January 13-19 Blues Birthdays
This week includes Trevor Rabin, Dave Grohl, Earl Hooker, Barbara Lynn, Mick Taylor, and Henry Gray!
Trevor Rabin – 1/13/1954
Trevor Rabin was born in South Africa and first began playing guitar at the age of 12. After having had piano lessons since he was a toddler, he formed his first band in 1968, at only 14 years old. After being drafted, Rabin played both guitar and bass in the entertainment unit. He began doing session work after his discharge from the military in 1972. Furthermore, a member of the band Rabbit and Cinema.
Dave Grohl – 1/14/1969
Rarely in the history of rock has a musician switched bands and instruments simultaneously with such a high degree of success as Dave Grohl. Relocating to Seattle, he tries out for a little-known band that had a drum vacancy, Nirvana. Immediately after Grohl joins the group in late 1990. When the band dissolves, he creates the Foo Fighters and continues to perform and tour successfully.
Earl Hooker – 1/15/1929-4/21/1970
Mentored by Robert Nighthawk, this slide guitarist is highly regarded among the top blues musicians of his day. In addition to his mastery of the guitar, he is known for his intense showmanship. As well as the use of the double-neck guitars, and experimentation with amplification, delay, and the wah-wah pedal. His career saw him work with such legends as Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Ike Turner, and Sonny Boy Williamson II.
Barbara Lynn – 1/16/1942
Blues and R&B singer, songwriter, and guitarist best known for her chart-topping Rhythm & Blues song, “You’ll Lose A Good Thing”. Her funky guitar playing was also pretty badass!
Mick Taylor – 1/17/1949
Taylor first picks up the guitar at the age of nine when he gets inspiration from his guitar-playing uncle. The early to mid-‘60s saw Taylor play with such obscure local acts as the “Juniors and the Gods”, during which time he thoroughly studies such blues guitarists as Freddie King and Albert King.
Legend has it that Taylor is in the audience of a John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers show in his hometown. The concert takes place in June of 1966, but Eric Clapton doesn’t show up. It was perfect timing when the Rolling Stones inquired about his availability. As the Stones return to blues after a brief detour in psychedelia, Taylor plays on a few tracks for an album that was nearly finished, “Let It Bleed.”
Henry Gray – 1/19/1925 – 2/17/2020
Henry was an American blues piano player and singer born in Louisiana. Over the course of seven decades, he performed with many greats, including Morris Pejoe, the Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf. A pioneer of the Chicago blues sound, he has recorded more than 58 albums.
In 2017, Gray was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.