitar," and a new stage name was born. He affected a swaggering, yet humorous personality, indulging a taste for flashy clothes and wild showmanship on stage. His "attacking" style of playing, without a plectrum, resulted in him often needing to change the strings on his guitar once or twice a show. 'Artist Discography'
Johnny Otis - (born John Alexander Veliotes on December 28, 1921 ) is an American blues and rhythm and blues pianist, vibraphonist, drummer, singer, bandleader, and impresario. Johnny Otis was one of the most prominent white figures in the history of Rhythm and Blues. After playing in a variety of swing orchestras, including Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders, he founded his own band in 1945 and had one of the most enduring hits of the big band era, "Harlem Nocturne". This band played with Wynonie Harris and Charles Brown. In 1947 he and Bardu Ali opened the Barrelhouse Club in the Watts district of Los Angeles. He reduced the size of his band and hired singers Mel Walker, Little Esther Phillips and the Robins (who later became the Coasters). He discovered the teenaged Phillips when she won one of the Barrelhouse Club's talent shows. With this band, which toured extensively throughout the United States as the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, he had a long string of rhythm and blues hits through 1950. He has remained active in his recording studio and has put out 6 CD's on his label since the mid-nineties. 'Artist Discography'
Johnny Shines - (April 26, 1915 – April 20, 1992) was an American blues singer and guitarist. He was born John Ned Shines in Frayser, Tennessee. He spent most of his childhood in Memphis playing slide guitar at an early age in local “jukes” and for tips on the streets. His first musical influences were Blind Lemon Jefferson and Howlin’ Wolf, but he was taught to play the guitar by his mother. Shines moved to Hughes, Arkansas in 1932 and worked on farms for three years putting his musical career on hold. Shines began traveling with Johnson, touring the south and heading as far north as Ontario where they appeared on a local radio program. The two went their separate ways in 1937, one year before Johnson's death. Shines played throughout the U.S. South until 1941 when he decided to return to Canada and then to Africa. He never made it past Chicago. In Chicago, Shines found work in the construction trade and continued to play in local bars. He made his first recording in 1946 for Columbia Records, but the takes were never released. He later recorded for Chess and was once again denied release. He kept playing with notable blues musicians in the Chicago area for several more years. In 1952, Shines recorded what is considered his best work for the J.O.B. Records record label. The recordings were a commercial failure and Shines, frustrated with the music industry, sold his equipment and returned to construction. 'Artist Discography'
Johnny Winter - John Dawson "Johnny" Winter III (born on 23 February 1944 in Beaumont, Texas, USA) is an American blues guitarist, singer and producer. He is the first son of John and Edwina Winter who were very much responsible for both Johnny's and younger brother Edgar Winter's early musical awareness. Both Johnny and Edgar have albinism. Johnny began performing at an early age with Edgar. His recording career began at the age of 15, when their band Johnny and the Jammers released "School Day Blues" on a Houston record label. During this same period, he was able to see performances by classic blues artists such as Muddy Waters, B. B. King and Bobby Bland. In 1968, Winter began playing in a trio with bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner. An article in Rolling Stone magazine written by Larry Sepulvado helped generate interest in the group. The album Johnny Winter was released near the end of that year. 'Artist Discography'
Jonny Lang - born Jon Gordon Langseth, Jr., January 29, 1981, is a Grammy Award-winning American blues and gospel singer. Lang released his first album, Smokin, in 1995 at the age of 13, under the name Kid Jonny Lang & The Big Bang. The following year, Lang released his debut solo album, Lie to Me. Lang's music is noted for his singing, which has been compared to that of a 40 year old blues veteran, and for his guitar solos. Lang is a popular live performer as well as a recording artist. Lang started playing the guitar at the age of twelve, after his father took him to see the Bad Medicine Blues Band, one of the few blues bands in Fargo. Lang soon started taking guitar lessons from Ted Larsen, the Bad Medicine Blues Band's guitar player. Several months after Lang started guitar lessons, he joined the Bad Medicine Blues Band, which was then renamed Kid Jonny Lang & The Big Bang. The band moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and independently released the album Smokin. Lang was signed to A&M Records in 1996. He released the critically acclaimed multi-platinum Lie to Me on January 28, 1997. The next album, Wander This World, was released on October 20, 1998 and earned a Grammy nomination. This was followed by the more soulful Long Time Coming on October 14, 2003. Lang also made a cover of Edgar Winter's "Dying to Live." Lang's newest album, the gospel-influenced Turn Around, was released in 2006, and most recently won Lang his first Grammy Award. In more than ten years on the road, Lang has toured with the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Blues Traveler, Jeff Beck, and Sting. In 1999, he was invited to play for a White House audience including President and Mrs. Clinton. Lang also makes a cameo appearance in the film Blues Brothers 2000 as a janitor. In 2004 Eric Clapton asked Lang to play at the Crossroads Guitar Festival to raise money for the Crossroads Centre Antigua. 'Artist Discography'
Joseph Spence - ( August, 1910 - died March 18, 1984), was a Bahamian guitarist and singer. He is well known for his vocalizations and humming while performing on guitar. Several modern folk, blues and jazz musicians, including Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, Woody Mann, Olu Dara, and John Renbourn were influenced by and have recorded variations of his arrangements of gospel and Bahamian songs. The earliest recordings of Joseph Spence were made on Spence's porch by folk musicologist Samuel Charters. These were released by Folkways Records. Spence played a steel-string acoustic guitar, and nearly all of his recorded songs employ guitar accompaniment in a Drop D tuning, where the sixth string is tuned to a D below the normal E, so that the guitar sounds, from sixth to first D A D G B E. The power of his playing derives from moving bass lines and interior voices and a driving beat that he emphasizes with foot tapping. To this mix he adds blues coloration and calypso rhythms to achieve a unique and easily identifiable sound. 'Artist Discography'
Junior Lockwood - (March 27, 1915 - November 21, 2006), in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas, a farming hamlet about 25 miles west of Helena. 1915 was remarkable because several other monumental blues artists were born within a 100-mile radius that year; notably Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Little Walter Jacobs, Memphis Slim, Johnny Shines, and Honeyboy Edwards. They would all meet up in the future. His first musical lessons were on the family pump organ. He learned the guitar, at age eleven, from Robert Johnson, the mysterious delta bluesman, who was living with his mother. From Johnson, Lockwood learned chords, timing, and stage presence. By the age of fifteen, Robert was playing professionally, often with Johnson; sometimes with Johnny Shines or Rice Miller, who would soon be calling himself Sonny Boy Williamson II. They would play fish fries, juke joints, and street corners. Once Johnson played one side of the Sunflower River, while Lockwood manned the other bank. The people of Clarksville, Mississippi were milling around the bridge; they couldn’t tell which guitarist was Robert Johnson. Young Lockwood had learned Johnson’s techniques very well. In the late 1960s Lockwood would gig all around Cleveland, playing whenever he got the chance. Long-forgotten clubs like Pirates Cove and Brothers Lounge were places where Lockwood taught his blues to generations of local musicians and fans. Lockwood’s solo recording career, exclusive of the 1941 Bluebird Sessions, began in 1970 with Delmark’s Steady Rollin’ Man, backed by old friends Louis Myers, his brother Dave Myers, and Fred Below, collectively known as The Aces. 'Artist Discography'
Junior Parker - (May 27, 1932–November 18, 1971), was a successful and influential Memphis blues singer and musician. He is best remembered for his unique voice which has been described as "honeyed," and "velvet-smooth". He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001. Parker was exceptionally versatile -- whether delivering "Mother-in-Law Blues" and "Sweet Home Chicago" in faithful down-home fashion, courting the teenage market with "Barefoot Rock," or tastefully howling Harold Burrage's "Crying for My Baby" (another hit for him in 1965) in front of a punchy horn section, Parker was the consummate modern blues artist, with one foot planted in Southern blues and the other in uptown R&B. 'Artist Discography'
Junior Wells - (December 9, 1934 – January 15, 1998), born Amos Blakemore, was a blues vocalist and harmonica player based in Chicago who was famous for playing with Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison among others.Born in Memphis, Wells learned his earliest harp licks from another future legend, Little Junior Parker, before he came to Chicago at age 12. In 1950, the teenager passed an impromptu audition for guitarists Louis and David Myers at a house party on the South side, and the Deuces were born. When drummer Fred Below came aboard, they changed their name to the Aces. 'Artist Discography'
Kansas Joe McCoy - (May 11, 1905–January 28, 1950), was an African American blues musician. Joe McCoy played music under a variety of stage names but is best known as "Kansas Joe McCoy." Born in Raymond, Mississippi, he was the older brother of blues accompanist Papa Charlie McCoy. As a young man, he was drawn to the music scene in Memphis, Tennessee where he played guitar and sang vocals during the 1920s. He teamed up with future wife Lizzie Douglas, a brilliant guitarist known as Memphis Minnie, and their 1929 recording of a song called "Bumble Bee" on the Columbia Records label was a hit. In 1930, the couple moved to Chicago where they were an important part of the burgeoning blues scene. Following their divorce, McCoy teamed up with his brother to form a band known as the "Harlem Hamfats" that performed and recorded during the second half of the 1930s. At the outbreak of World War II Charlie McCoy entered the military but a heart condition kept Joe McCoy from service. Out on his own, he created a band known as "Big Joe and His Rhythm" that performed together throughout most of the 1940s. In 1950, at the age of 44, Joe McCoy died of heart disease only a few months before his brother Charlie. They are buried in Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. 'Artist Discography'
Kenny Neal - Neal, born in New Orleans and raised in Baton Rouge, began playing music at a very young age, learning the basics from his father, singer and blues harmonica player, Raful Neal. Family friends like Lazy Lester, Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo also contributed to Kenny’s early musical education. In fact, it was Harpo who gave the crying three-year-old a harmonica to pacify him. Kenny stopped crying that day, and eventually learned to play the harmonica. Along the way, he also mastered the bass, trumpet, piano and guitar. At 13, he joined his father’s band and began paying his musical dues. Four years later, he was recruited and toured extensively as Buddy Guy’s bass player. Signing with Alligator Records in 1988, Kenny began releasing a series of consistently lauded albums featuring his laid-back, Baton Rouge blues, with a modern spin on the Louisiana sound he grew up with. After his impressive run with Alligator, Kenny switched to Telarc, and continued to release albums highlighting his developing skills as a songwriter. 'Artist Discography'
Keri Leigh - born Apr 21, 1969 in Birmingham, Alabama, Texas blues maven Keri Leigh has spent the better part of her young life as a revivalist of the blues, whether by singing them, writing about them, or just plain living them. She can take traditional blues from the Mississippi Delta, Texas, or Chicago and through her unique interpretation, bring a contemporary, modern feel to each style. Keri sings passionately from her heart and soul, in a time-honored tradition of blues greats before her. She can best be described as the best thing to come out of aTexas since Janis Joplin. 'Artist Discography'
