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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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Showing posts with label Billy Branch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Billy Branch. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blue Bird Blues - Billy Branch

Billy Branch (born William Earl Branch, October 3, 1951, Great Lakes, Illinois) is an American blues harp player and singer of Chicago blues and harmonica blues.
Born in Great Lakes, Illinois, Branch was raised in Los Angeles, California, but in 1969 he moved to Chicago where he attended the University of Illinois. He soon took the place of the harmonica player Carey Bell in a band led by Willie Dixon called the Chicago Blues All-Stars.

In the 1970s he founded his own group, The Sons of the Blues, along with Lurrie Bell on guitar and Freddie Dixon on bass guitar. They are the sons of Carey Bell and Willie Dixon respectively, and they recorded for Alligator Records and with a change in personnel for Red Beans Records. The new band consisted of Carlos Johnson on guitar and J.W. Williams on vocals and bass guitar. He has also recorded for Verve Records and Evidence Records.

Other than co-headlining Alligator's 1990 summit meeting Harp Attack! with fellow harp masters Junior Wells, Carey Bell, and James Cotton, Branch largely busied himself with extensive sideman work and teaching an innovative "Blues in the Schools" program until 1995.

Branch has appeared at numerous major festivals including the Long Beach Blues Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, San Francisco Blues Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival.

Billy Branch is also well known for creating the "Blues in Schools" program (currently endorsed by the Blues Foundation) whereby Billy would go to schools, often in underprivileged areas, and teach the blues and how to play harmonica.

The SOB's current lineup consists of Billy Branch on harmonica and vocals, Moses Rutues on drums and vocals, Nick Charles on bass and vocals, Ariyo on keyboards and vocals, and Dan Carelli on guitar and vocal
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicage Blues: A Living History (The Revolution Continues) New Release Review

This is a very enjoyable double cd release of classic blues tunes played by the likes of Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Carlos Johnson and Lurrie Bell with special guests Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Magic Slim and featuring Ronnie Baker Brooks, Zora Young and Mike Avery. They cover all of the bases from Chuck Berry to Lonnie Johnson. This is a cd that should be in everyones collection.
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Check it out you'll like it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nick's Groove - Sons of Blues - Billy Branch - Lurrie Bell

Lurrie Bell (born Lurrie C. Bell, December 13, 1958, Chicago, Illinois, United States) is a blues guitarist and singer. His father was renowned blues harmonica player Carey Bell.

Bell started playing guitar at the age of six, and in his teens he polished his skills playing with the legends of Chicago blues scene including Eddy Clearwater, Big Walter Horton and Eddie Taylor.

In the mid 1970s, he went on to join Koko Taylor's Blues Machine and he toured with the band for four years. He made his recording debut in 1977 appearing on his father's album Heartaches and Pain and also on Eddie C. Campbell's King of the Jungle. It was around that time that he formed The Sons of Blues with musicians including Billy Branch on harmonica.[3] Three tracks of the band's recordings were featured in the Alligator Records compilation Living Chicago Blues Vol. 3 released in 1978. In 1989 he released his first solo effort, Everybody Wants To Win, on JSP Records.

Though Bell's career appeared to be headed in the right direction, drawing attention of the blues fans around the world as a young prodigy of the blues, he battled emotional problems and drug abuse for many years, which kept him away from performing on regular basis.

He began a comeback in 1995 with the well-received album Mercurial Son, his first of several from the Delmark label. A series of albums followed thereafter, and he started to perform more frequently in the Chicago club and blues festival circuits.

Bell is featured on Gettin' Up - Live at Buddy Guy's Legends, Rosa's and Lurrie's Home, a 2007 CD and DVD release from Delmark, where he plays with his father Carey. Soon after this release, Carey died and this became his last recorded effort.

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