Who Is Bill Blue?

Bill Blue at Green Parrot

Bill Blue at the iconic Green Parrot bar in Key West.

Born in Aberdeen N.Carolina and raised in Yorktown VA, Bill first picked up a guitar when he was at school in Richmond VA. Playing along with records at first, Bill began to develop his unique slide guitar technique.

A chance meeting with Arthur (Big Boy) Crudup who wrote Elvis Presley’s hit ‘That’s Alright Mama’, ignited Bill’s life long passion for Blues music.

With the British music invasion of the 60’s and 70’s, bringing R&B bands like The Rolling Stones to the USA, interest in Blues music grew and Arthur Crudup who’d been working as a farm hand, asked Bill to put together a live band.

Arthur and Bill toured the USA, most notably opening for Bonnie Raitt on her first American tour.

After Arthur died in 1974, Bill went out on his own and for a decade toured extensively sharing the stage with BB King, ZZ Top, The Allman Brothers, Albert King, Johnny Winters, Hank Williams Jr and countless others at Blues festivals across the USA.

Bill made 2 LPs for the Feather label before signing with the prestigious Adelphi record label, one of the best blues labels in the US. Bill made 2 LPs for Adelphi and the worldwide distribution the label offered gave him the chance to be heard around the world. Bill toured to promote his records in all the Scandanavian countries and in addition played in France, Estonia and Lithuania.

In the eighties, tired of the road, Bill stopped touring and moved to Key West.

He continued playing, at the legendary Sloppy Joe’s with his band The Nervous Guys and he was the first musician to ever play at the famous Green Parrot, now known world wide for its roster of excellent music.

Bill ventured out of Key West to play the occasional festival, but apart from putting together the occasional compilation LP and a live recording at the legendary Full Moon Saloon in Key West, Bill didn’t record anything new until 2013 when new Key West resident, British producer Ian Shaw persuaded him back into the studio.

Armed with some great songs, his unique style of slide guitar playing and a gravely voice that had deepened with age, Bill went into the studio for 2 live rhythm track sessions with drummer Richard Crooks (a New York session player who’d played with Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Dr John and Paul Simon), Nashville guitarist Michael McAdam and London guitar god Matt Backer and various members of Bill’s live band.

The resulting LP ‘Mojolation’ which is available for download here…. garnered stellar reviews, worldwide airplay and reached No.1 on ReverbNation’s Blues chart and on the British Blues Broadcaster’s chart.

‘Mojolation’ was released on October 13th 2013 at a record release party at The Green Parrot and in honour of Bill’s new record, his charity work and being the ‘elder statesman’ of the Key West music scene. The City Of Key West declared October 13th to be Bill Blue Day in perpetuity.

Since ‘Mojolation’, Bill has recorded a new LP called ‘The King Of Crazy Town’ which will be released soon.

Bill lives on a houseboat and continues to gig around Key West, venturing out of The Keys for an occasional festival and gigs in VA.