Born in 1944 Kosicukio,
Mississippi and raised in Tennessee, USA, Charlie Musselwhite is known
for his vast contribution to the world of Blues music. Being at the
forefront of the 60s US blues music scene he is a pioneer of his trade
often known as a 'white bluesman' though his heritage lies in
Charlie began his musical
career in Memphis at a time when black and white musical influences were
blending and gave birth to rock and roll. During his teenage years he
often attended shows to see Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny
Cash which were hugely influential. A few years later he was not only on
the guest list at Elvis Presley shows but socialising while learning
skills on harp and guitar from the 'King of Rock and Roll'.
Soon after he migrated to
South Chicago to find a better life and a factory job. What he actually
did was live beneath Delmark Records and walk the blues
circuit. Here he made acquaintances with Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf,
Honeyboy Williamson and went on to build a close relationship with John
Lee Hooker. The clubs in the area often referred to Charlie as 'son'
taking them under his wing and allowing him the access he needed to live
music that would hone his musical talent.
In 1966 Charlie released
his debut album, Stand Back! which received the critical
acclaim it deserved. It instantly placed him amongst the ground breaking
artists in Blues and he was highly respected for his contribution, as he
still does today.
is one of his recent albums that has a mixture of Musselwhite's passion
for blues harp. His writing is topical, emotive and honest. With two
tracks inspired by hurricane Katrina. Here, Musselwhite writes from the
heart painting an honest account of the environmental disaster. The
album moves between country and blues while resonating a more rocky
electric edge at times.
His body of work over the
years comprises more than 20 albums of his own, and he has contributed
to countless others including guesting on Bonnie Raitt's Grammy
award-winning Longing In Their Hearts; The Blind Boys of Alabama's
Grammy-winning Spirit of the Century; Tom Waits' Mule Variations and
even playing the driving harmonica on INXS' Suicide Blonde. He was the
longtime musical partner to his friend John Lee Hooker; in addition to
using Charlie's harp playing on several of his albums, John Lee was also
best man when Charlie married Henrietta.
On tour expect to find
Charlie accompanied by a band where he mixes between the blues harp,
vocals with the additional guitar at times. His live sets are as raw and
passionate as his youthful years with the legendary howlin' blues legend
still leading the way with his youthful spirit.
Musselwhite still tours and
performs worldwide at special events including Worldwide Blues festivals
such as Maryport Blues Festival to an ever growing audience. Being a
leader in his field it is artists like Charlie who have influenced the
likes of Tom Waits, Ben Harper to Dan Akroyd which has led to them
sharing stages. Musselwhite can also be heard at the beginning of Tom
Waits' huge number 'Chocolate Jesus'.