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - born Kenny Wayne Brobst Jr., June 12, 1977, is an American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. Shepherd attended Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport, Louisiana. Self-taught, he began playing at age seven, learning Muddy Waters licks from his father's record collection. At the age of 13, he was invited onstage by the New Orleans bluesman Bryan Lee. After proving his abilities, he decided on music as a career. Early on, Kenny was linked by his father, Ken Sr., to National Artists Management in Los Angeles, California. National Artists was part of a North American radio marketing agency that worked with hundreds of major label acts. The management team carried Shepherd's demo on cassette to Warner Brothers that signed him into his first major label record deal. Kenny's father joined the same team some time later, and closed or sold his one hour photo businesses and his radio station (KTUX) in Shreveport Louisiana in 2001. Shepherd took six singles into the top 10, making him one of the best represented blues players today. 'Artist Discography'
Kim Wilson -born 1951, is a U.S. blues singer and harmonica player. He is best known singing lead vocals with the The Fabulous Thunderbirds on two hit songs of the 1980s; "Tuff Enuff" and "Wrap It Up". Kim Wilson first came to national prominence in the late '70s when he and his band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, came roaring out of Austin, Texas. His authoritative singing and karmonica virtuosity not only enthrall the crowds that flock to his performances, but also have set a standard, which continues to inspire and challenge musicians around the world. Born in Detroit in 1951, he grew up in California and fell under the sway of the blues in the late '60s, honing his chops under the tutelage of people like George Smith, Luther Tucker and Peewee Crayton. After a brief time leading a band of his own around the Minneapolis area, he moved to Austin, Texas in 1974 and formed The Fabulous Thunderbirds with guitarist Jimmy Vaughan. 'Artist Discography'
Koko Taylor - born September 28, 1928, is an American blues musician, popularly known as the "Queen of the Blues." She is known primarily for her rough and powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings. Born in Shelby County, Tennessee, Taylor left Memphis for Chicago, Illinois in 1954 with her husband, truck driver Robert "Pops" Taylor. In the late 1950s she began singing in Chicago blues clubs. She was spotted by Willie Dixon in 1962, and this led to wider performances and her first recording contract. In 1965, Taylor was signed by Chess Records, for which her single "Wang Dang Doodle" became a major hit, reaching number four on the R&B charts in 1966, and selling a million copies. Taylor has recorded many versions of this Dixon-penned song over the past few decades and has added more material, both original and covers, but has never repeated that initial chart success. National touring in the late 1960s and early 1970s improved her fan base, and she became accessible to a wider record-buying public when she signed with Alligator Records in 1975. She has since recorded over a dozen albums for that label, many nominated for Grammy Awards, and come to dominate the female blues singer ranks, winning twenty five W. C. Handy Awards (more than any other artist). After her recovery from a near-fatal car crash in 1989, the 1990s found Taylor in films such as Blues Brothers 2000, and she opened a blues club on Division St. in Chicago in 1994, but it closed in 1999. Taylor has influenced musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Shemekia Copeland, Janis Joplin, Shannon Curfman, and Susan Tedeschi. She currently performs over 70 concerts a year and resides just south of Chicago in Country Club Hills, Illinois. 'Artist Discography'
Kokomo Arnold - (February 15, 1901 — November 8, 1968) was an American blues musician. Born James Arnold in Lovejoy's Station, Georgia, Arnold received his nickname in 1934 after releasing "Old Original Kokomo Blues" for the Decca label; it was a cover of the Scrapper Blackwell blues song about the Kokomo brand of coffee. A left-handed slide guitarist, his intense slide style of playing and rapid-fire vocal style set him apart from his contemporaries.Having learned the basics of the guitar from his cousin, John Wiggs, Arnold began playing in the early 1920s as a sideline while he worked as a farmhand in Buffalo, New York, and as a steelworker in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1929 he moved to Chicago and set up a bootlegging business, an activity he continued throughout Prohibition. In 1930 Arnold moved south briefly, and made his first recordings, "Rainy Night Blues" and "Paddlin' Madeline Blues", under the name Gitfiddle Jim for the Victor label in Memphis, Tennessee. He soon moved back to the bootlegging center of Chicago, though he was forced to make a living as a musician after the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution ending Prohibition in 1933. Kansas Joe McCoy heard him and introduced him to Mayo Williams who was producing records for Decca. From his first recording for Decca on 10 September 1934 until his last on 12 May 1938, Arnold made eighty-eight sides, seven of which remain lost. Along with Peetie Wheatstraw and Bumble Bee Slim, he was a dominant figure in Chicago blues circles. His major influence upon modern music is, along with Peetie Wheatstraw, upon the seminal delta blues artist Robert Johnson, a musical contemporary. Johnson turned "Old Original Kokomo Blues" into "Sweet Home Chicago", while another Arnold song, "Sagefield Woman Blues", introduced the terminology "dust my broom", which Johnson used as a song title himself. 'Artist Discography'
Huddie "leadbelly" Ledbetter - (January 1888 – December 6, 1949), was an American folk and blues musician, notable for his clear and forceful singing, his virtuosity on the twelve string guitar, and the rich songbook of folk standards he introduced. Lead Belly was the only child of Wesley and Sally Ledbetter. Lead Belly first tried his hand at playing music when he was only two years old. As a young man he was introduced to the guitar by his Uncle Terrell Ledbetter and from that moment on he was electrified by the guitar. He mastered that instrument and just about any instrument he laid his hands on. He learned to play the accordion, mandolin and piano. The topics of Lead Belly's music covered a wide range of subjects, including gospel songs; blues songs about women, liquor and racism; and folk songs about cowboys, prison, work, sailors, cattle herding and dancing. He also wrote songs concerning the newsmakers of the day, such as President Franklin Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, Jean Harlow, the Scottsboro Boys, and Howard Hughes. 'Artist Discography'
Lee McBee - born March 23, 1951 , is an American blues musician, singer and harmonica player. Though he is primarily a regional blues act in the midwest, McBee gained national attention in the late 1980s and early 1990s for his work with Mike Morgan and the Crawl and for his band the Passions. These bands toured the United States, Canada and Europe and recorded on major blues labels. McBee grew up in Kansas City, MO and collected blues and soul records throughout the 1960s. In 1969, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas and worked in many blues and blues-rock bands, including Tide and Lynch-McBee Band, until 1978. From 1978 through 1982 Lee moved to music scenes in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles and recorded and performed with Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Rogers, Doug Sahm and Johnny Winter. By the mid 1980s, he settled in Dallas and met guitarist Mike Morgan in 1985. They formed the Crawl and they would be together for the next twelve years. In 1994, McBee began a side project with The Passions. This band would be relocated to Kansas City as its base and soon evolved into Lee McBee and the Confessors. Throughout the 2000s, McBee and his band tour northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri and have released two albums.
Lightnin' Hopkins - Sam "Lightnin’" Hopkins (March 15, 1912 — January 30, 1982), was a country blues guitarist, from Houston, Texas, United States. Born in Centerville, Texas, Hopkins love for the blues was sparked at the age of 8 when he met Blind Lemon Jefferson at a church picnic in Buffalo, Texas. That day, Hopkins felt the blues was "in him" and went on to learn from his older cousin, country blues singer Alger "Texas" Alexander. In the mid 1930s, Hopkins was sent to Houston County Prison Farm for an unknown offence. In the late 1930s Hopkins moved to Houston with Alexander in an unsuccessful attempt to break into the music scene there. By the early 1940s he was back in Centerville working as a farm hand. Hopkins took at second shot at Houston in 1946. While singing on Dowling St., he was discovered by Lola Anne Cullum from the Los Angeles based record label, Aladdin Records. She convinced Hopkins to travel to L.A. where he accompanied pianist Wilson Smith. The duo recorded twelve tracks in their first sessions in 1946. Hopkins' style was born from spending many hours playing informally without a backing band. His distinctive fingerstyle playing often included playing, in effect, bass, rhythm, lead, percussion, and vocals, all at the same time. He played both "alternating" and "monotonic" bass styles incorporating imaginative, often chromatic turnarounds and single note lead lines. Tapping or slapping the body of his guitar added rhythmic accompaniment. Much of Hopkins' music follows the standard 12-bar blues template but his phrasing was very free and loose. Many of his songs were in the talking blues style, but he was a powerful and confident singer. Lyrically his songs chronicled the problems of life in the segregated south, bad luck in love and other usual subjects of the blues idiom. He did however deal with these subjects with humor and good nature. Many of his songs are filled with double entendres and he was known for his humorous introductions. 'Artist Discography'
Little Hatch - (October 25, 1921 – January 16, 2003), was a blues singer, musician and harmonica player. Born Provine Hatch Jr. in Sledge, Mississippi, he learned to play harmonica from his father. Hearing blues and gospel music, Hatch knew he wanted to make music for a living. At age 14, his family moved to Helena, Arkansas and the blues scene caught his attention. In the early 1950s, Hatch began jamming in blues clubs of Kansas City. He closed his business in 1954 and took a job with Hallmark. in 1955, he formed and fronted his own band, playing on the weekends and a few nights a week. This act would continue for more than 20 years. By the late 1950s, Hatch's harmonica style became influenced by Chicago blues players such as Little Walter, Snooky Pryor and Junior Wells. In 1971 German exchange university students recorded a Little Hatch performance. This became an album entitled The Little Hatchet Band, but distribution was limited to Germany and Belgium. He retired from Hallmark in 1986 and his band Little Hatch and the House Rockers were hired as the house band of the Grand Emporium. A cassette of blues performances at Kansas City's popular Grand Emporium was released in 1988. In 1992, the Modern Blues label released Well, All Right and became his first nationally distributed album. In 1997, Chad Kassem had opened Blue Heaven Studios and founded the APO label. Kassem had befriended Little Hatch in the mid 1980s and asked him to be his first signed recording artist. In 1998, the album Goin' Back was released and was followed by Rock with Me Baby in 2000. From 1999 to 2001, Hatch occasionally toured other parts of the US, and twice toured Europe. He settled back as a Kansas City performer, frequently playing at BB's Lawnside Bar-B-Q and other venues. In the summer of 2002 Hatch was diagnosed with cancer. He died in January 2003. 'Artist Discography'
Little Walter - Marion Walter Jacobs, (May 1, 1930 - February 15, 1968), was a blues singer, harmonica player, and guitarist. Jacobs revolutionary harmonica technique has earned comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix in its impact: There were great musicians before and after, but Jacobs' virtuosity and musical innovations reached heights of expression never previously imagined, and fundamentally altered many listeners' expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. . His body of work earned Little Walter a spot in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the sideman category on March 10, 2008 making him the only artist ever to be inducted specifically for his work as a harmonica player. Jacobs made his first released recordings in 1947 for Bernard Abram's tiny Ora-Nelle label, which operated out of the back room of the Abrams' Maxwell Radio and Records store in the heart of the Maxwell Street market area in Chicago. These and several other early Little Walter recordings, like many blues harp recordings of the era, owed a strong stylistic debt to pioneering blues harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson I . Little Walter joined Muddy Waters' band in 1948, and by 1950 he was playing on Muddy's recordings for Chess Records; Little Walter's harmonica is featured on most of Muddy's classic recordings from the 1950s. As a guitarist, Little Walter recorded for the small Parkway label, as well as on a session for Chess backing pianist Eddie Ware; his guitar work was also featured occasionally on early Chess sessions with Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers. 'Artist Discography'
