I actually stumbled across Luther Allison, I guess about a year or so ago when I was doing some personal investigations on Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf, which is also when I stumbles across Clarence Thomas Ashley as well, which in turn inspired me to the doors of Blind Willie McTell.
So after what I had learned about him I had decided, that Christmas to buy “Bad News is Coming” (on Motown 1972) which is (as far as I know) his second record, which ironically enough he had some covers on that record that were previously done by the original Chicago Blues scene (Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, …etc), while the other half of the record are his own arrangements.
I happen to love his funky renditions, along with his originals, with his crackly blues tone voice and his high energy, funked-out guitar riffs. I think he is absolutely brilliant and I feel pretty lucky to have “accidentally” come across someone that makes your butt wiggle and your heart jump around!
Born in 1939, from a HUGE family (he was one of 15 kids!) that was graced with many talented offspring. By the time Allison was 18, he dropped out of school and was encouraged to sing, and so… he DID, forming his own band “The Four Jivers”, touring Chicago, mainly the west side and impressing the likes of Otis Rush, Freddie King and Magic Sam. And by the mid 60’s Allison started his own solo career, while actually working for Freddie King too, when only a few years later he really embraced his God given talent, and to play solo, releasing his first album in 1969 (Love Me Mama on Delmark).
Although he would release many records between 1969 and 1997, before he passed away only four weeks after being diagnosed with the big “C” (lung cancer) in 1997, which was an unfortunate shock to the entire blues culture, robbing his friends, fans and family of his talent of imperishable proportions, but like most of the greats, he still lives through the music that he wrote….. I for one…feel honored!
Enjoy the some butt wiggling!
Luther Allison – Little Red Rooster (Also done by Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon….)
Luther Allison – Evil is Going On (Also done by Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Monster Magnet, Cactus…..)
Luther Allison – Raggedy and Dirty