The New York Blues Hall of Fame honors legendary, master and great local blues artists from the great state of New York. We have formally inducted artists such as John Hammond, Levon Helm, Johnny Winter to name a few but we also like to keep the focus on the local, in the trenches blues musicians who play their hearts out night after night and give them the recognition they truly deserve.
- Michael Packer, NY Ambassador
"A great organization that recognizes the working musician for their achievements"
- Prof. Louie (Woodstock Records)
Michael Packer is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was born in New York City in 1950. After doing his first gig at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village at the age of 15, he formed and recorded with numerous groups throughout the late '60s, '70s, and '80s, including Papa Nebo (with saxophonist Bob Mintzer of the Grammy Award-winning Yellowjackets), Free Beer, and Coolstep. He also worked with the likes of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Johnny Rivers, Dr. Hook, Clifton Chanier, and the Matt Murphy Band.
Kirk Yano is a multiple Grammy-winning recording engineer with several Platinum and Gold RIAA Awards, Kirk has worked with everyone from Public Enemy, Mariah Carey to Miles Davis and Phoebe Snow, and has toured as a musician with Snow, Savoy Brown, Scott Holt and Texas Scratch.
Larry Johnson is a Piedmont guitarist who incorporated many elements of Blues styles from all over the South into his playing. Learning from some of the old originators, Larry was a man out of time when the Blues went electric and his fine interpretations of country Blues classics have been largely overlooked. Larry was born in Atlanta GA in 1938, and as a boy he would travel around with his father who was a preacher. The young man picked up a love of local Piedmont style Blues, especially the records of Blind Boy Fuller, and this encouraged him to take up guitar. Larry's influences include Delta and Texas elements, but the fingerpicking style of his home state is fundamental to his technique. After Military service in the late 50s, Larry settled in New York where he befriended The McGhee brothers, Brownie and `Stick', and his tidy guitar work saw him play on records by Guitar Slim and Big Joe Williams. The Rev Gary Davis also showed an interest in the young man, and like Jorma Kaukonen and Stephan Grossman, Larry learned a lot from the old master. The Rev. Gary contended that "the hardest chords make the best musicians", and Larry incorporated much of Gary's complex chord structures into something he called `stride guitar'.
Pork Chop Willie's debut national album Love is the Devil lights a new fire under America's musical melting pot, bringing fresh heat to the Mississippi hill country blues tradition while blending in elements of Americana, rock, alt-country and even classical music. Led by singer-guitarist Bill Hammer and violinist Melissa Tong, Pork Chop Willie is fueled by grooves, grit, honesty and passion as well as a unique blend of down-home and uptown musicianship.
Jon Paris has toured nationally and internationally with an impressive list of artists that includes Bo Diddley, Johnny Winter, Chris Spedding, Johnnie Johnson, and former Rolling Stone Mick Taylor. He's also backed Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, Phoebe Snow, Hubert Sumlin, Rudy Ray Moore, the Uptown Horns, and Elvin Bishop, to name just a few. All the while Paris has maintained his own New York City-based rock and blues band. The group performs regularly at B.B. King Blues Club and at clubs, casinos, and concerts across the country.
"Upon first hearing guitar man Chris Bergson and his gravely southern drawl, which is a combination of Levon Helm and Gregg Allman, you can hardly believe this guy is from New York City. Imitate the Sun displays an artist dedicated to bringing blues and classic R&B into the future while honoring the past."
- No Depression.com
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