Born in Mississippi in 1936, Robert Lee "Smokey" Wilson knew at early age he was destined to play the blues. Before he was ten, Smokey had taken the wires off his momís broom and nailed them on the side of his house for his first make-shift guitar. Always self taught, Smokey would sneak into the juke joints to listen to his heroes Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Howlin Wolf and others and developed a stinging guitar and gritty singing style that incorporates the raw sounds of the Delta. It wasnít until he was 35 that he moved to California in 1971. There he opened the famed Pioneer club in south LA. A club dedicated to preserving the blues that he grew up loving and playing while back in the Delta. Wilson was one of the instrumental musicians and club owners who were responsible for keeping the blues alive and growing during a tough time on the west coast. Helping develop the careers of musicians like William Clarke, Shakey Jake, Harmonica Smith, Rod Piazza, Hollywood Fats and many others, Wilson spent the next 20 years running his successful blues club and maturing as a performer. It hasnít been until the release of his Ron Levy produced Bullseye records during the 1990ís, combined with his extensive touring, that Smokey Wilson has finally garnered some overdue international recognition. Smokey Wilson, with his ferocious guitar attack and gritty Jimmy Reed meets Howliní Wolf vocals, delivers a live show with so much enthusiasm and fun that you canít help but have a good time.
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Copyright 1997 by Ray M. Stiles
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