Happy Birthday To Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown & Lil Ed Williams Of The Blues Imperials

 

 

Mr Brown starts us off …

 

 

Biography

” Whatever you do, don’t refer to multi-instrumentalist Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown as a bluesman, although his imprimatur on the development of Texas blues is enormous. You’re liable to get him riled. If you must pigeonhole the legend, just call him an eclectic Texas musical master whose interests encompass virtually every roots genre imaginable.

  Brown learned the value of versatility while growing up in Orange, TX. His dad was a locally popular musician who specialized in country, Cajun, and bluegrass — but not blues. Later, Gate was entranced by the big bands of Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, and Duke Ellington (a torrid arrangement of “Take the ‘A’ Train” remains a centerpiece of Brown‘s repertoire). Tagged with the “Gatemouth” handle by a high school instructor who accused Brown of having a “voice like a gate,” Brown has used it to his advantage throughout his illustrious career. (His guitar-wielding brother, James “Widemouth” Brown, recorded “Boogie Woogie Nighthawk” for Jax in 1951.)

  In 1947, Gate’s impromptu fill-in for an ailing T-Bone Walker at Houston entrepreneur Don Robey‘s Bronze Peacock nightclub convinced Robey to assume control of Brown‘s career. After two singles for Aladdin stiffed, Robey inaugurated his own Peacock label in 1949 to showcase Brown‘s blistering riffs, which proved influential to a legion of Houston string-benders (Albert Collins, Johnny CopelandJohnny “Guitar” Watson, Cal Green, and many more have pledged allegiance to Brown‘s riffs). Peacock and its sister label Duke prospered through the ’50s and ’60s.” Continue reading

 

 

Discography

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Lil Ed and his Blues Imperials finish up the post …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biography

 

” Diminutive nicknames are common enough on the Chicago blues scene and in the case of Lil’ Ed Williams the “little” is even shrunken down. This hard-driving guitarist and vocalist is nonetheless a formidable presence in the former genre circa the new millennium and events such as his 2007 Rattleshake tour and album. By then Williams had led his Blues Imperials for more than 25 years off and on, inviting comparisons to the kick-ass blues-rock of Hound Dog Taylor & the Houserockers. The “lil'” fellow has a connection both stylistic and ancestral with guitarist J.B. Hutto, a uniquely rough-hewn performer in his own right. Hutto would certainly have been proud to see his nephew go from working in a car wash to teaching Conan O’Brien how to play the blues in a skit on national television.” Continue reading

 

 

Discography

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