Derek Trucks: June 8, 1979
The accomplished electric slide guitarist officially joined the Allman Brothers Band alongside his uncle, drummer Butch Trucks, in 1999 but one could say he was practically raised by the Allman Brothers family. Trucks began playing at the age of 9 on a $5 guitar purchased at a yard sale and quickly became a child prodigy. Trucks founded his own band and formed The Tedeschi Trucks Band alongside his wife, Susan Tedeschi, which won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Blues Album.
Nehemiah James aka Skip James: June 9, 1902
The Delta blues singer, guitar and piano player did not truly become renowned until his music was rediscovered during the blues and folk revival scene of the 60s.James then became a sensation and would perform until his death in 1969. His music has influenced a wide range of musicians over the years, from Deep Purple and The Derek Trucks Band to Cream and Beck, and even had an impact on Robert Johnson.
Chester Burnett aka Howlin’ Wolf: June 10, 1910
They didn’t call him Howlin’ Wolf for nothin’! With his intimidating and unmistakable growl, this pioneer of the genre helped put Chicago blues on the map in the 1950’s. And his influence on the rise of electric blues (and subsequently rock and roll) is immeasurable; you simply cannot talk about the blues without mentioning him. Howlin’ Wolf’s songs “Killing Floor” and “Smokestack Lightning,”among others written for him by Willie Dixon, have since become standards of blues and rock.
Frank Beard: June 11, 1949
The talented drummer and songwriter is best known for his decades long career with the Texas blues-rock band ZZ Top. He has been a key component of the Texas blues and hard rock power trio since the beginning, having helped write many of the group’s most popular songs, from “Jesus Just Left Chicago” to “Cheap Sunglasses.” Frank, ironically the only member of the group that does not don the iconic ZZ Top beard, is still going strong with his fellow bluesmen, and still tours nationwide.
Kenny Wayne Brobst aka Kenny Wayne Shepherd: June 12, 1977
This award-winning guitarist, singer-songwriter, and bandleader first came to prominence in the early 90’s as a self-taught wunderkind. In 1995 he released his debut album Ledbetter Heights, was released and has been touring and recording ever since. His Grammy-nominated project 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads saw the guitarist travel the United States heavily. Shepherd has had the honor of performing with names like Etta Baker, B.B King, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Honeyboy Edwards, Henry Townsend and more. Shepherd released his 9th studio album The Traveler in 2019, which reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Blues Charts.