Lonnie Johnson - Johnson was a pioneering Blues and Jazz guitarist and banjoist. He started playing in cafes in New Orleans and in 1917 he traveled in Europe, playing in revues and briefly with Will Marion Cook's Southern Syncopated Orchestra. When he returned home to New Orleans in 1918 he discovered that his entire family had been killed by a flu epidemic except for one brother. He and his surviving brother, James "Steady Roll" Johnson moved to St. Louis in 1920 where Lonnie played with Charlie Creath's Jazz-O-Maniacs and with Fate Marable in their Mississippi riverboat bands. In 1925 Johnson married Blues singer Mary Johnson and won a Blues contest sponsored by the Okeh record company. Part of the prize was a recording deal with the company. Throughout the rest of the 1920s he recorded with a variety of bands and musicians, including Eddie Lang, Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. In the 1930s Johnson moved to Cleveland, Ohio and worked with the Putney Dandridge Orchestra, and then in a tire factory and steel mill. In 1937 he moved back to Chicago and played with Johnny Dodds, and Jimmie Noone. Johnson continued to play for the rest of his life, but was often forced to leave the music business for periods to make a living. In 1963 he once again appeared briefly with Duke Ellington. 'Artist Discography'
Luther Allison - (August 17, 1939 — August 12, 1997), was an American blues guitarist.Luther Allison (the 14th of 15 musically gifted children) first connected to the blues at age ten, when he began playing the diddley bow. His family migrated to Chicago in 1951, and Luther began soaking in the sounds of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Robert Nighthawk. He was classmates with Muddy Waters' son and occasionally stopped in the Waters' house to watch the master rehearse. It wasn't until he was 18 already in Chicago for seven years that Luther began playing blues on a real guitar and jamming with his brother Ollie's band. Allison signed with Motown Records in 1972 as the label's only blues act. His three records led to numerous concert dates and both national and international festival appearances. After gaining immkense popularity in Europe and releasing a dozen European records, he was absent from the American blues scene until the release of Soul Fixin' Man in 1994, his first domestic album in 20 years. Allison was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in July of 1997, and died just four weeks later. 'Artist Discography'
Luckey Roberts - Charles Luckeyeth Roberts, (August 7,, 1887 – February 5, 1968) was a composer and stride pianist who worked in the jazz, ragtime, and blues styles. Luckey Roberts was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was playing piano and acting professionally with traveling African American minstrel shows in his childhood. He settled in New York City about 1910 and became one of the leading pianists in Harlem, and started publishing some of his original rags. Roberts toured France and the UK with James Reese Europe during World War I, then returned to New York where he wrote music for various shows and recorded piano rolls. With James P. Johnson, Roberts developed the stride piano style of playing about 1919. Robert's reach on the keyboard was unusually large (he could reach a fourteenth), leading to a rumor that he had the webbing between his fingers surgically cut, which those who knew him and saw him play live denounce as false; Roberts simply had naturally large hands with wide finger spread. 'Artist Discography'
Magic Sam - Samuel Gene Maghett (February 14, 1937 – December 1, 1969), was an American blues musician. Maghett was born in Grenada and learned to play the blues from listening to records by Muddy Waters and Little Walter. After moving to Chicago at the age of nineteen, he was signed by Cobra Records and became well known as a bluesman after his first record, "All Your Love" in 1957. He had several more hits and became very popular. He was known for his distinctive tremolo guitar playing. Sam recorded for the Cobra label from 1957 to 1959, recording singles, including "All Your Love" and "Easy Baby." They never appeared on the charts yet they had a profoud influence, far beyond Chicago's guitarists and singers. Together with the records of Otis Rush (also a Cobra artist) and Buddy Guy, they made a manifesto for a new kind of blues. Around this time Sam also worked briefly with Homesick James Williamson. Sam gained a following before being drafted into the Army. Not a natural soldier, Sam deserted after a couple of weeks' service and was subsequently caught and sentenced to six months imprisonment. He was given a dishonourable discharge on release, but the experience had undermined his confidence and immediate recordings for Mel London's Chief Records lacked the purpose of their predecessors. In 1963, he gained national attention for his single "Feelin' Good (We're Gonna Boogie)". After successful touring of the United States, UK and Germany, he was signed to Delmark Records in 1967, where he recorded West Side Soul and Black Magic. He also continued performing live and toured with blues harp player Charlie Musselwhite. Sam's breakthrough performance was at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1969, which won him many bookings in the United States and Europe. His life and career was cut short when he suddenly died of a heart attack in December of the same year. He was 32 years old. He was buried in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. 'Artist Discography'
Memphis Minnie - Lizzie Douglas, (June 3, 1897 - August 6, 1973), was an American Blues guitarist, vocalist, and composer. The oldest of 13 brothers and sisters. She grew up in Walls Mississippi, about 20 miles from Memphis on Route 61, in a time before rural electrification and national media created a mass culture. Music (like most things) was still homemade: for entertainment, people threw parties--suppers where roast shoat, custard pies and candy sticks dipped in corn whiskey got worked off dancing the "shoofly", the "scratch" and the "shimmy-she-wobble." Minnie started playing banjo when she was seven years old, and was influenced by the string bands which played for dancers who partied all night and hit the fields at dawn. She got her first guitar at age ten or 11. The wretchedness of hitting the fields at dawn led some to try life with "the starvation box", as Roosevelt Sykes called the guitar. A musicians' life was an escape from endless labor, looked on with both admiration and resentment by the field hands and workers in the audience. The official job prospects for black women were limited to domestic service and farm work both of which demanded grueling labor and subservience for low pay. Memphis Minnie was never interested in physical labor and she began to play on the streets of Memphis and the towns surrounding Walls soon after getting her first guitar. As a working musician, Minnie's guitar style evolved partly in response to the kind of places she played and the people for whom she played. Her recorded output includes over two hundred sides. 'Artist Discography'
Mississippi John Hurt - (July 3, 1893, or March 8, 1892) was an influential blues singer and guitarist. Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, he learned to play guitar at age 9. He spent much of his youth playing old time music for friends and dances, earning a living as a farm hand into the 1920s. In 1923 he often partnered with the fiddle player Willie Narmour (Carroll County Blues) as a substitute for his regular partner Shell Smith. When Narmour got a chance to record for Okeh Records in reward for winning first place in a 1928 fiddle contest, Narmour recommended John Hurt to OKeh Records producer Tommy Rockwell. After auditioning "Monday Morning Blues" at his home, he took part in two recording sessions, in Memphis and New York City (See Discography below). The "Mississippi" tag was added by OKeh as a sales gimmick. After the commercial failure of the resulting disc and OKeh records going out of business during the depression, Hurt returned to Avalon and obscurity, working as a sharecropper and playing local parties and dances. In 1963, however, a folk musicologist named Tom Hoskins, inspired by the recordings, was able to locate John Hurt near Avalon, Mississippi. In fact, in an early recording, Hurt sang of "Avalon, my home town." Seeing that Hurt's guitar playing skills were still intact, Hoskins encouraged him to move to Washington, DC, and begin performing on a wider stage. Whereas his first releases had coincided with the Great Depression, his new career could hardly have been better timed. A stellar performance at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival saw his star rise amongst the new "folk revival" audience, and before his death in 1966 he played extensively in colleges, concert halls, coffee houses and even the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, as well as recording three further albums for Vanguard Records. John Hurt's influence spans several music genres including blues, country, bluegrass, folk and contemporary rock and roll. A soft-spoken man, his nature was reflected in the work, which remained a mellow mix of country, blues and old time music to the end. 'Artist Discography'
Muddy Waters - McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), better known as Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician and is generally considered "the Father of Chicago blues". He is also the actual father of blues musicians Big Bill Morganfield and Larry 'Muddy Junior' Williams. Considered one of the greatest bluesmen of all time, Muddy Waters was a huge inspiration for the British beat explosion in the 1960s and considered by many to be one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. In 2004 Waters was ranked #17 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Waters started out on harmonica but by age seventeen he was playing the guitar at parties emulating two blues artists who were extremely popular in the south, Son House and Robert Johnson. Muddy Waters is, in many ways, the archetypal bluesman. He was raised as a sharecropper in the Mississippi Delta, where he learned to play an acoustic guitar. He went to Chicago in 1943, and the band he assembled established the electric blues sound. Over the next three and a half-decades, his band became a springboard for many of his sidemen, launching a prominent school of blues performers. 'Artist Discography'
Otis Rush - born April 29, 1934, is a blues musician, singer and guitarist. His distinctive guitar style features a slow burning sound, jazz-style arpeggios and long bent notes. With similar qualities to Luther Allison, Magic Sam, Buddy Guy and Albert King, his sound became known as West Side Chicago blues and became an influence on Michael Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Rush is left-handed and, unlike many left-handed guitarists, plays a right-handed instrument upside-down without restringing it. It is widely believed that this contributes to his distinctive sound. Other guitarists who use this method include Albert King, Dick Dale, Doyle Bramhall II, Coco Montoya and Lefty Dizz. He has a wide-ranging, powerful tenor voice. 'Artist Discography'
Otis Spann - (March 21, 1930 – April 24, 1970), was an American blues musician. Many aficionados considered him then, and now, as Chicago's leading postwar blues pianist. Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Spann became known for his distinct piano style. Born to Frank Houston Spann and Josephine Erby. One of five children - three boys and two girls. His father played piano, non professionally, whilst his mother had played guitar with Memphis Millie Lawlars. Spann began playing piano by age of eight, influenced by his local ivories stalwart, Friday Ford. At 14, he was playing in bands around Jackson, finding more inspiration in the 78s of Big Maceo Merriweather, who took the young pianist under his wing once Spann migrated to Chicago in 1946. Other sources say that he moved to Chicago when his mother died in 1947 playing the Chicago club circuit and working as a plasterer. Spann gigged on his own, and with guitarist Morris Pejoe, working a regualr spot at the Tic Toc Lounge. before hooking up with Muddy Waters in 1952. Although he recorded periodically as a solo artist beginning in the mid 1950s, Spann was a full-time member of Waters' band from 1952 to 1968 before leaving to form his own band. In that period he also did session work with other Chess artists like Howlin' Wolf and Bo Diddley. 'Artist Discography'
