Honky tonks, dive bars, blues, BB and Elvis!

Comments: 8

Bill Blue guitar

 

Hello there, it’s Bill.

I’ve been playing The Blues for over 50 years and I’d like to share some background about me and why ‘I still got the Blues’ after all this time.

I got into playing guitar and singing after seeing Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan TV show one Saturday night in 1956. His performance was electrifying, mesmerising. I went out and bought a guitar. Maybe you did too?  “That was a pivotal moment in American music history as after that TV performance, it seemed like every kid dreamed that he or she could be a huge star like Elvis.”

18 years later, I met Elvis, but that’s a story for a future blog.

I practiced playing along with records all through my college years in Richmond, VA. My life changed forever when I met Arthur (Big Boy) Crudup who wrote ‘That’s Alright Mama’ for Elvis and he introduced me to Blues. I was hooked!

I love the simplicity of 3 chords and 12 bars. It’s music for the common man, regular joes. It binds me the performer and you the audience in a shared experience of life’s sorrows and joys. In fact in 1979, The Washington Post was kind enough to write about me that through my music I was ‘one of the best spokesmen for the common man’.

When I first met Arthur Crudup in the early 70s, he was working as a farm hand. Blues was enjoying a revival in the USA thanks to bands like the Rolling Stones re-importing the genre to America. Arthur asked me to put together a band for him and we toured until he died in 1974. Most notably we opened for Bonnie Raitt on her first ever US tour.

After Arthur passed, I went out on my own. I didn’t know if I was any good, but people kept coming to my shows and it seemed like they were seeing something that I didn’t know I had. I was also fortunate enough to meet BB King who was a real gentleman and gave me lots of encouragement. I opened for BB maybe 10 times over the years and he was always generous, gracious and kind.

Being a working musician is a bit of roller coaster, full of ups and downs, high points and disappointments.

I’ve toured every honky tonk and dive bar across the USA, narrowly missed out on 2 major record deals and put out records on 2 independent labels including Adelphi, one of the most famous Blues labels in America.

I love being on stage. It’s never mattered to me whether I was in front of an audience of 3,000 people or in a small club playing to 3 hookers, 2 bartenders and a drunk! I’ve always played every gig with the same commitment and energy. I’ve also never missed a show in 50 years.

I think my passion for Blues comes across in my records too, particularly on 2013’s ‘Mojolation’ record which you can download from this website. This was my first new recording in 25 years, it got great reviews and topped several Blues charts around the world. I’m really proud of that record. If you liked the free track you downloaded, you can get the rest of that record HERE for about the price of a couple of cups of coffee.

I’m going to sign off now, but thanks for reading this far and for your support, it’s really appreciated! Leave me a comment or a message below if you have the time.
I’ll blog again soon and watch out for more free stuff, music and videos coming soon. We’ll also shortly be announcing details of my next LP which is going to be called ‘The King Of Crazy Town’.

All the best-

Bill

8 Comments

  • Mat says:

    Bill is the greatest

  • mat says:

    I love Bill

  • Jim Hubbard says:

    Hey Bill, hope things are going good in Okeechobee! Man, I really miss seeing you at the Parrott in KW. Will be in KW March 18 – 23. McAdamwill be playing at the Tuna so that’s always good. Anyway, hope to catch you and Mike and Eric too at a festival in Florida soon. Love the new music!

    Jim

  • Josip M says:

    Hi Bill !
    I’ve listened Your track “It’s Gotta Change”. Sturdy man’s blues, and I like it. Keep on playing the blues.

  • Hard Work! That song was one of my original inspirations that carried me through founding my tree care firm through 40 years and still going. Thank you Bill. I loved when you played at the Double Door in Charlotte.

  • Thomas Lively says:

    Hey Bill, My name is Tom and I live in Richmond, Va. I’ve heard about you for most of my adult life. But I’ve never heard you. I’ll listen to the free download and see what I think! I think I know some musicians that you know and I remember a couple of guys talking about you back in the early 70’s when I worked at Thalhimers. Best of Luck to you!

  • Ricky Lee Jones says:

    Your story is interesting. I do like your style of blues music. I’m from Centreville, VA, and over the years I caught a few blues shows. I saw the Nighthawks many times. The last time I saw them they opened for George Thorogood at The Dome in Virginia Beach. In 1974 I saw Muddy Waters at the Celler Door. Muddy played piano at that show. The next time I saw him he opened for The Allman Brothers Band during their Win, Lose or Draw tour. He played guitar at that show. Believe it or not, another band I saw numerous times, the Seldom Scene, a local DC bluegrass band, had some great bluesgrass chops. A great example is from a song they recorded called Through the Bottom of the Glass. Also, at Desperados in DC, I saw The Charlottesville All Stars and, at The Premier in Norfolk’s Granby Mall, with Tom Petty, the Skip Castro Band played there. Anyway there is a lot of examples of my attending blues shows. Actually, I think I saw you in 1974 or 5 at the Green Parrot. You did accept my friend request on FB and we’ve talked a little on messenger. Now I live in Big Pine and work at Winn Dixie. I just played at a marina restaurant here on Big Pine. Don Chairs let me jam. I did three of my original songs. I have spoke with both Ian Shaw and Ralph DePalma about my intentions to release an EP. Now that Conch Music is going I may be able to get to it. My whole deal is getting a car to carry my guitar and equipment to Key West to play some gigs. I’m working on it. Right now I’m working 7 days per week. Monday I work a half day. I’ve got two guitars and and Fender Passport mini amp/pa. Maybe I can get something going. I know if I can get to Key West I could hook up with the music scene. I much rather be playing music than working at Winn Dixie. I’ll give you some support and purchase your record. I want to hear the rest of it. Good to talk with you again. I got to go do my laundry. 2 up 2 down … VA

  • Steve arner says:

    Wow , good story bro,you’ve been there and seen the seen ,love your music, thanks for responding, blues on brother 👊

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *