Lurrie Bell

Lurrie Bell

byDan Hack

DH: First of all, great set, the fans loved it, they were going crazy out there. Tell us about your influences?
LB: Well, the first guitar player that I really was influenced by was a guy by the name of Roy Johnson. He used to play in my fathers band on the west side of Chicago. Eddie Taylor was one of my well-known mentors, one of my fans whom I listen to as a kid, as a youngster, and I grew up learning his style of picking traditional blues and he was the most influential of guitarist back in those days.

DH: Did you play with him at all?
LB: Yeah, yeah.

Lurrie Bell

Lurrie Bell at 754 S. Wabash

DH: Tell us about your thumb style how does that work out?
LB: I uh, when I picked up the guitar I found out that I can, you know, do a lot of stuff without using a plectrum. That was, the idea was to create my own style and not play like everyone else with a pick. I found out I could do what I wanted to with the blues without a pick, but you know, every now and then, I use a pick to experiment to see what I can do, as far as with my right hand playing with a pick but I rarely use a pick when I’m performing it’s just a natural thing to me after so many years.

DH: Will you give a history in the sense of what old clubs were like in the west side, south side what have you? In the hay day of your style of playing where would you guys hang out, where would you go?
LB: Uhm, well we would go to the west side at Dukes Lounge on the west side there. Lee’s Unleaded.

I’m listening to a lot of the old blues guys from the 50’s. Howlin’ Wolf and uh all those old blues guys, Lightning Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters

DH: Tell us about any projects you have going on, I know you had a record release 6 or 9 months ago wasn’t it?
LB: Well, I do have a new CD that just came out. It’s a CD I recorded with Delmark Records. Yeah. The title of which is “The Blues in My Soul”.
DH: Wonderful Title.
LB: Thank you sir.

DH: Delmark obviously has a lot of history here in Chicago. Was that a project that took a couple of years in the making or did you go to the studio and you knew what you wanted to do?
LB: Well we went into the studio and we knew what we wanted to do with this particular record. I’m playing some traditional blues but in my style my own way. I’m complimenting Muddy Waters and Wolf, Little Walter Jacobs, Eddie Boyd, and I’ve got 3 songs that I’ve written on my own.

DH: Tell us about those; what are their titles?
LB: Well, The Blues in My Soul is one of them, 24 Hours Blues is another one that I’ve written and recorded. I’m also doing an instrumental that I written.

DH: Tell us about your guitar; what are you playing these days?
LB: Gibson 335.

Lurrie Bell and Lil' Ed

Lil’ Ed and Lurrie Bell sitting in at 754 S. Wabash

DH: Tell us a little bit about any passions, causes, things that are important to you personally that’s not so music centric, what’s your thing, anything you want to share with your fan base in the world?
LB: Yeah well, I’m getting into reading now a days, reading articles, I got a couple of books that I’m into, I’m listening to a lot of the old blues guys from the 50’s. Howlin’ Wolf and uh all those old blues guys, Lightning Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters.

DH: So your label Delmark, they’ve been pretty good to you over the years?
LB: Delmark Records has been fabulous with me.
DH: Who’s the chief over there, he’s been there forever, the name escapes me.
LB: Bob Koster.
DH: There you go.

DH: Any favorite Chicago joints, where do you like to go when you’re in your hometown here?
LB: I usually go to Chinese restaurants, I love those places, and uh, iHop; International House of Pancakes.

DH: Are you currently touring with anyone domestically or otherwise?
LB: Well I’m basically touring with my own band 4 piece rhythm section, I tour with them a lot.

DH: Where you heading these days?
LB: Well the next show I’m going to Scotland this month.

DH: Thanks for your time, the fans appreciate it, the Bluesletter appreciates it, and Legends appreciates it.

Dan Hack

Dan Hack

Dan Hack is a born n' raised South Side of Chicago guy. In fact he's still living in the same zip code as in his youth, when he discovered the album Electric Mud by Muddy Waters back in 1972, at age 13. He was electrified, and has been addicted to Chicago Blues ever since. He has been interviewing musicians and writing for BG:Blues and Music News since 2013.

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