Papa Charlie McCoy - (May 26, 1909, Jackson, Mississippi - July 26, 1950, was an African American delta blues musician and songwriter. Charlie McCoy ranked among the great blues accompanists of his era and his accomplished mandolin and guitar work can be heard on numerous recordings in a wide variety of settings from the late 1920’s through the early 40’s. The years 1927-31 saw the first commercial recordings of many of the Jackson musicians. Most extensively recorded were the Chatmons, Walter Vincson and Joe and Charlie McCoy. McCoy first recorded in 1928, strictly as an accompanist, backing singer Rosie Mae Moore, Tommy Johnson and Ishman Bracey. Between 1928-1931 he played on a variety of sides, many string band related, in the company of Walter Vincson and Bo Carter. Between 1929-1936 Charlie McCoy cut scattered sides under his own name or as lead in various bands. Joe McCoy was well known for his association with his wife Memphis Minnie where he played the part of Kansas Joe. The two made many popular recordings between 1929-1932 and after they separated he occupied himself in small bands, singing with the Harlem Hamfats, working as a songwriter and working with his brother Charlie. 'Artist Discography'
Paul Butterfield - ( December 17, 1942 - May 4, 1987), was an American blues harmonica player and singer, and one of the earliest white proponents of the Chicago originated electric blues style. Butterfield was culturally sophisticated. His father was a well-known attorney in the Hyde Park area, and his mother was an artist -- a painter. Butterfield took music lessons (flute) from an early age and by the time he reached high school, was studying with the first-chair flautist of the Chicago Symphony. He was exposed to both classical music and jazz from an early age. He developed a love for the blues harmonica, and hooked up with Elvin Bishop and started hanging around influential blues performers such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Junior Wells. Butterfield and Bishop soon formed a band with Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay (both of Howlin' Wolf's band). In 1963, a watershed event in introducing blues to a white audience in Chicago occurred when this racially mixed ensemble was made the house band at Big John's, a folk music club in the Old Town district on Chicago's north side. Butterfield was still underage (as was guitarist Mike Bloomfield, who was already working there in his own band). The late 1970s and early 1980s saw Butterfield as a solo act and a session musician, doing occasional television appearances and releasing a couple of albums. He also toured as a duo with Rick Danko, formerly of The Band, with whom he performed for the last time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also toured with another member of The Band, Levon Helm, as a member of Helm's "RCO All Stars", which also included most of the members of Booker T and the MGs, in 1977. In 1986 Butterfield released his final studio album, The Legendary Paul Butterfield Rides Again. Paul Butterfield died in his home in North Hollywood, California, in May 1987 from a heart attack, just one week after his final concert. 'Artist Discography'
Paul Pena - (January 26, 1950 – October 1, 2005), was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist As a young child, Paul soon showed his talent for music. His mother heard him picking out melodies and chords on a baby grand piano that had been found in the town dump and brought home, 'as a toy that a blind child might enjoy.' He developed 'perfect pitch.' Soon Paul was studying the piano, guitar, upright bass, violin and 'a little trumpet.' He played and sang popular jazz and Cape Verdian ballads with his father, a professional jazz musician, and also sang in his school choruses. Paul appeared in a talent show, and while in college, performed in coffeehouses in Worcester. In 1969, Paul played in the Newport Folk Festival 'in the Contemporary Composer's Workshop with such people as James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Kris Kristofferson.' In 1971, Paul moved to San Francisco and recorded his first marketed record for Capital Records, which was released in 1973. In his musical career Paul played with many of the blues greats, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Mississippi Fred McDowell, 'Big Bones,' and T. Bone Walker. His song, 'Jet Airliner,' recorded by the Steve Miller Band, was a hit in the 1970s. 'Artist Discography'
Piano Red - William "Willie" Lee Perryman (October 19, 1911 - July 25, 1985), who was usually known professionally as Piano Red and later in life as Dr. Feelgood, was an American blues musician, the first to hit the pop music charts. He was a self-taught pianist who played in the barrelhouse blues style. His simple, hard-pounding left hand and his percussive right hand, coupled with his cheerful shout brought him considerable success over three decades. On Okeh Records, in 1961, he began using the name Dr. Feelgood and the Interns, releasing several hits, including the much-covered "Doctor Feel-Good". The persona was one he had initially adopted on his radio shows. The new career was short-lived, though, and Piano Red was never able to regain his former stature. In 1966, the popular folk-rock group The Lovin' Spoonful, recorded his song "Bald Headed Lena" on their second album, Daydream. He continued to be a popular performer in Underground Atlanta, and had several European tours late in his career, including appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt's inauguration, and on BBC Radio. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1984 and died the following year. Among those who attended his funeral were the Governor of Georgia and the Mayor of Atlanta. 'Artist Discography'
Pinetop Perkins - Joe Willie Perkins; July 7, 1913, is an American blues musician. Perkins was born in Belzoni, Mississippi. He began his career as a guitarist, but then injured the tendons in his left arm in a fight with a choirgirl in Helena, Arkansas. Unable to play guitar, Perkins switched to the piano, and also switched from Robert Nighthawk's KFFA radio program to Sonny Boy Williamson's King Biscuit Time. He continued working with Nighthawk, however, accompanying him on 1950's "Jackson Town Gal". In the 1950s, Perkins joined Earl Hooker and began touring, stopping to record "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" (written by Pinetop Smith) at Sam Phillips' studio in Memphis, Tennessee. ("They used to call me Pinetop," he recalled, "because I played that song."). Perkins then relocated to Illinois and left music until Hooker convinced him to record again in 1968. When Otis Spann left the Muddy Waters band in 1969, Perkins was chosen to replace him. He stayed for more than a decade, then left with several other musicians to form the Legendary Blues Band with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, recording through the late 1970s, 80s and early 90s. Although he has appeared as a sideman on countless recordings, Perkins never had an album devoted solely to his artistry, until the release of After Hours on Blind Pig Records in 1988. Perkins now lives in Austin, Texas. He usually performs a couple nights a week at Nuno's on Sixth ST. In 2005, Perkins received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. 'Artist Discography'
Pinetop Smith - Clarence Smith, better known as Pinetop Smith or Pine Top Smith, (June 11, 1904 - March 15, 1929), was an influential American boogie-woogie style blues pianist. He is a 1991 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Smith was born in Troy, Alabama and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his nickname as a child from his liking for climbing trees . In 1920 he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he worked as an entertainer before touring on the T. O. B. A. vaudeville circuit, performing as a singer and comedian as well as a pianist. For a time he worked as accompanist for blues singer Ma Rainey and Butterbeans and Susie. In the mid 1920s he was recommended by Cow Cow Davenport to J. Mayo Williams at Vocalion Records, and in 1928 he moved, with his wife and young son, to Chicago to record. For a time he, Albert Ammons, and Meade Lux Lewis lived in the same rooming house. On 29 December 1928 he recorded his influential "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie," one of the first "boogie woogie" style recordings to make a hit, and which cemented the name for the style. Pine Top talks over the recording, telling how to dance to the number. He said he originated the number at a house-rent party in St. Louis, Missouri. Pinetop was the first ever to direct "the girl with the red dress on" to "not move a peg" until told to "shake that thing" and "mess around". Pinetop Smith was scheduled to make another recording session for Vocalion in 1929, but died from a gunshot wound in a dance-hall fight in Chicago the day before the session. Sources differ as to whether he was the intended recipient of the bullet. "I saw Pinetop spit blood" was the famous headline in Down Beat magazine.
Professor Longhair - Henry Roeland Byrd, (December 19, 1918 - January 30, 1980), was a New Orleans blues singer and pianist. He was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana. He was noted for his unique piano style, which he described as "a combination of rumba, mambo, and Calypso", and his unusual, expressive voice, described once as "freak unique". He was called the Bach of Rock and Roll for the clarity, varied and extremely accurate and "funky" syncopation, and the beautiful tone of his piano playing. Byrd is noteworthy for having been active in two distinct periods, both in the heyday of early rhythm and blues, and in the resurgence of interest in various forms of traditional jazz after the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was created. At that time Byrd became a New Orleans icon. Professor Longhair had only one national commercial hit, "Bald Head" in 1950, and he lacked the crossover appeal for the white audience of Fats Domino. But his rollicking, idiosyncratic, rumba-based piano and exuberant singing made him one of New Orleans biggest rock stars. Professor Longhair began his career in New Orleans near the end of the 1940s but was not well known outside of the city at that time. Throughout the 1950s he recorded for Atlantic Records, Federal Records and other, local labels. In the 1960s his career faltered and he became a janitor and gambled. But he was rediscovered in 1969 as the large white blues audience began to appreciate him and he was referred to as the "Father of New Orleans R&B. 'Artist Discography'
R. L. Burnside - ( November 23, 1926 - September 1, 2005), was a Delta blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist who lived much of his life in and around Holly Springs, Mississippi. He played music for much of his life, but did not receive much attention until the early 1990s. In the latter half of the '90s, Burnside repeatedly recorded with Jon Spencer, garnering crossover appeal and introducing his music to a new fanbase within the underground punk blues music scene. Burnside was born in Harmontown, Mississippi, in Lafayette County. Burnside spent most of his life in the rural hill country of northern Mississippi, working as a sharecropper and a commercial fisherman, as well as playing guitar at weekend house parties. He was first inspired to pick up the guitar in his early twenties, after hearing the 1948 John Lee Hooker single, "Boogie Chillen" (which inspired numerous other rural bluesmen, among them Buddy Guy, to start playing). He learned music largely from Mississippi Fred McDowell, who lived nearby in an adjoining county. He also cited his cousin-in-law, Muddy Waters, as an influence. 'Artist Discography'
Rabbit Brown - Richard "Rabbit" Brown (c1880–c1937) was a United States blues guitarist and composer. His music was characterized by a mixture of blues, pop songs, and original topical ballads. He recorded six record sides for Victor Records on May 11, 1927. Rabbit Brown was most likely born around 1880 in or near New Orleans, Louisiana. He did live in New Orleans from his youth on, and eventually moved to a rough district called the Battlefield. Here, several events inspired some of his future songs. Rabbit Brown mainly performed at nightclubs and street corners. He also earned extra money as a singing boatman on Lake Pontchartrain. A couple of his most popular songs were his topical ballads, "The Downfall of the Lion" and "Gyp the Blood", which were based on actual events that occurred in New Orleans. They were never recorded, however, and only a verse from one of them has endured. The songs Brown recorded in 1927 have been extensively re-released. His "James Alley Blues" is included in the Harry Smith "Anthology of American Folk Music" and has been covered by dozens of modern musicians, including Bob Dylan and Roger McGuinn. His topical "event songs" "Mystery of the Dunbar's Child" and "Sinking of the Titanic" also remain popular -- and the latter contained within its verses a beautiful, if truncated, rendition of the old gospel music standard "Nearer My God to Thee," demonstrating the further versatility of his repertoire. Not much is known about Rabbit Brown after 1930 other than that he died in 1937, probably in New Orleans.
