Johnny Woods (November 1, 1917 – February 1, 1990) was an American blues singer and harmonica player in the North Mississippi hill country blues style.
Stylistically, Woods’ music sprang from the same North Mississippi Fife and drum blues band tradition as [Mississippi Fred] McDowell’s. However, personal problems kept him rooted in the Delta, primarily working as a farm hand and sharecropper.
After McDowell’s death in July 1973, Woods faded away until George Mitchell paired him again with another late Mitchell Mississippi Delta discovery, R. L. Burnside, himself a McDowell disciple. Together they recorded the Swingmaster album and video, Going Down South.
Luther Allison (August 17, 1939 – August 12, 1997) was an American blues guitarist. He was born in Widener, Arkansas, and moved with his family, at the age of twelve, to Chicago in 1951. He taught himself guitar and began listening to blues extensively. Three years later he began hanging outside blues nightclubs with the hopes of being invited to perform. He played with Howlin’ Wolf’s band and backed James Cotton.
William James “Willie” Dixon (July 1, 1915 – January 29, 1992) was an American blues musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger and record producer. A Grammy Award winner who was proficient on both the upright bass and the guitar and as a vocalist, Dixon is perhaps best known as one of the most prolific songwriters of his time. Next to Muddy Waters, Dixon is recognized as the most influential person in shaping the post-World War II sound of the Chicago blues.
Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker (May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975) was a critically acclaimed American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who was an influential pioneer and innovator of the jump blues and electric blues sound. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at number 67 on their list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), known by his stage name Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician who is often cited as the “father of modern Chicago blues”.
Muddy Waters grew up on Stovall Plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi and by age seventeen was playing the guitar at parties, emulating local blues artists Son House and Robert Johnson. He was recorded by Alan Lomax there for the Library of Congress in 1941. In 1943, he headed to Chicago with the hope of becoming a full-time professional musician, eventually recording, in 1946, for first Columbia and then Aristocrat Records, a newly formed label run by brothers Leonard and Phil Chess.
John Dawson Winter III (February 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014), known as Johnny Winter, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Best known for his high-energy blues-rock albums and live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s, Winter also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. After his time with Waters, Winter recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums. In 1988, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and in 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
Jason Ricci (born February 3, 1974) is an American harmonica player and singer. In addition to his solo albums, Ricci has appeared as a guest harmonica player on albums with Johnny Winter, Nick Curran, Ana Popovic, Walter Trout, Cedric Burnside, The Mannish Boys and Joe Louis Walker among others. Ricci was named “Best Harmonica Player” at the 2010 Blues Music Awards, and has won a Grammy Award for his contribution to the 2014 Johnny Winter album Step Back. In February 2015, Ricci began a national tour with a new band named Jason Ricci and the Bad Kind.
John “Johnny ‘Guitar'” Watson, Jr. (February 3, 1935 – May 17, 1996) was an American blues, soul, and funk musician and singer-songwriter. A flamboyant showman and electric guitarist in the style of T-Bone Walker, Watson recorded throughout the 1950s and 1960s with some success. His creative reinvention in the 1970s with disco and funk overtones, saw Watson have hits with “Ain’t That a Bitch”, “I Need It” and “Superman Lover”. His successful recording career spanned forty years, with his highest chart appearance being the 1977 song “A Real Mother For Ya”.
Clyde Vernon “Sonny” Landreth (born February 1, 1951) is an American blues musician from southwest Louisiana who is especially known as a slide guitar player. He was born in Canton, Mississippi, and settled in Lafayette, Louisiana. He lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.