Willie Dixon has been called "the poet laureate of the blues" and "the father of modern Chicago Blues." He was indisputably the preeminent Blues songwriter of his era, credited with writing more than 500 songs by the end of his life. Moreover, Willie Dixon is a towering figure in the history and creation of "Chicago Blues" on other fronts. While on staff at Chess Records, Dixon produced, arranged, and played bass on sessions for Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and others.
He was born McKinley Morganfield. Muddy Waters natural down home feel, slide guitar playing and rich baritone voice has captured the hearts and souls of innumerable Blues musicians for decades, making him one of the most respected Blues Musicians of any era! He is the archetypal Bluesman! The Harlem Blues Project understands the importance of Willie Dixon's and Muddy Waters contributions to "The Blues" and with great respect and joy present their interpretations of classic and obscure Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters songs. They're going to pitch a wang dang doodle all night long!
Harlem Blues Project specializes in soulful New York blues with a twist! The band features blues masters Jerry Dugger, Junior Mack, and Barry Harrison.
Jerry was raised in Harlem and caught the music bug early in life. A fateful walk through Washington Square Park found him being introduced to the New York City Blues scene by way of the now infamous Dan Lynch Blues Bar. Jerry spent the next thirteen years learning to play Bass and sing, while also hosting the Saturday and Sunday Blues Jams. There Jerry Shared his stage with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Copeland, James Cotton and many more Blues Artists. His Bass baritone voice and thunderous bass playing have earned him a place in New York's Blues Hall of Fame. Jerry's band "The Dugger Brothers" are a staple on the New York City Blues scene.
Influenced by Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Jan Akkerman, and Wes Montgomery, Junior Mack deftly displays these influences, although the foundation of his playing lies in the soulfulness of Gospel and Blues. An opportunity to play for the late Pops Staples and the encouraging reaction from both Pops and Mavis Staples was the first in a chain of events that drove Mack to present his interpretation of the blues to a wider audience. He has sat in or worked with The Allman Brothers Band, Derek Trucks, Robert Randolph, Dickey Betts, and Honeyboy Edwards. He has also recorded an excellent CD, Live Adventures.
Drummer Barry Harrison spent five and a half years with the legendary Johnny Copeland, and after his passing, Harrison went on to spend six years working with his daughter, Shemekia Copeland. He has also worked with Sonny Rhodes, Eddie Kirkland, Phil Guy, and Lonnie Shields.
Bill Sims, Jr., is an American blues musician. He grew up in Marion, Ohio and began playing piano at the age of four. At age 14, he turned professional and joined the rhythm and blues band the Jacksonian Blues, which he left to attend Ohio State University. In 1971, Sims joined another rhythm and blues group, the doo-wop-influenced Four Mints. He left the band in 1976 to form The Lamorians, an avant-garde jazz band influenced by traditional African drumming. In 1988, he returned to the blues, founding Bill Sims and the Cold Blooded Blues Band. He released his debut album, Blues Before Sunrise, in 1992, and in 1999, PBS did a 10-hour documentary on Sims and his interracialfamily (with Sims's partner Karen Wilson). Sims released another album to coincide with this broadcast.
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