Raful Neal - ( June 6, 1936 – September 1, 2004) was a blues singer, harmonicist and songwriter. Neal took up the blues harp at age 14, tutored by a local player named Ike Brown and influenced by Little Walter. Neal's first band, the Clouds, also included the guitarist, Buddy Guy. Neal debuted on vinyl in 1958 with a single for Don Robey's Houston, Texas based Peacock Records. But "Sunny Side of Love" was not successful. Neal's debut album, Louisiana Legend, first emerged on King Snake Records and was picked up by Alligator Records in 1990. I Been Mistreated, Neal's follow-up, was released on Ichiban Records the following year. Neal toured around the world and in 1997 he contributed harp to a couple of tracks on Tab Benoit's Live: Swampland Jam record. Neal's next long-player, Old Friends, appeared in 1998. After a long bout with cancer, Raful Neal died in September 2004. Nine of his eleven children are also blues musicians, and several performed with him on his later releases on the Alligator label. 'Artist Discography'
Robben Ford - born December 16, 1951, is an American blues, jazz and rock guitarist. Robben was the third of four sons in a musical family. His father Charles was a country and western singer and guitarist before entering the army and marrying Kathryn, who played piano and had a lovely singing voice. Robben’s first chosen instrument was the saxophone, which he began to play at age ten and continued to play until his early twenties. He began to teach himself guitar at age thriteen upon hearing the two guitarists from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. In the late 1960’s, Ford frequented the Filmore and Winterland Auditoriums in San Francisco to see Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Albert King, B.B. King and all of the progenitors of blues. 'Artist Discography'
Robert Cray - born August 1, 1953, is an American blues musician, guitarist, and singer. Cray started playing guitar in his early teens. At Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia, his love of blues and soul music flourished as he started collecting records. Originally, he wanted to become an architect, but around the same time he began to study architectural design, he formed a local band "Steakface", described as "the best band from Lakewood you never heard of". Cray's guitar and vocals contributed greatly to Steakface's set list of songs by Jimi Hendrix, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Fleetwood Mac, The Grease Band, Blodwyn Pig, Jethro Tull, Spirit and The Faces. By the age of twenty, Cray had seen his heroes Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters in concert and decided to form his own band; they began playing college towns on the West Coast. After several years of regional success, Cray was signed to Mercury Records in 1982. His third album release, Strong Persuader, produced by Dennis Walker, received a Grammy Award, while the crossover single "Smokin' Gun" gave him wider appeal and name recognition. Cray continues to record and tour. He appeared at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, and supported 'Slowhand' on his 2006-2007 world tour. In Fargo, ND, he joined Clapton on backup guitar for the classic Cream song "Crossroads". 'Artist Discography'
Robert Johnson - (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) is among the most famous of Delta blues musicians. His landmark recordings from 1936–1937 display a remarkable combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that have influenced generations of musicians. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend. Considered by some to be the "Grandfather of Rock 'n' Roll", his vocal phrasing, original songs, and guitar style have influenced a broad range of musicians, including Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Jack White and Eric Clapton, who called Johnson "the most important blues singer that ever lived". He was also ranked fifth in Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Johnson's records were greatly admired by white jazz record collectors from the time of their first release, and efforts were made to discover his biography, with virtually no success. In 1941 Alan Lomax learned from a very shy Muddy Waters that Johnson had performed in the Clarksdale, Mississippi area. By 1959, Samuel Charters could only add that Will Shade of the Memphis Jug Band remembered Johnson had once briefly played with him in West Memphis, Arkansas. In 1961 the sleeve notes to the album King of the Delta Blues Singers included reminiscences of Don Law who had recorded Johnson in 1936. Law added to the mystique surrounding Johnson, representing him as very young and extraordinarily shy. The success of the album led blues scholars and enthusiasts to question every veteran blues musician who might have known Johnson or seen him in performance. A relatively full account of Johnson's brief musical career emerged in the 1960s, largely from accounts by Son House, Johnny Shines, David Honeyboy Edwards and Robert Lockwood. 'Artist Discography'
Robert Lockwood Jr. - also known as Robert Junior Lockwood, (March 27, 1915 – November 21, 2006), was an American blues guitarist who recorded for Chess Records among other Chicago labels in the 1950s and 1960s. He is best known as a longtime collaborator with Alec "Rice" Miller, a/k/a Sonny Boy Williamson II, and for his work in the mid 1950s with Little Walter Jacobs. An important session guitarist with many Chicago labels, especially Chess Records (w. Williamson, Jacobs, Eddie Boyd, The Moonglows, et al), Lockwood influenced many who had no idea who the guitarist was on these tracks. Robert Lockwood was born in Turkey Scratch, a hamlet west of Helena, Arkansas. He started playing the organ in his father's church at the age of 8. The famous bluesman Robert Johnson lived with Lockwood's mother for 10 years off and on after his parents' divorce. Lockwood learned from Johnson not only how to play guitar, but timing and stage presence as well. Because of his personal and professional association with the music of Robert Johnson, he became known as "Robert Junior" Lockwood, a nickname by which he was known among fellow musicians for the rest of his life, although he later frequently professed his dislike for this appellation. In 2004, Lockwood appeared at Eric Clapton's first Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas, Texas. A live recording with three other blues legends in Dallas October, 2004 – Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas – was awarded a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. His last known recording session was carried out at Ante Up Audio studios in Cleveland; where he performed on the album The Way Things Go, with long time collaborator Cleveland Fats for Honeybee Entertainment. Lockwood died at the age of 91 in Cleveland, having earlier suffered a cerebral aneurysm and a stroke. 'Artist Discography'
Rod Piazza - born December 18, 1947, is a blues harmonica player, singer and band leader. Piazza's infatuation with blues began at a time when many of the masters were still in their prime years, and in the mid 1960s when the first blues revival was picking up steam, he was in the thick of it. By the 1970s, he'd already released five albums, and was one of the leading lights of the West Coast Blues scene. In the early '70s he joined forces with Otis Spann disciple Honey Alexander (now his wife) on piano, and when they formed the Mighty Flyers over three decades ago, his career really hit its stride. Since then Piazza and the Mighty Flyers have won or been nominated for just about every award that can be bestowed upon a blues band, played literally thousands of gigs around the world, recorded over a dozen highly acclaimed releases, and along the way virtually created a new style of blues - a combination of low-down Chicago grit, suave West Coast swing and jazz, and the rhythmic drive of the best early R&B and rock & roll. Quite simply, Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers are one of the best, most experienced, and most distinctive bands in blues today. 'Artist Discography'
Ronnie Earl - born Ronald Horvath in Queens, New York, on March 10, 1953. After picking up his first guitar twenty years later, he went on to stretch the boundaries of electric blues guitar. Earl collected blues, jazz, rock and soul records while growing up. He studied American History at C.W. Post College on Long Island for a year and a half, then moved to Boston to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education and Education at Boston University where he would graduate in 1975. He spent a short time teaching handicapped children. It was during his college years that he attended a Muddy Waters concert at the Jazz Workshop in Boston. After seeing Waters perform in a close setting, Earl took a serious interest in the guitar, which he had first picked up in 1973. His first job was as a rhythm guitarist at The Speakeasy , a blues club in Cambridge, MA. In addition to playing in the Boston blues scene, Earl traveled twice by Greyhound Bus to Chicago, where he was introduced to the Chicago blues scene by Koko Taylor. Later he would travel down South to New Orleans and Austin Texas, where he would spend time with Kim Wilson, Jimmy Vaughan and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. In 1979 he joined The Roomful of Blues as lead guitarist for the Providence, Rhode Island band. It was also around this time that he adopted the last name of "Earl". As he put it, "Muddy Waters would invite me onstage, but he could never say my last name. So because I liked Earl Hooker, I took the last name of "Earl". 'Artist Discography'
Rory Gallagher - Born in 1948 in Ballyshannon and raised in Cork, Gallagher's rock 'n roll odyssey began at an early age when he saw Elvis Presley on TV and became inspired to get his first guitar. Rory would listen and learn from the likes of Lonnie Donegan, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis, many of whom Rory went on to record with. While still at school during his early teens, Rory began playing with professional show bands throughout Ireland, whose repertoires included all the popular hits of the day. Not musically satisfied with this, Rory converted his latter showband The Impact into a six-piece R'n'B outfit and headed for Hamburg in the mid-1960s. On arrival, this line-up was soon trimmed down to his first trio. Rory went on to form Taste in 1967 a band who soon met with wide acclaim, and subsequently headed for London where they were an immediate success at London's famed Marquee Club, counting among their fans John Lennon.
