This section contains dozens of photographs, interviews, and links
with Dallas/Fort Worth based blues artists. I know of no area in the
nation, except maybe Chicago, that has so many excellent bands. This
ain't a Texas brag, it's a fact. There are over 100 working blues bands
and artists based here. More than 70 of those bands have CDs out
that number is growing every year. Many locally based blues bands
have national and international recognition. One of the most
exciting things about the blues scene here is the diversity.
Almost any style of blues you can think of is performed here by people
who live here. Solo acoustic, soul blues, rockin' blues, Chicago
style, Delta, swing, jump, you name it, you can find it. The
wonderful blues scene here acts like a magnet to blues players from
other places. A number of fine blues performers have relocated
here in recent years from Canada, Austria, and the east and west coasts
of the U.S.
Here are just a few of the fine Texas blues bands and artists that call DFW home. All photos and interviews are copyright Don O.
The top of the heap has to be Anson Funderburgh and the
Rockets. This band has won
9 W.C. Handy blues awards during the years with Sam Myers, including the 2004
award for Traditional Blues Album of the Year. They have 8 albums
in print on Blacktop Records and a very nice
video in the American Blues series. Until recently, they spent most of
their time on
the road (270 dates a year), taking Texas blues to the world. A photo of
Anson appeared on the cover of the 1998
Northeast Tarrant County phone book!! Sam Myers' death in 2006 after
long battle with throat
cancer left the future of the band up in the air for awhile.
Anson currently works occasionally and helps produce CDs for other artists. Anson occasionally tours
with James Harman and Mark Hummel. In 2012 he appeared at
the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He has also appeared
as guitarist on recent releases by the Ruff Kutt Blues Band, Four Jacks, and Eric Lindell.
Bnois King partnered for many years with the late Smokin' Joe Kubek. They have one album out on The Netherlands' Double Trouble label, six albums on Bullseye Blues, four on Blind Pig Records, two on Alligator Records, and 2 on Delta Groove Records. Joe and Bnois released their only acoustic CD, Close to the Bone, on Delta Groove Records. In 2012 they completed a 6 week tour in Turkey. In April 2014 the band announced they had re-signed with Blind Pig Records. They recently released their newest CD, Fat Man's Shine Parlor. Joe Kubek passed away suddenly on October 10, 2015. Bnois is now working locally with the Bnois King Band.Website
Mike Morgan and the Crawl have 8 albums out on the Blacktop label plus Mike appears on another Blacktop production with Jim Suhler. In a town of very tough blues guitar players, Mike is one of the toughest. He occasionally sits in at local blues jams and often sits in with local or regional bands at their gigs. Mike is also a very popular guitar teacher. Harp player and vocalist Lee McBee left the band at the end of 1999 to pursue a solo career and passed away in 2014. However Mike is still fronting a mean three piece version of Mike Morgan and the Crawl and has taken on the vocal duties. Mike's latest CD, released March 2008, is titled Stronger Every Day and is his third on Severn Records. Lee McBee and Randy McAllister guest on a couple of tracks. Booking-Morgan and Associates 214-679-6439.Mike Morgan and the Crawl Website
Hash Brown is the widely known as the King of the Dallas
blues jams, after 9+ years of hosting Schooner's Sunday night jam and
13 1/2 years of hosting a Tuesday jam at The Bone. Hash is the heart
and soul of the Dallas blues scene and has mentored literally hundreds
of aspiring blues performers. A
former housemate of blues giant Sam Myers, Hash has released one album
on the European Parsefil label and a self produced CD titled Rollin'
Blues. His versatility is amazing and has enabled him to work and
record with such diverse artists as Zuzu Bollin, Big Al Dupree, Henry
Qualls, Sam Myers, Bobby Rush, and Barrelhouse Chuck. Hash is
currently fronting a mean
piece, The Hash Brown Band, and his guitar work is sounding better than
ever. Hash's Parsefil CD was
Cannonball Records as Hash
Brown's Texas Blues Revue in 1999 and received good airplay nationwide,
charting on the Living Blues poll for several months. Hash has a second
band, The Browntones, where he plays harp and features a traditional
Chicago sound. The first Browntones CD was released in Summer
2002 and also charted on the Living Blues radio poll. That
to the formation of Browntone Records which Hash has used to help other
local blues artists, such as Mitch Palmer and Chris Ruest to get their
music out on
CD. Recently he has been performing with The Dallas Blues
Allstars, an amalgamation of his band with Mike Morgan and the Crawl.
Hash is also a popular guitar and harmonica teacher and plays
a mean solo acoustic gig, now and then. He also performs with A Band of Brothers.
Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones is a Dallas native who got his first break playing in Freddie King's band at the age of 16. He later joined The Silent Partners and backed Katie Webster on one of her Alligator releases. He also led the Charlie Musselwhite Band for 8 years, toured the world, and shared in the honor of winning Band of the Year at the W.C. Handy Awards. He has been pursuing a solo career for the last several years with his first CD coming out on JSP in 1996. That CD was later leased to Bullseye and he then recorded a second CD for them. "Jr. Boy" is one of the most creative blues guitarists on the scene today. In 2007 he played a month long series of gigs in Beijing China. In 2009 he released Gettin' Real on Electro Fi Records. His newest release is titled I Know What It's Like on 43rd Big Idea Records. Jr. recently married his performing partner Keri LePai.
photo galexc photo
Lucky Peterson is a superbly talented young man who has been
recording since the age of 4. He is a guitarist, singer, song
writer, arranger, and a world class keyboard player. Former band leader
for both Little Milton and Bobby Bland, his keyboard talents are in
high demand and he has appeared on over 100 albums. He had
recorded previously for Alligator and King Snake before moving to
Dallas. His latest CD is titled Live at the 55 Arts Club Berlin.
Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat is another much loved Dallas band.
Jim's blues roots run deep, in fact he used to host a two hour blues
program on community radio station KNON. Jim is one of the toughest
slide players around. So tough, he impressed George Thorogood, who
helped him with his first release. Jim seems to be moving more in
a rock direction on his recordings, but he still plays lots of blues
live. Catch him at a live show with his friend Mike Morgan if you
really want to
see and hear some blues fireworks. Jim is currently spending a
of time on the road playing in George Thorogood's band. He released an acoustic CD, Dirt Road, on Topcat Records and
CD with several new tracks, The Best of Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat, on
7. Jim's latest CD, Panther Burn, was released in Europe in 2013
and in the U.S.A. in early 2014.
Smokey Logg is another fine blues guitar player, harp player,
vocalist, and song writer who has called Dallas home since the early
80's. Not content to wait for someone else to produce his albums,
Smokey has put out four good albums on his own Gila Monster label. He's
opened for a who's who of Blues including
B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Buddy Guy, John Mayall, Albert Collins, and
just about anyone else you can name. He also has a busy acting
career and writes screenplays. His latest album, Ghosts of the
Totems, was released in November 1997. You can often catch him
around town with harmonica wizard Paul Harrington.
Blues vocalist R.L. Griffin is The Right Reverend of Dallas Blues. His night club, The Blues Palace #2, is one of the hottest night spots for the Dallas blues community. It's a regular hangout for Bobby Rush, Lucky Peterson, Vernon Garrett, and other celebrities. R.L. has put out a number of 45's on GalexC and other local labels, a compilation tape titled I Want To Be Rich, and a CD titled It Don't Have to Be this Way on the Black Grape label in England. R.L. self-released his first U.S. CD in 1999 titled Too Hot to Stop. His latest self-released CD is titled Believe In Me.R.L. Griffin interview
Ernie Johnson is double dangerous. He has a great blues voice
and writes excellent original material. He's kept busy with nearly
constant national and international touring, often opening for folks
like Bobby Bland. He has recorded several albums for Paula and Malaco
Waldoxy Records. Ernie's newest CD is a self released compilation
titled EJ Sings the Blues. He was featured in an interview
in Living Blues Magazine in February
Bob Kirkpatrick has been playing the blues since the 50's but
has just recently moved to the forefront of the Dallas scene. He has
one CD on JSP and several self released CDs
of live performances recorded in Europe. He is popular overseas and has
toured Europe several times. However he does not tour in the U.S.
because the money is so poor. Bob is a great talent with a
deep voice and strong B.B. King influenced guitar licks. Bob latest CD
on Topcat/Red Lightin Records is called Drive
Across Texas. Bob had some health problems the last few years but
began performing again late in 2008.
Gregg Smith is a smooth soulful blues vocalist in the style of Little Milton and Bobby Bland. The Honey Grove, Texas native relocated to Dallas in the early 80's and has been a constant contributor to the South Dallas Blues scene. Gregg often tours with Lucky Peterson. His first album was on Ichiban and was re-released on CD in Europe to great critical acclaim and heavy radio airplay. He played several festivals overseas in 1990. Gregg also does a blues radio show on KNON 89.3 FM, Friday from 9 am to noon. Gregg recently released a blues compilation CD on his own Gman Record. Gregg was the subject of a major interview in Living Blues Magazine in 2014.Gregg Smith photo
The listing above will give you some idea of the size, depth, and diversity of the DFW blues community. However, this is just the tip of a very large iceberg. Additional DFW based blues bands and artists with recordings are listed below.Josh Alan (several self released CDs, some blues) website photo
PLUS!Andrew Baxter Jr photo
and a few locals who have moved away:Cheryl Arena (two CDs, self released) website photo