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Red Lick Records



Louisiana Red & Michael Messer


Louisiana Red & Michael Messer - A collaboration of two great musicians from totally different backgrounds, brought together through a passion for playing blues slide guitar and many years of mutual admiration for each others’ work.

Louisiana Red
was born in 1932, and is one of the last bluesmen still performing who learned his craft from the fathers and grandfathers of the blues; Son House, Elmore James, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Arthur Crudup, Robert Nighthawk, Muddy Waters & John Lee Hooker, to name just a few!

When Louisiana Red performs, the songs are often only a launching pad for expressing his immediate feelings, in the almost lost tradition of spontaneous composition that goes back to the original Delta Blues artists and even further to the West-African griots. From the old acoustic Delta sounds of Robert Johnson, all the way to the urban electric Chicago style of his mentor Muddy Waters, Louisiana Red’s great versatility shines.

Louisiana Red’s albums have been called masterpieces by critics, and in 1983 he won a W.C. Handy Award as ’Best Traditional Blues Artist’.

Visit Louisiana Red's website: www.louisiana-red.com  

Michael Messer was born in 1956, and is known as one of the leading slide guitarists and blues innovators in the world. His playing encompasses the entire history of the blues, but is totally individual and contemporary. Being English with an international reputation for blues slide guitar is a rarity in itself, but Messer’s obsessive appetite for knowledge of the art is virtually unequalled.
The American magazine, ‘Spirit’ listed Michael as one of the greatest slide guitarists ever alongside Duane Allman and Ry Cooder".

Michael Messer’s accolades include a US number one blues album in 2001 and the award for ‘Best International Blues Guitar Album’ in 2003.
One prominent US journalist described him as “an unavoidable force in modern blues”. In addition, Johnny Cash was a fan of Messer’s and wrote sleeve notes for his album, Rhythm Oil.

Visit Michael Messer's website: www.michaelmesser.co.uk


Louisiana Red was born Iverson Minter on March 23rd 1932 in Warren County, Vicksburg, Mississippi. His mother died when he was a week old and his father was killed by the Klu Klux Klan when he was five. After this trauma he was raised briefly by his grandmother who like his grandfather was a musician in New Orleans. Shortly thereafter he was taken into an orphanage by the local authorities, presumably because his grandmother had passed away, and it was here in the orphanage that he learnt to play harmonica.

By 1945 he had arrived in Pittsburgh, via a stay in Waco, Texas, and taught himself to play guitar. Two years later he could be found busking on the streets and by the age of 13 was regularly featured on local radio stations. In 1949 the Muddy Waters Band was playing in town at the Skyline Club and Red was asked to sit in with the band. At the end of the set Muddy urged him to move to Chicago where unfortunately, due to some minor misdemeanour, he served a year in a reformatory. In 1951 he was inducted into the air force and served in England and Korea.

One year later he was back in Chicago and as Rocky Fuller recorded eight tracks for Chess Records, two being issued on the very fine Checker 753 single called 'Soon One Morning/Rock Me Baby'. The remaining tracks appeared on a lovely Japanese P-Vine LP 6032 thirty-three years later. In 1953 he again visited the Chess Studios and recorded two tracks with Little Walter on harmonica and Jimmy Rogers on guitar. Only one of these tracks ‘Funeral Hearse at My Door’ being eventually issued on CD. Later that year Red moved to Detroit and with a change of name to Playboy Fuller he began performing with John Lee Hooker on a regular basis at The Harlem Inn. He then recorded a excellent single on Fuller Records backed by Jesse Lee Williams on harmonica and Johnny Walters on piano. Shortly after that, as Rockin’ Red, he recorded ‘Boogie Woogie All Night Long’ with John Lee backing him. This track was erroneously attributed to John Lee Hooker and issued on Hooker’s Crown LP 5232. Times were hard for working musicians and during this period he was often found working outside the music business to make ends meet. However, in 1958 he started a series of club dates through the south and the following year he was found frequently working with James Wayne’s Night Hawks of ‘Junco Partner’ fame in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

In 1960 he moved to New York City and recorded a very fine single for Atlas Records ‘I Done Woke Up/I Had A Feeling’ and two years later was back in the recording studio laying down the wonderful ‘Red’s Dream’ LP 25200 for Roulette. This album was Red’s breakthrough and has been issued and re-issued all over the world time and time again. This was followed in 1964 by a series of recordings for Atco Records, which culminated in the magnificent Atco LP 389 ‘Sings The Blues’. Following this he worked with Jimmy Reed and for a while became involved with the Black Muslim Movement. He married Ealase in 1963 and she bore him three children before her death ten years later.

In 1975 he embarked on a gruelling series of concert and recording dates in France, Germany, Switzerland and Japan and in 1977 he married the famous folk blues singer Odetta and eventually re-located to Germany. Since then he has recorded at least a further twenty-three albums and has travelled throughout the world headlining concerts both in Europe and the States.


Michael Messer was born in Middlesex in 1956. Throughout his childhood and teenshe played rock music with his two brothers and in various local bands. In his early twenties, Messer spent time in Nashville where he had the chance to meet and hear some of the ‘greats’ of country music performing in their home environment. These included Roy Acuff, Hank Snow and Johnny Cash. Back home in England in the late seventies, Messer was mastering the art of Mississippi delta blues slide guitar,
buying his first National steel guitar in 1979. He began playing blues gigs, both as a solo artist and in various local bands in the early eighties.

