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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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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baby Please Don't Go - Bernie Pearl


The blues is life itself to Bernie Pearl. A guitarist with an upbeat, finger-poppin' picking style he learned at the elbows of bluesmasters Sam 'Lightnin' Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Mississippi Fred MacDowell, and others. Yet, Bernie Pearl is no hidebound traditionalist. As music critics and aficionados have said for years, he is a craftsman who packs his songs with melodic interpretations that are new and personal each time he picks up his vintage Martin or National. To hear him tell it, "I'm not a retro player. I'm playing real blues for right now."

Bernie, who grew up in the Los Angeles community of Boyle Heights, took up the guitar in the 1950's. Later, at his brother's legendary blues showcase, the Ash Grove, he met, studied with, and often performed with greats like Hopkins, Lipscomb, and MacDowell as well as with Freddie King, Albert Collins, and Big Mama Thornton. Bernie played duets with John Lee Hooker at Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village. "They were my teachers," he says, "and it wasn't just music they were teaching. If you took Mance or Lightnin' out fishing you got philosophy, history, and lessons in life".

Armed with the teachings of those and other blues icons, Bernie raises the roof with dazzling guitar solos - acoustic and electric - and with his own Bernie Pearl Blues Band, which has backed the likes of B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Willie Dixon, and Big Joe Turner. The Bernie Pearl Blues Band has been a popular draw at many of Southern California's best-known musical haunts: the House of Blues, California Plaza Presents, the Blue Café, Disney's California Adventure, and the Playboy Pasadena Community Jazz Festival. Bernie has appeared at major Festivals in Chicago, The Poconos, Vancouver, Portland, and Long Beach, as well as in Europe.

A life-long blues evangelist, Bernie began broadcasting Nothin' But the Blues on KPPC FM in 1968, making him L.A.'s first all-blues FM disc jockey. He went on to host the blues on KLON and KCRW from 1980-92, helping found the Long Beach Blues Festival along the way.
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