Louisiana Red schaukelt das haus
His homepage bio is long on superlatives and short on details but when you have music as good as Louisiana Red's, that might not matter too much. What you do find out there shows quite a life though. The 77-year-old bluesman was born in Alabama and lost his mom a week after he was born and experienced the horror of having his father murdered by the Klan before he was 10. Though he lost his wife to cancer when he was 40, his luck turned around three years later when he got to play the Montreaux Festival as well as jam with B.B. King and Muddy Waters. During the 80's, his life really picked up as he remarried, move to Germany (my title here is a bad translation of 'rocks the house') and received a WC Handy award. He's been touring extensively since then, recently completing a tour of Africa and Europe.
His latest album, Back to the Black Bayou (on Ruf Records), is a beaut too. He's got Chicago blues going strong here, even sounding fine when his voice is bathed in echo and distortion for that ol' timey effect. Just listen to the start/stop groove of "Alabama Train," the screaming slide on "Crime In Motion," the infectious swing of "Ride On Red, Ride On," the sweaty, low-down blues of "Sweet Leg Girl" and the minimal Wolf-like stomp of "The Black Bayou." And that's just the first half. He makes it sound so easy that you wonder why there aren't more great modern blues records like this.