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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Little Red Rooster - Henry Gray

While he is best known for his lengthy tenure with Howlin’ Wolf, Gray also backed a virtual who’s who of legendary Chicago blues artists in the studio, and on the bandstand.

Gray’s style was, and still is, instantly recognizable. Rather than play chords like most of his contemporaries, Gray instead plays a busy cluster of notes on his right hand, overtop of the solid blues or boogie bass that he plays with his left hand. His style shone brightest on Wolf’s early 1960s recordings like, “Tail Dragger,” “Goin’ Down Slow” and “You’ll Be Mine.” But, even earlier, he enhanced Billy Boy Arnold’s, “I Wish You Would,” G. L. Crockett’s, “Look Out Mabel,” and Jimmy Rogers, “Blues All Day Long,” to name but a few.

Born January 19, 1923, at Kenner, La, he moved with his family to rural Alsen, La, when he was one year old. Little Henry began playing piano at the age of 10. He took formal lessons, but in 2002 he admitted, “There was no feeling in doing that.”
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