Monday, December 05, 2011

Legendary bluesman Hubert Sumlin dies at 80; lead guitarist for Howlin' Wolf

Hubert Sumlin, one of the towering figures of blues guitar, died Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011. The 80-year-old Sumlin had congestive heart failure, according to his agent, Hugh Southard, and died at a hospital in Wayne, N.J.

Sumlin was the lead guitarist for legendary blues singer Howlin' Wolf on their seminal recordings for Chess Records. Although overshadowed by the massive Wolf, it is impossible to think about blues classics such as "Killing Floor," "Back Door Man," "Spoonful" and "Wang Dang Doodle" without imaging Sumlin's stinging yet soulful guitar riffs.

Ironically, millions of people who have never heard of Howlin' Wolf have been listening to Sumlin's distinctive guitar work on the classic song "Smokestack Lightin'" as the soundtrack to a recent TV commercial for Viagra.

Sumlin's influence lives on today in the countless rock guitarists who were influenced by him, including Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.  In 2004, both men played with Sumlin on his recording, "About Them Shoes," a star-studded effort including Levon Helm on drums, James Cotton on harmonica and David Johansen on vocals.

A recent poll of guitarists in "Rolling Stone" magazine ranked Sumlin 43rd among the greatest guitarists of all time. "I love Hubert Sumlin," said Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page in the "Rolling Stone" article on Sumlin. "He always played the right thing at the right time."


New York Times
Rolling Stone
Washington Post
Official Web site

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lee Shot Williams dies at 73

Chicago blues soul singer Lee Shot Williams died on Nov. 25, 2011, according to his record label, Ecko Records. Williams was 73.

Henry Lee Williams was born in Lexington, Miss., on May 21, 1938. Lee "Shot" moved to Detroit in 1954, finished school, and relocated to Chicago in 1956. There he hooked up with his cousin, Little Smokey Smothers, who hired him as a regular vocalist with his band in 1961.
He got the nickname "Shot" from his mother at a young age, owing to his fondness for wearing suits and dressing up as a "big shot."

Follow this link for more information about Williams, including details about his services.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Buddy Guy dominates Blues Music Awards

Buddy Guy was the big winner at the recent Blues Music Awards, held in Memphis, Tenn. by the Blues Foundation.

Guy, the 2010 Lifetime Achievement honoree, was the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. In addition, he took home top honors for Album, Contemporary Blues Album, Contemporary Blues Artist and Song of the Year, which he shared with Tom Hambridge.

Guy released the critically-acclaimed recording, "Living Proof," in 2010.