Home News Canada Chicago blues royalty Lurrie Bell to play Calgary blues competition

Chicago blues royalty Lurrie Bell to play Calgary blues competition


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It’s no longer sudden that Lurrie Bell does no longer have a transparent recollection of his first creation to the blues.

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He used to be born into it, finally. The son of mythical Chicago harp participant Carey Bell, Lurrie would have had early interactions with a few of his father’s esteemed bosses, together with Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.

However he can pinpoint the precise second he knew he would devote his existence to the style, simply as his father did ahead of him.

It used to be within the Nineteen Seventies and Bell reckons he used to be not more than 17. Carey Bell used to be traveling with Dixon’s Chicago Blues All Stars on the time. Lurrie used to be shocked when his father allowed him to tag alongside for the excursion. He used to be much more shocked one evening when he used to be requested to sign up for the band on degree. Bell doesn’t take into accout the place they have been, precisely, however recollects it being a crowded ski resort someplace in The usa’s midwest.

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“I had no concept that he would invite me on degree to play,” says the guitarist, in an interview from his house in Chicago. “I may play and my dad knew that, however I didn’t know he would name me up. Where used to be packed! He mentioned ‘I’ve were given a marvel for you. I need you to hear my son play guitar.’ The band known as me up and I used to be more or less worried as a result of I didn’t know he used to be going to do this. I did just right. Everyone appreciated it. I appreciated it. The band appreciated it. My father appreciated it. Ever since then I mentioned to myself, ‘That is what I wish to do for the remainder of my existence.’ ”

Which is strictly what he did, albeit with a couple of unplanned interruptions. Beginning within the Nineteen Seventies, Bell established himself as a blues massive in his personal proper. He started construction a towering frame of labor, whether or not it’s along with his father, as Chicago blues queen Koko Taylor’s guitarist or as a part of the second-generation blues collective, The Sons of Blues, along Dixon’s son, Freddie. Beginning within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, he additionally recorded a sequence of well-received solo albums,  which was a part of a miraculous comeback tale for the musician. Within the Eighties, Bell disappeared from the scene and used to be affected by habit, psychological well being problems or even homelessness. He rebounded with 1995’s Mercurial Son, the primary of 4 ingenious albums he did for Chicago’s Delmark Data. Blues Blast Mag known as the album “a feral, primal juggernaut that used to be downright frightening in its depth and mixed the spastic power of an R.L. Burnside with the seasoned prowess of a Muddy Waters.”

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However extra tragedy adopted. In 2003, Bell and his spouse Susan Greenberg’s dual young children died no longer lengthy after being born upfront. In 2007,  Carey Bell died on the age of 70 simply months after Greenberg died of most cancers on the age of 44. Greenberg, a famend blues photographer in Chicago and the mum of Bell’s daughter, Aria, were a guiding gentle for the musician for years.

“She’s in a greater position now, I do know that,” says Bell, who will play the Calgary World Blues Competition’s primary degree at Shaw Millennium Park on July 30. “And I do know come what may, by some means she is having a look down on me to verify I proceed what I do as a musician.”

Somewhat than see the hardship and tragedy as informing his paintings within the blues, Bell says the song has had the other impact. Through the years, it has reliably led him out of the darkness. Even at his lowest issues, Bell by no means doubted that he would all the time be part of the style.

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“It is helping me very, very a lot, sir,” he says. “I couldn’t industry the blues for not anything. Something about it’s it’s in my blood. My father used to be a blues musician. His mom, my grandmother, used to be an ideal gospel singer. It’s in my genes to play blues. And I feel the blues, sir, is a healer, too. No matter you undergo in existence, in case you provide the blues rather well to an accepting target market it will pay you in the end. I’m no longer speaking about cash, both. I’m simply pronouncing it does one thing for you. It evokes you. It is helping with no matter you’re going via. In case you are going via adjustments on your circle of relatives and you notice dying, I’m the type of man who prays to the Lord. He is helping me and I all the time say ‘Thanks for serving to me play the blues.”

Bell earned his first Grammy nomination in 2009 for Chicago Blues: A Residing Historical past, which he recorded with Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer and Billy Department. His 2012 acoustic blues and gospel album, The Satan Ain’t Were given No Song, obtained the Prix du Blues award from the French L’Academie du Jazz for Easiest Blues Recording.

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In 2015 whilst traveling Japan, Bell wrote the slow-burning blues quantity I Can’t Shake This Feeling, which was the identify monitor of a 2017 album that earned him some other Grammy nomination.

Whilst there’s no respectable unlock date but, Bell has a follow-up already recorded that he’ll devote to guitar nice Freddie King. He has additionally been writing song after COVID-19 imposed some uncommon downtime for the musician. When he isn’t at the highway,  Bell frequents Chicago’s many blues venues and stays an elder statesman of the town’s busy song scene.

“There are some nice musicians right here nonetheless,” he says. “I will move to the north facet, the south facet, the west facet and everyone is aware of who I’m and I do know who they’re. I don’t care if they’re more youthful than I’m, or older than I’m, or midway unwell or were given one arm or one leg or no matter. I were given my ear out, seeking to seek for what they’re doing. What they’re doing out right here on this decade is taking part in actual just right blues.”

Lurrie Bell performs the Calgary World Blues Competition on Saturday, July thirtieth at the primary degree at Shaw Millennium Park at 8:30 p.m. The competition runs in quite a lot of venues from July 25-31. Seek advice from calgarybluesfest.com.

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