Albert Collins: 10/1/1932
Renowned blues musician who arose from Texas in the late 1960’s to become one of the top bluesmen of his time. Often referred to as “The Master of the Telecaster” for his iconic use of that particular Fender, his highly revered tone came from his unique use of alternative tuning and capos. The recipient of numerous award nominations both during his lifetime and posthumously, he has been awarded a total of 19 Blues Music Awards to date. His music had a distinct impact on the likes of Robert Cray and fellow Texans Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Keb’ Mo’: 10/3/1951
Kevin Moore is an established blues guitarist and fantastic vocalist who goes by the moniker Keb Mo.’ Keb adds very unique and intriguing elements to his playing. His parents raised him to appreciate various forms of music, concentrating on gospel and blues roots. Unlike many other blues musicians, Keb began his professional music career playing steel drums in a calypso band. His bigger interest in blues came later in his career. In fact, he was 39 years old when he really explored some major blues artists and concentrated on playing it. Now, he is a four-time American Grammy Award winning guitarist after his 2017 album with Taj Mahal won the Best Contemporary Blues Album Award.
Stevie Ray Vaughan: 10/3/1954
Without Stevie, the blues and guitar music in general would be completely different. Stevie Ray Vaughan grew up in Texas where he got inspired to play guitar by his brother Jimmie. He was influenced by many jazz and blues musicians who helped shape his playing. He played many different bands throughout the years. In 1971, he dropped out of high school and moved to Austin where he created his famous group Double Trouble. He released some of the greatest blues tracks in history and boasted a very successful career. Unfortunately, we lost this great talent at the young age of 35 in a tragic helicopter crash.
Duke Robillard: 10/4/1948
Blues rock musician and bandleader who in 1967 co-founded the blues and swing revival group Roomful of Blues. The band has undergone many line-up changes since then but is still hailed has one of the best horn bands out there. Robillard would depart from the group in 1979 to perform with Robert Gordonas and further his solo career. In 1990, he replaced Jimmie Vaughan as the guitarist of The Fabulous Thunderbirds while maintaining his solo act as well. He has toured with both Tom Waits and Bob Dylan and recorded with the likes of Pinetop Perkins, Snooky Pryor, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Ronnie Earl, as well as Dylan and Waits. Robillard’s style shares some similarities with T-Bone Walker and other blues greats. He has released over twenty studio albums as a leader or co-leader on top of his other records with various bands. He has also been nominated for 2 Grammy Awards in blues categories.
Kelly Joe Phelps: 10/5/1959
Hailing from Washington state, Kelly Joe Phelps is an accomplished guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His music can be described as a pleasant mixture of delta blues with hints of jazz sprinkled in. Unlike a lot of other musicians, Phelps actually started his music career in the jazz realm. He was intrigued by free jazz and inspired by musicians like Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. He was primarily a jazz bass player for ten years before switching gears to blues. He says his “blues conversion” occurred when listening to acoustic blues music. Once he made the switch, he became recognized for his lap style of slide playing. Since 1994, he has released 12 studio albums as well as appearing as a guest on many other albums.
David Hidalgo: 10/6/1954
David Hidalgo is the singer, guitarist, and founding member of the long-standing Latin rock band, Los Lobos. Hidalgo was born in Los Angeles where he met classmate and future bandmate Louie Perez. The two friends began playing music together and eventually, Los Lobos came together in 1973. Their combination of everything from rock, blues, and R&B to country, Latin, and zydeco music has translated into their unique sound that has dazzled audiences for years and inspired many other musicians. In fact, Hidalgo’s songs have been covered by musicians like Bonnie Raitt and Jerry Garcia. Los Lobos have been a staple in the Latin-rock world for several years and in 2015, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.