Rory Gallagher is the man who, without question, spearheaded and influenced the entire Irish rock movement. Remarkably, nearly 11 years after his untimely passing in June 1995, Rory's music is as popular as ever with his legion on faithful followers. 'Artist Discography'
Ry Cooder - Ryland "Ry" Peter Cooder (born 15 March 1947, in Los Angeles, California) is an American guitarist, singer, and composer. He is known for his slide guitar work, his interest in the American roots music, and, more recently, for his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries. Cooder was ranked number 8 on Rolling Stone's "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Throughout the 1970s, Cooder released a series of Warner Bros. Records albums that showcased his guitar work, to some degree. Cooder has been compared to a musicologist, exploring bygone musical genres with personalized and sensitive, updated reworking of revered originals. 'Artist Discography'
Roosevelt Sykes - (January 31, 1906 – July 17, 1983), was an American blues musician also known as "Honeydripper". He was a successful and prolific cigar-chomping blues piano player who influenced blues piano playing with his rollicking thundering boogie. Sykes grew up near Helena, Arkansas but at age 15, began playing piano with a barrelhouse style of blues at various places until ending up in the St. Louis, Missouri area where he met St. Louis Jimmy Oden. He started recording in the 1920s, signing with multiple labels and recording under various names including "Easy Papa Johnson", "Dobby Bragg", and "Willie Kelly". After he and Oden moved to Chicago he found his first period of great fame when he signed with Decca Records in 1935. In 1943, he signed to Bluebird Records and recorded with "The Honeydrippers". Sykes, like bluesmen of his time, travelled around playing to all-male audiences in sawmill, turpentine and levee camps along the Mississippi River, and gathering a repertoire of raw, sexually explicit material. In 1929 he was spotted by a talent scout and sent to New York City to record for Okeh Records. His first release was "'44' Blues" which became a blues classic and his trademark. He settled in Chicago and began to display an increasing urbanity in his lyric-writing, using an 8-bar blues pop gospel structure instead of the traditional 12-bar blues. However, despite the growing urbanity of his outlook, he could not compete in the post-World War II music scene, though he did continue to record for small labels until he stopped recording in the 1950s . When he returned to recording in the 1960s it was to label like Delmark Records, Bluesville Records, Storyville Records and Folkways Records, labels that were documenting the quickly passing blues history. Roosevelt left Chicago in 1954 for New Orleans as electric blues took over the Chicago blues clubs. He lived out his final years in New Orleans until he died on July 17, 1983. 'Artist Discography'
Sam Chatmon - (January 10, 1897 - February 2, 1983), was a Delta blues guitarist and singer. He was a member of the Mississippi Sheiks and half-brother to Charlie Patton. Chatmon was born in Bolton, Mississippi. Chatmon's family was well-known in Mississippi for their musical talents; Chatmon was a member of the family's string band when he was young. He performed on a regular basis for white audiences in the 1900s. The Chatmon band played rags, ballads, and popular dance tunes. Two of Sam's brothers, fiddler Lonnie Chatmon and guitarist Bo Carter, performed with guitarist Walter Vinson as the Mississippi Sheiks. Chatmon played the banjo, mandolin, and harmonica in addition to the guitar. He performed at parties and on street corners throughout Mississippi for small pay and tips. In the 1930s he recorded both with the Sheiks, as well as with sibling Lonnie as the Chatman Brothers. Chatmon moved to Hollandale, Mississippi in the early 1940s and worked on plantations in Hollandale. He was re-discovered in 1960 and started a new chapter of his career as folk-blues artist. In the same year Chatmon recorded for the Arhoolie record label. He toured extensively during the 1960s and 1970s. He played many of the largest and best-known folk festivals, including the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C. in 1972, the Mariposa Fest in Toronto in 1974, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1976. A headstone memorial to Chatmon with the inscription "Sitting on top of the World" was paid for by Bonnie Raitt, through the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund and placed in Sanders Memorial Cemetery, Hollandale, Mississippi on March 14, 1998. 'Artist Discography'
Smokin' Joe Kubek - Smokin Joe Kubek was born on November 30, 1956 in Grove City, Pennsylvania. Shortly after he was born his family moved to Irving, Texas where he grew up. Kubek was playing in Dallas clubs at the age of 14. Three years later, he took a deeper interest in blues, prompted by Eric Clapton and Peter Green, and formed his first band. Shortly afterwards, he played rhythm guitar behind Freddie King until King's death in December 1976. After a short spell with Robert Whitfield's Last Combo, he joined Al Braggs" band. Examples of his work can be heard on Braggs" 1979 production of tracks by R. L. Griffin. He also recorded with Charlie Robinson, Big Ray Anderson and Ernie Johnson, and on Little Joe Blue's album, "It's My Turn Now". In 1989, he teamed up with singer/guitarist Bnois King, from Monroe, Louisiana, whose soul-tinged vocals and jazz-orientated style contrasted well with Kubek's more strident finger and slide techniques. "The Axe Man" is an album of covers recorded before their Bullseye Blues debut. Subsequent releases have consolidated their reputation as a solid, entertaining band.
Smokin' Joe Kubek is one of those people who was born to play the guitar. Kubek has the technique and the chops to burn up any stage and has been doing so for the past 27 years. A guitar prodigy at the age of 14 the Texas born guitar slinger frequented the Dallas bar scene during the 1970's and early 80's playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan and people like the three Kings, B. B., Albert and Freddie. A personal favorite, whose style embodies that raw driving force that epitomizes what the blues is all about. 'Artist Discography'
Sippie Wallace - (November 1, 1898 - November 1, 1986), Beulah "Sippie" Thomas grew up in Houston, Texas where she sang and played the piano in her father's church. While still in her early teens she and her younger brother Hersal and older brother George began playing and singing the Blues in tent shows that travelled throughout Texas. In 1915 she moved to New Orleans and lived with her older brother George and got married to Matt Wallace in 1917. During her stay there she met many of the great Jazz musicians like King Oliver and Louis Armstrong who were friends of her brother George. During the early 1920s she toured the TOBA vaudeville circuit where she was billed as "The Texas Nightingale". In 1923 she followed her brothers to Chicago and began performing in the cafes and cabarets around town. In 1923 she recorded her first records for Okeh and went on to record over forty songs for them between 1923 and 1929. Her brother Hersal died of food poisoning in 1926 at age sixteen. Wallace was unique among the Classic Blues singers in that she wrote a great deal of her own material, often with her brothers supplying the music. 'Artist Discography'
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) was a pioneering Gospel singer, songwriter and recording artist who attained great popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and early rock accompaniment. She became the first great recording star of Gospel music in the late 1930s and also became known as the "original soul sister" of recorded music. Willing to cross the line between sacred and secular by performing her inspirational music of 'light' in the 'darkness' of the nightclubs and concert halls with big bands behind her, her witty, idiosyncratic style also left a lasting mark on more conventional gospel artists, such as Ira Tucker, Sr., of the Dixie Hummingbirds. While she offended some conservative churchgoers with her forays into the world of pop music, she never left gospel music. Rosetta also crossed over to secular music in other ways. After marrying COGIC preacher Thomas Thorpe (from which "Tharpe" is a misspelling) in 1934, they moved to New York City. On October 31, 1938, she recorded for the first time — four sides with Decca Records backed by "Lucky" Millinder's jazz orchestra. Her records caused an immediate furor: many churchgoers were shocked by the mixture of sacred and secular music, but secular audiences loved them. Appearances in John Hammond's extravaganza "From Spirituals To Swing" later that year, at the Cotton Club and Café Society and with Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman made her even more popular. Songs like "This Train" and "Rock Me", which combined gospel themes with bouncy up-tempo arrangements, became smash hits among audiences with little previous exposure to gospel music. 'Artist Discography'
Skip James - Nehemiah Curtis "Skip" James (June 21, 1902 – October 3, 1969) was an American Delta blues singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter. James was born near Bentonia, Mississippi. His father was a converted bootlegger turned preacher. As a youth, James heard local musicians such as Henry Stuckey and brothers Charlie and Jesse Sims and began playing the organ in his teens. He worked on road construction and levee-building crews in his native Mississippi in the early 1920s, and wrote what is perhaps his earliest song, "Illinois Blues", about his experiences as a laborer. Later in the '20s he sharecropped and made bootleg whiskey in the Bentonia area. He began playing guitar in open D-minor tuning and developed a three-finger picking technique that he would use to great effect on his recordings. In addition, he began to practice piano-playing, drawing inspiration from the Mississippi blues pianist Little Brother Montgomery. As is typical of his era, James recorded a variety of material — blues and spirituals, cover versions and original compositions — frequently blurring the lines between genres and sources. For example, "I'm So Glad" was derived from a 1927 song by Art Sizemore and George A. Little entitled "So Tired", which had been recorded in 1928 by both Gene Austin and Lonnie Johnson (the latter under the title "I'm So Tired of Livin' All Alone"). James changed the song's lyrics, transforming it with his virtuoso technique, moaning delivery, and keen sense of tone. Biographer Stephen Calt, echoing the opinion of several critics, considered the finished product totally original, "one of the most extraordinary examples of fingerpicking found in guitar music." 'Artist Discography'
Slim Harpo - ( January 11, 1924 – January 31, 1970) was a blues musician. Born James Moore in Lobdell, Louisiana, the eldest in an orphaned family, Moore worked as a longshoreman and building worker during the late 1930s and early 1940s. One of the foremost proponents of post-war rural blues, he began performing in Baton Rouge bars under the name Harmonica Slim. He later accompanied Lightnin' Slim, his brother-in-law, both live and in the studio, before commencing his own recording career in 1957. Named Slim Harpo by producer Jay Miller, the artist's solo debut coupled "I'm a King Bee" with "I Got Love If You Want It." Influenced by Jimmy Reed, he began recording for Excello Records, and enjoyed a string of popular R&B singles which combined a drawling vocal with incisive harmonica passages. Among them were "Rainin' In My Heart" (1961), "I Love The Life I Live", "Buzzin'" (instrumental) and "Little Queen Bee" (1964). On these hits he was accompanied by understated electric backing from the regular stable of Excello musicians — including Lazy Lester, whom Harpo influenced. The singer was known as one of the masters of the blues harmonica; the name "Slim Harpo" was a humorous takeoff on "harp," the popular nickname for the harmonica in blues circles. Harpo was the point man of the 1950s Louisiana Swamp/Blues movement. Harpo, along with Lightnin' Slim, Lazy Lester, Lonesome Sundown, and a dozen other downhome artists, recorded for A&R man J.D. Miller in Crowley, Louisiana. The records were then issued on the Excello label, based in Nashville. Harpo's relaxed, almost lazy, performances set the tone for his subsequent work. 'Artist Discography'