In 1983 he met Ed Genis and they began playing music together, a partnership that has lasted for the past two decades. During that year, Messer started gigging regularly with British blues singer, Mike Cooper, and through him he got known on the folk and blues circuit. In 1984, Cooper asked him to play slide guitar on The Continuous Preaching Blues, an album he was recording with Ian Anderson (now editor of fROOTS).

The Michael Messer Band was formed in 1985 and they cut their first album, Diving Duck, in 1987 which received some fantastic reviews. “Beautifully played. Diving Duck is the kind of album Ry Cooder should be making”. Q magazine

In 1989 Messer produced and played on an album with the legendary Venice Beach busker, Ted Hawkins, called I Love You Too, which was later re-released as Nowhere to Run.  In that same year he became friends with the late S.E. Rogie and produced some tracks for his New Sounds of S.E. Rogie album.

Messer’s second album Slidedance was released in 1990, and one year later, he was voted Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year at the B.B.C Awards. “To say that Messer is a slide guitarist  is like describing Mother Theresa as a nun! Slidedance is possibly the finest blues / world music album of the year. One of the best slide guitarists Britain has ever produced”. Time Out

Rhythm Oil, a trio album with songwriter Terry Clarke and Texas guitar ace, Jesse ‘Guitar’ Taylor, was released in 1993. The CD boasts sleeve notes written by the late Johnny Cash, a rare honour shared with Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson.  “What I hear here is the real thing - Bare-bones blues gut-bucket rural rock. This record carried me away to a long time ago, down a delta dirt road to a land of my musical good-old-daysing. PS…Don't squeeze the trigger, if you can't stand the recoil.” Johnny Cash
1995 saw the release of Moonbeat, which featured a mixture of world music and blues, as well as DJ Louie Genis (son of rhythm guitarist Ed) scratching old blues vinyl. A practise that became popular a few years later with the likes of Little Axe, Moby and R.L. Burnside.
"MOONbeat  is an extraordinary, innovative album that deserves to be heard".

In 1999, Messer went to Alberta to record with Canadian guitarist/songwriter Doug Cox. One of Cox’s songs from the sessions, Cold When I’m Dead, which features Messer playing electric slide guitar, can be heard in the latest Terry Gilliam movie Tideland.

In 2001 Messer released King Guitar, a compilation album comprising of sixteen tracks from back catalogue. The album received critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, reached number one in the US Living Blues chart and in May 2001 was the most played album on US college radio. One prominent American reviewer described him as “an unavoidable force in modern blues” and commented that “King Guitar has met a new century with style, grace and a new colourful direction for the music”.

Second Mind, recorded and released in 2002 followed the widespread success of King Guitar. This highly anticipated and critically acclaimed album featured Messer’s regular band, plus the great Ruby Turner on backing vocals. DJ Louie Genis came back into the fold and this time instead of working on one or two tracks, he cut loose and played on the whole album, creating a sound that was both totally contemporary and very traditional.  The album won the Best Blues Guitar Album at the 2003 International Guitar Federation awards, beating other nominees including Chris Rea, Sonny Landreth and Eric Bibb.  On ‘Second Mind’, Michael delivered a set of recordings that stretch across the musical landscape. Deeply rooted in and inflected with the blues, the album incorporates a rich and
diverse texture of different styles that appeal to an array of musical tastes.

Messer signed to Cooking Vinyl in 2005 and released his eighth album, Lucky Charms, in February 2006.  Recorded and mixed the old way with no digital trickery or computers, just reels of tape, live performances, an old mixing desk and a lot of patience. The album features ten original songs.  Louie Genis, now very much a part of the Michael Messer sound, is scratching and texturing with loops, old vinyl and home made samples, and the music has a more acoustic feel to it than Second Mind. Ed Genis is playing rhythm guitar, Richard Causon is on keyboards, Jerry Soffe is on bass, Simon Price is on the drums, and of course  Michael Messer is singing and playing slide guitar. Lucky Charms has garnered some fantastic reviews and along with recent tour dates, festival appearances and live sessions for various radio stations during 2006, Michael Messer is becoming known worldwide for his unique sounding band, Michael Messer & the Second Mind Band.

In 2007 Soyuz Music in Russia released Lucky Charms, Second Mind & King Guitar. The albums garnered excellent reviews and magazine coverage in the Russian press. 2007 also saw the release of the National Debt CD, 'From the Horse's Mouth'. The album was featured on Mark Lamarr's BBC Radio 2 show and received great reviews from the British music press. In November 2007 Michael Messer & BJ Cole debuted their steel & slide guitar show 'That Sliding Sound' at the International Festival of Guitar in Lancashire. The show was a great success and Michael & BJ are planning to make a DVD & CD of 'That Sliding Sound'. In July of 2007, along with the Campbell Brothers and Debashish Bhattacharya, Michael Messer was one of three featured slide guitarists at the Cognac Blues Passions Festival. Later in 2007 Michael Messer & Ed Genis played to an ecstatic crowd at the prestigious 'Issoudun Guitar Festival', in France.

2008 marked twenty five years of Michael Messer & Ed Genis playing together as a duo. The year started with an amazing run of sell-out UK tour dates for Michael Messer & Ed Genis. 2008 was also the year that Michael Messer stepped into another area of the industry and launched his own brand of resonator guitars. True to form and always breaking the mould, Michael's venture into the guitar industry is a very unusual among recording artists.  Two models, the Michael Messer BLUES and the Michael Messer LIGHTNING, came onto the market in August. News about these new guitars spread very quickly and the first shipment was completely sold before it arrived in the UK. The MM range of resonator guitars are fast becoming brand leaders in the acoustic guitar market around the world.

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