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-