Solomon Burke - (March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010), is an American Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter. During the half-century that he has performed, he has drawn from his roots: gospel, soul, and blues, as well as developing his own style in a time when R&B, and rock were still in their infancy. Burke is revered by some of the most respected big acts as a pioneer and member of the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Solomon Burke was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 21, 1940. Some sources claim that he was born in 1936, others say 1938, but in a 2002 interview with Philadelphia Weekly Burke stated himself that he was indeed born in 1940. He began his adult life as a preacher in Philadelphia, and soon moved on to hosting a gospel radio show. In the 1960s, he signed with Atlantic Records and began moving towards more secular music. His first hit was "Just Out Of Reach Of My Open Arms", a cover of a country song. Though well-received by both peers and critics, and attaining a few moderate pop and several major R&B hits, Burke never could quite break through into the mainstream as did Sam Cooke or Otis Redding, who covered Burke's "Down in the Valley" for 1965's Otis Blue. His best known song is Cry to Me, used in the dance and seduction scene in the film Dirty Dancing. 'Artist Discography'
Son House - Eddie James "Son" House, Jr. (March 21, 1902 – October 19, 1988), was an American blues singer and guitarist. House pioneered an innovative style featuring strong, repetitive rhythms, often played with the aid of slide guitar, and his singing often incorporated elements of southern gospel and spiritual music. The middle of seventeen brothers, House was born in Riverton, two miles from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Around age seven or eight, he was brought by his mother to Tallulah, Louisiana, after his parents separated. The young Son House was determined to become a Baptist preacher, and at age 15 began his preaching career. Despite the church's firm stand against blues music and the sinful world which revolved around it, House became attracted to it and taught himself guitar in his mid 20s, after moving back to the Clarksdale area, inspired by the work of Willie Wilson. He began playing alongside Charley Patton, Willie Brown, Robert Johnson and Fiddlin' Joe Martin around Robinsonville, Mississippi, and north to Memphis, Tennessee, until 1942. House's innovative style featured strong, repetitive rhythms, often played with the aid of a bottleneck, coupled with singing that owed more than a nod to the hollers of the chain gangs. The music of Son House, in contrast to that of, say, Blind Lemon Jefferson, was emphatically a dance music, meant to be heard in the noisy atmosphere of a barrelhouse or other dance hall. House was the primary influence on Muddy Waters and also an important influence on Robert Johnson, who would later take his music to new levels. It was House who, speaking to awe-struck young blues fans in the 1960s, spread the legend that Johnson had sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his musical powers. 'Artist Discography'
Son Seals - Frank "Son" Seals (August 13, 1942 - December 20, 2004) was an American blues guitarist and singer. He was born in 1942 in Osceola, Arkansas where his father, Jim "Son" Seals, owned a small club. He began performing professionally by the age of 13, first as a drummer with Robert Nighthawk, and later as a guitarist. In 1959, he formed his own band which performed locally and he also toured with Albert King. In 1971, he moved to Chicago. His career took off after he was discovered by Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records at the Flamingo Club in Chicago's South Side. His debut, The Son Seals Blues Band, was released in 1973. The album included "Your Love Is Like a Cancer" and "Hot Sauce". Seals followed up with 1976's Midnight Son and 1978's Live and Burning. He continued releasing albums throughout the next two decades, all but one on Alligator Records. These included Chicago Fire (1980), Bad Axe (1984), Living In The Danger Zone (1991), Nothing But The Truth and Live-Spontaneous Combustion (1996). He received the W.C. Handy Award, an honor for best blues recording of the year, in 1985, 1987, and 2001. 'Artist Discography'
Sonny Boy Williamson I - John Lee Curtis Williamson, (March 30, 1914 —June 1, 1948) was an American blues harmonica player, and the first to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson. He was born near Jackson, Tennessee in 1914. His original harmonica recordings were considered to be in the country blues style, but he soon demonstrated skill at making harmonica a lead instrument for the blues, and popularized the instrument for the first time in a more urban blues setting. He has been called "the father of modern blues harp". His very first recording, "Good Morning, School Girl", was a major hit on the 'race records' market in 1937. He was hugely popular among black audiences throughout the whole southern U.S. as well as in the midwestern industrial cities such as Detroit and his home base in Chicago, and his name was synonymous with the blues harmonica for the next decade. Other well-known recordings of his include "Shake the Boogie", "You Better Cut that Out", "Sloppy Drunk", and "Early in the Morning". Williamson's style influenced a large number of blues harmonica performers, including Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells, Sonny Terry, Little Walter, and Snooky Pryor among many others. He was easily the most widely heard and influential blues harmonica player of his generation. His music was also influential on many of his non-harmonica playing contemporaries and successors, including Muddy Waters (who had played with Williamson in the mid-1940s) and Jimmy Rogers (whose first recording in 1946 was as a harmonica player, performing an uncanny imitation of Williamson's style); Rogers later recorded Williamson's songs "My Little Machine" and "Sloppy Drunk" on Chess, and Waters recorded "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" in September 1963 for his Chess LP Folk Singer and again in the 70s when he moved to Johnny Winter's Blue Sky label on CBS. 'Artist Discography'
Sonny Boy Williamson II - Aleck "Rice" Miller (December 5, 1899 – May 25, 1965), was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter. Aleck Ford was born on the Sara Jones Plantation near Glendora, Mississippi in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. The date and year of his birth are a matter of some uncertainty. He claimed to have been born on December 5, 1899, but one researcher, David Evans, claims to have found census record evidence that he was born around 1912. Miller's gravestone has his birthdate as March 11, 1908. He lived and worked with his sharecropper stepfather, Jim Miller, whose last name he soon adopted, and mother, Millie Ford, until the early 1930s. Beginning in the 1930s, he traveled around Mississippi and Arkansas and encountered Big Joe Williams, Elmore James and Robert Lockwood, Jr., also known as Robert Junior Lockwood, who would play guitar on his later Checker Records sides. He was also associated with Robert Johnson during this period. Miller developed his style and raffish stage persona during these years. Willie Dixon recalled seeing Lockwood and Miller playing for tips in Greenville, Mississippi in the 1930s. He entertained audiences with novelties such inserting one end of the harmonica into his mouth and playing with no hands.
Sonny Terry - Saunders Terrell, better known as Sonny Terry ( October 24, 1911 - March 11, 1986) was a blind blues musician. He was most widely known for his energetic blues harmonica style, which frequently included vocal whoops and hollers, and imitations of trains and fox hunts. His father, a farmer, taught him to play basic blues harp as a youth. He sustained injuries to his eyes and lost his sight by the time he was 16, which prevented him from doing farm work himself. In order to earn a living Terry was forced to play music. He began playing in Shelby, North Carolina. After his father died he began playing in the trio of Piedmont-style guitarist Blind Boy Fuller. When Fuller died in 1941, he established a long-standing musical relationship with Brownie McGhee, and the pair recorded numerous tracks together. The duo became well-known, even among white audiences, as they joined the growing folk movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This included collaborations with Styve Homnick, Woody Guthrie and Moses Asch, producing Folkways Records (now Smithsonian/Folkways) classic recordings. 'Artist Discography'
St. Louis Jimmy Oden - James Burke "St. Louis Jimmy" Oden (June 26, 1903 - December 30, 1977), was an American blues vocalist and songwriter. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Jimmy Oden sang and taught himself to play the piano in childhood. In his teens, he left home to go to St. Louis, Missouri where piano-based blues was prominent. He was able to develop his vocal talents and began performing with the gifted pianist, Roosevelt Sykes. After more than ten years playing in and around St. Louis, in 1933 he and Sykes decided to move on to Chicago. In Chicago he was dubbed St. Louis Jimmy and there he would enjoy a solid performing and recording career for the next four decades. While Chicago became his home base, Oden traveled with a group of blues players to various places throughout the United States. He recorded a large number of records, his best known coming in 1941 on the Bluebird Records label called "Goin' Down Slow." Oden wrote a number of songs, two of which, "Take the Bitter with the Sweet" and "Soon Forgotten," were recorded by his friend, Muddy Waters. In 1948 on Aristocrat Records Oden cut "Florida Hurricane", accompanied by the pianist Sunnyland Slim and the guitarist Muddy Waters. In 1949, Oden partnered with Joe Brown to form a small recording company called J.O.B. Records that remained in business for twenty-five years. After a serious road accident in 1957 he devoted himself to writing and placed material with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf ("What a Woman!") and John Lee Hooker. In 1960 he made an album with Bluesville Records, and sang on a Candid Records session with Robert Lockwood, Jr. and Otis Spann. Oden died, at the age of 74, in 1977 and was interred in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois, near Chicago. 'Artist Discography'
Stevie Ray Vaughan - (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American blues-rock guitarist, whose broad appeal made him an influential electric blues guitarist. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Stevie Ray Vaughan #7 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and Classic Rock Magazine ranked him #3 in their list of the 100 Wildest Guitar Heroes in 2007. Vaughan was born on October 3, 1954, in Dallas, Texas, and was raised in the city's Oak Cliff neighborhood. Neither of his parents had any strong musical talent but were avid music fans. They would take Vaughan and his older brother Jimmie to concerts to see Fats Domino, Johnny Williamson III, Jimmy Reed, and Bob Wills. Even though Vaughan initially wanted to play the drums as his primary instrument, Michael Quinn gave him a guitar when he was seven years old. Vaughan's brother, Jimmie Vaughan, gave him his first guitar lessons. Vaughan was later quoted in Guitar Player as saying, "My brother Jimmie actually was one of the biggest influences on my playing. He really was the reason I started to play, watching him and seeing what could be done." He played entirely by ear and never learned how to read sheet music. By the time he was thirteen years old he was playing in clubs where he met many of his blues idols. A few years later he dropped out of Justin F. Kimball High School in Oak Cliff and moved to Austin to pursue music. Vaughan's talent caught the attention of guitarist Johnny Winter and blues-club owner Clifford Antone. In the early 1980s, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger saw Vaughan and Double Trouble playing at a club, and invited them to play at a private party in New York. This led to their acquaintance with producer Jerry Wexler, who managed to get them their first big break performing at the 1982 Montreux Jazz Festival. As a result they were able to meet Jackson Browne, who gave the band free time in his Los Angeles studio, and David Bowie, who had Vaughan play lead guitar on his next album, Let's Dance. Soon a record contract with Epic followed, as well as their first album release in 1983, the successful Texas Flood, which charted at number 38 and gained positive reviews. After a successful tour, their second album, Couldn't Stand the Weather, charted at number 31 in 1984 and went gold in 1985. Their third album, Soul to Soul, charted at number 34 in 1985.
