Hubert Sumlin

Hubert Sumlin‘s brand of the blues creeps in like fog. It
moves with a deliberate groove, slowly enveloping you until suddenly
you’re soaking in it. His guitar playing has an unassuming quality that
sneaks up on you, cagily circling before exploding in a flurry of
unpredictable licks. A Chicago blues adherent from way back, the
70-something Sumlin moved to the Windy City to join Howlin’ Wolf, who
enlisted him as his sideman for more than two decades. Under Wolf’s
guidance, he developed an aggressive style to match his fiery vocals,
frequently disregarding chords in favor of frenetic, single-note solos
that even overlap the vocal line. After Wolf’s death in ’76, Sumlin
pursued a solo career that has included more than a dozen releases; the
latest, 2003’s About Them Shoes, features Eric Clapton, Keith
Richards and Levon Helm. His wily, understated singing is a cool
counterpoint to the heat coming off his six-string.

Categories: Music