Billy Branch With Lonnie Brooks
Billy Branch follows a nontraditional path in blues. Although he is born in Chicago in 1951, he actually grew up in Los Angeles. Furthermore, at the age of ten he begins to play simple melodies on the harmonica. Likewise, in 1975, he achieves success after defeating blues legend Little Mac Simmons in the Green Bunny Club in a battle.
He makes his first recording for Barrelhouse Records and as a result, he begins working as a harmonicist apprentice with Willie Dixon and his Chicago Blues All-Stars. He eventually replaced the fantastic Carey Bell and continued working with Dixon for 6 years.
Blues Education Pioneer
Billy Branch is a Blues education pioneer. He was one of the first atists to develop a Blues in Schools curriculum. Since 1978, in addition to recording and performing, he has taught hundreds of thousands of children around the world. In addition, he has taught in the Grammy Museum Music Revolution Project and lectured at the University of Chicago and other institutions of higher learning.
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PHOTO CREDITS: Jim O’Neal