Bluesman Lightnin’ Willie has a distinctive approach to his music. The sound is an irresistible blend of tradition and spontaneous creativity, with a deliciously insidious emphasis on the groove. It is a compelling, hard swinging brand of blues that, whenever he performs, packs the floor—his audience can’t not dance.
A guitarist of impressive facility, a vocalist of coolly stylish authority and a composer of persuasive original blues that both extend and enhance the idiom, Willie’s music has a rare individualistic quality. It is at once airy and full of open space yet also loaded with earthy, intense emotion, and as featured on his new Pete Anderson produced album Lightnin’ Willie, it showcases a master at the top of his game.
BEST HEADLINER WE HAVE EVER HAD…GARY GRAPE / GRAY SKY BLUES FESTIVAL 2016
Lightnin’ Willie operates at a high altitude in the wild blues yonder, and his impressive reach is the result of a near lifelong musical journey. Barely out of his teens, the Texas-born musician toured the Southern chitlin circuit as the only white member of an R&B-funk band, absorbing a powerful dose of deep insider information, rich both in technique and spirit. Gigging as a solo headliner for almost three decades, Willie has gone from low down beer joints to become a staple on the international festival circuit, with plenty of wild stops along the way, from London’s Royal Albert Hall Ignite Series to Willie Nelson’s infamous 4th of July Picnic, where he appeared alongside Willie, Bob Dylan and Leon Russell.
The always dapper Lightnin’ Willie, consistently genuine, never flashy, boundlessly entertaining, is reliably a high quality blues powerhouse who makes new fans with every performance. He brings an elegantly juxtaposed blend of influences to the bandstand—from T Bone Walker to the Kings, BB & Albert and Muddy Waters, with whom he frequently consorted in Chicago—and in Willie’s hand’s, the blues are a sinuous, lissome, high-voltage force loaded with soulful depth and an almost alchemical appeal.
These attributes have won him stacks of enthusiastic praise from the international press, landed his original tunes on numerous film and television soundtracks and with the arrival of Lightnin’ Willie, his eighth release, expect Lightnin’ Willie and his brilliant Biggest Little Band on Earth, comprised of keyboardist-bassist Michael Murphy (Stevie Nicks, Joe Walsh, Swamp Dogg), drummer Jerry Olsen (Lowell Fulson, Charlie Musselwhite) to elevate the blues into a new stratospheric dimension.