On August 25 and August 26, 1990, Vaughan and Double Trouble finished the summer portion of the In Step Tour with shows at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, just outside of East Troy, Wisconsin. The show also featured The Robert Cray Band (with the Memphis Horns, Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love) and Eric Clapton, who played the closing set, then brought all the musicians back onstage for an encore jam. Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton later recalled his last conversation with Vaughan, and remembered Vaughan saying backstage that he had to call his girlfriend, Janna Lapidus, before heading out the door to board a helicopter for the flight back to Chicago, Illinois, where Lapidus was staying. The musicians had expected a long bus ride back to Chicago. However, Vaughan was informed by a member of Clapton's crew that three seats were open on one of the helicopters returning to Chicago with Clapton's crew, enough for Vaughan, his brother Jimmie, and Jimmie's wife Connie. It turned out there was only one seat left; Vaughan requested it from his brother, who obliged. At 12:44 a.m. pilot Jeffrey Browne guided the helicopter off the ground. Shortly after takeoff the helicopter crashed into a ski slope and all five on board were killed. Although the crash occurred only 0.6 miles from the takeoff point, it went unnoticed by those at the concert site. 'Artist Discography'
Susan Tedeschi - born November 9, 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts, is an American blues and soul artist, who has risen to fame with multiple Grammy Award nominations, powerful singing voice, and her marriage to Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band and The Derek Trucks Band. She is also known for the "Soul Stew Revival", a conglomeration of both her band, that of The Derek Trucks Band, and assorted other personnel.Growing up in the Boston suburb of Norwell, Massachusetts, she began singing with local bands at the age of 13, and subsequently pursued her passion for music while studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. After establishing herself as one of New England’s top–drawing live acts, and making her recording debut with her embryonic 1995 album Better Days, Tedeschi achieved an impressive musical and commercial breakthrough with her 1998 indie release Just Won’t Burn. The album became a massive grass–roots success, with a minimum of hype and plenty of old–fashioned word of mouth. Just Won’t Burn achieved Gold sales status and won Tedeschi a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. 'Artist Discography'
Taj Mahal - born Henry St. Claire Fredericks in Harlem on May 17, 1942, Taj grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father was a jazz pianist, composer and arranger of Caribbean descent, and his mother was a gospel singing schoolteacher from South Carolina. Both parents encouraged their children to take pride in their diverse ethnic and cultural roots. His father had an extensive record collection and a shortwave radio that brought sounds from near and far into the home. His parents also started him on classical piano lessons, but after only two weeks, young Henry already had other plans about what and how he wanted to play. Early on he developed an interest in African music, which he studied assiduously as a young man. His parents also encouraged him to pursue music, starting him out with classical piano lessons. He also studied the clarinet, trombone and harmonica. At age eleven Mahal's father was killed in an accident at his own construction company, crushed by a tractor when it flipped over. This was an extremely traumatic experience for him. His mother would later remarry. His stepfather owned a guitar which he began using at age 13 or 14, receiving his first lessons from a new neighbor from North Carolina of his own age that played acoustic blues guitar. His name was Lynwood Perry, the nephew of the famous bluesman Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. In high school Mahal sang in a doo-wop group. Throughout his career, Mahal has performed his brand of blues (an African American artform) for a predominantly white audience. This has been a disappointment at times for Mahal, who recognizes there is a general lack of interest in blues music among many African Americans today. 'Artist Discography'
T-Bone Walker - Aaron Thibeaux Walker or T-Bone Walker or Oak Cliff T-Bone (May 26, 1910 — March 15, 1975), was an American blues guitarist, singer, pianist and songwriter who was one of the most important pioneers of the electric guitar. His electric guitar solos were among the first heard on modern blues recordings and helped set a standard that is still followed. Walker was born in Linden, Texas of African and Cherokee descent. His parents, Rance Walker and Movelia Jimerson were both musicians. Walker married Vida Lee in 1935 and had three children with her. He died of pneumonia March 16, 1975. His distinctive sound developed in 1942 when Walker recorded "Mean Old World" for Capitol Records. Much of his output was recorded from 1946–1948 on Black & White Records, including 1947's "Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad)", with its famous opening line, "They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad". He followed up with his "T-Bone Shuffle" and "Let Your Hair Down, Baby, Let's Have a Natural Ball". Both are considered blues classics. B. B. King says "Stormy Monday" first inspired him to take up the guitar. The song was also a favorite live number for The Allman Brothers Band. Throughout his career Walker worked with the top quality musicians, including Teddy Buckner (trumpet), Lloyd Glenn (piano), Billy Hadnott (bass), and Jack McVea (tenor sax). Following his work with Black & White, he recorded from 1950-54 for Imperial Records (backed by Dave Bartholomew). Walker's only record in the next five years was T-Bone Blues, recorded over three widely separated sessions in 1955, 1956 and 1959, and finally released by Atlantic Records in 1960. 'Artist Discography'
Teenie Hodges - Mabon "Teenie" Hodges is a Memphis musician best known for his work as lead guitarist and songwriter on many of Al Green's popular soul hits of the 1970s. Born in 1946, the Memphis, TN guitarist and his brothers played on sessions for the artists on Hi, and "Teenie"'s guitar was one of the most familiar sounds of the 1970s. His compositions "Take Me to the River" and "Love and Happiness," both cowritten with Green, have been covered by numerous other international artists, including Al Jarreau, Amazing Rhythm Aces, Talking Heads, O.V. Wright, David Sanborn, Toots & the Maytals, Canned Heat, Foghat, Levon Helm, Syl Johnson, Annie Lennox, Delbert McClinton, Mitch Ryder, Tom Jones, Graham Central Station, Living Colour, blues artist Willie Cobbs, Denise La Salle, and others. He also cowrote several other popular hits with songwriters like Isaac Hayes, Willie Mitchell, and Al Green, including "I Take What I Want," "Oh Me, Oh My," "Here I Am, Come and Take Me," and "Full of Fire." Hodges recorded and toured for years as guitarist with his talented brothers, bassist Leroy Hodges and organist Charles Hodges, in the Hi Rhythm Section, which was the backing band on most Hi Records label hits of the 1970s for numerous popular soul artists, including Al Green and Ann Peebles. Hodges toured internationally and recorded with major soul acts like Syl Johnson and O.V. Wright for a number of years and continues performing in blues and soul groups today, based out of his home in Memphis. 'Artist Discography'
Tinsley Ellis - (1957- ), a blues musician, was born in Atlanta, Georgia and spent his early years in Florida. Inspired by his idol, B.B. King, he was determined to become a blues guitarist. In 1975 he returned to Atlanta and joined his first band. He graduated from Emory University in 1979 with a degree in history. Ellis grew up in southern Florida and first played guitar at age eight. He found the blues through the backdoor of the British Invasion bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream, and The Rolling Stones. He especially loved the Kings--Freddie, B.B. and Albert--and spent hours immersing himself in their music. His love for the blues solidified when he was 14. At a B.B. King performance, Tinsley sat mesmerized in the front row. When B.B. broke a string on Lucille, he changed it without missing a beat, and handed the broken string to Ellis. After the show, B.B. came out and talked with fans, further impressing Tinsley with his warmth and down-to-earth attitude. By now Tinsley's fate was sealed; he had to become a blues guitarist. And yes, he still has that string. Already an accomplished teenaged musician, Ellis left Florida and returned to Atlanta in 1975. He soon joined the Alley Cats, a gritty blues band that included Preston Hubbard (of Fabulous Thunderbirds fame). In 1981, along with veteran blues singer and harpist Chicago Bob Nelson, Tinsley formed The Heartfixers, a group that would become Atlanta's top-drawing blues band. 'Artist Discography'
Tommy Castro - Tommy Castro (born in 1955 in San Jose, California) is a blues guitarist and singer. He began playing guitar at a young age and was influenced and inspired by electric blues, Chicago blues, west coast blues, soul music, '60's rock and roll and Southern rock. His style has always been a hybrid of all his favorite genres. Since the late 1980s he has led bands featuring a drummer, bass guitar player and saxophone player and they have been a prominent feature in the Bay Area blues scene. In 1994, he was signed to Blind Pig Records label and released his first album the following year. He has gained national and international attention ever since due to his touring, fun live performances and releasing six additional albums. His album Guilty of Love featured the last recording session for John Lee Hooker. In 2002 he was featured on the Bo Diddley tribute album Hey Bo Diddley - A Tribute!, performing the song "I Can Tell". Castro and his band released Soul Shaker in February 2005. 'Artist Discography'
Tommy McClennan - (April 8, 1908 - 1962?) was a delta blues singer and guitarist. McClennan was born on a farm near Yazoo City, Mississippi and grew up in the town. He played and sang blues in a rough, energetic style. He made a series of recordings for Bluebird Records from 1939 through 1942 and regularly played with his friend Robert Petway. He can be heard shouting in the background on Petway's 1942 recording "Boogie Woogie Woman". McClennan made an immediate impact in 1940 with his recordings of "Shake 'Em On Down", "Bottle It Up and Go", "Whiskey Head Woman" and "New Highway No.51". He left a powerful legacy that included "Bottle It Up and Go," "Cross Cut Saw Blues" (covered by Albert King), "Deep Blue Sea Blues" (aka "Catfish Blues"), and others whose lasting power has been evidenced through the repertoires and re-recordings of other artists. Although nothing is known of what happened to Petway, McClennan was occasionally seen in Chicago with Elmore James and Little Walter, two other artists who came from the Delta. McClennan is reported to have died from alcoholism in poverty in Chicago, Illinois, in 1962. 'Artist Discography'
Willie Brown - (August 6, 1900 – December 30, 1952), was an American delta blues guitarist and singer. Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Brown played with such notables as Charley Patton, Son House, and Robert Johnson. He was not known to be a self-promoting frontman, preferring to accompany other musicians. Little is known for certain of the man whom Robert Johnson called "my friend-boy, Willie Brown" (in his prophetic "Cross Road Blues") and whom Johnson indicated should be notified in event of his death. Brown is heard with Patton on the Paramount label sessions of 1930, playing "M & O Blues," and "Future Blues." Apart from playing with Son House and Charlie Patton it has also been said that he played with artists such as Luke Thomson and Thomas "Clubfoot" Coles. At least four other songs he recorded for Paramount have never been found. "Rowdy Blues", a 1929 song credited to Kid Bailey, is disputed to have Brown on backup, or Brown himself using the name of Kid Bailey. Willie Brown does his song "Future Blues" on the album Son House & The Great Delta Blues Singers (1994), recorded between 1928 and 1930, on the Document Records label. 'Artist Discography'
Willie Dixon - William James "Willie" Dixon (July 1, 1915 – January 29, 1992) was a well-known American blues bassist, singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer. His songs, including "Little Red Rooster", "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Evil", "Spoonful", "Back Door Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You", "I Ain't Superstitious", "My Babe", "Wang Dang Doodle", and "Bring It on Home", written during the peak of Chess Records, 1950-1965, and performed by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter, influenced a worldwide generation of musicians. Next to Muddy Waters, he was the most influential person in shaping the post-World War II sound of the Chicago blues. He also was an important link between the blues and rock and roll, working with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley in the late-1950s, and his songs were covered by some of the biggest bands of the 1960s and 1970s, including Bob Dylan, Cream, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Allman Brothers Band, and the Grateful Dead. He is also the grandfather of writer/musician Alex Dixon. Dixon began performing around Chicago and with Baby Doo, helped to form the Five Breezes, a group that blended blues, jazz, and vocal harmonies. Dixon's progress in learning to play the bass was halted when he resisted the draft during World War II as a conscientious objector and was imprisoned for ten months. After the war, he formed the group Four Jumps of Jive and then reunited with Caston, forming the Big Three Trio, who went on to record for Columbia Records. Dixon signed to Chess Records as a recording artist, but began performing less and became more involved with the label. By 1951, he was a full time employee at Chess where he acted as producer, A&R talent scout, session musician, and staff songwriter. His relationship with the label was sometimes strained, although his spell there covered the years from 1948 to the early 1960s. During this time his output, and influence was prodigious. 'Artist Discography'
Z. Z.Hill - Arziel Hill (September 30, 1935-April 27, 1984), known popularly as Z. Z. Hill, was an African American blues singer, in the soul blues tradition, known for his 1970s and 1980s recordings for Malaco. His Down Home Blues album (1982) stayed on the Billboard soul album chart for nearly two years. The title track was the best-known blues song of the 1980s. This track, plus the songs, "Someone Else Is Steppin In" and "Open House" have become R&B/Southern soul standards. Hill began his singing career in the late 1950s as part of a gospel group called The Spiritual Five, touring Texas. Around 1960, he started collecting records by B. B. King, Freddie King, Sam Cooke, Bobby "Blue" Bland and Wilson Pickett and began singing and writing songs influenced by these styles. 'Artist Discography'
Additions to the list? Contact us here.
Blues| Country | Jazz | Family Bands | Female | Folk | Metal | Power Trios | Punk | Reggae
Rock - The Pioneers - Rock '51 - '63 | Rock '62 - '69-The British Invasion | Rock '68 - '74
Site Map Comments or Questions Submissions
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.)