articles tagged "howlin’ wolf"

Henry Gray Interview

Sunday, 21 October 2012 | Art Schuna

  I first interviewed Henry Gray by phone on June 30, 2004 to help promote his performance at the Folklore Village on July 23 and the Dodgeville Blues Festival on July 24 that year and that’s the interview that is linked to this page. After doing the phone interview I decided I’d like to do a second interview to get enough material for publication. Andy Cornett, who managed and played bass in Henry Gray & The Cats band, arranged for me to meed Henry in his hotel before their appearance at the festival. Henry was the headliner and didn’t go on stage until that night. It was decided I should meet Henry at his hotel around 1 PM. I had my list of questions and a small tape recorded, I drove to Henry’s hotel with a friend of mine Dave Sear, who’s also a blues fanatic. We met Henry at his room and he answered the door in his underwear. I’m used to seeing Henry only his dapper stage performance dress similar to the picture on the left. It was a little startling seeing him in his state of undress but I quickly overcame that after we started the interview with Henry reclining in his bed and Dave and I in chairs next to him. About half way through the interview, Andy Cornett walks in and says “You’re pretty casual” to Henry. I finished the interview and it was published in Blues and Rhythm in issue 198 in April 2005. I have managed to get to several of Henry’s performances at the Chicago Blues Festival after this and every time I’ve seen him I think back to that July day in Dodgeville. Click on the title above to go to the audio interview. more »

Hubert Sumlin Interview

Thursday, 11 October 2012 | Art Schuna
huber sumlin 3

  I’m not really great in identifying guitarists just by listening to them but Hubert Sumlin’s tone and style are so distinctive, he’s one of a few I could pick out in a blind listening test. He was born in Greenwood MS in 1931 and past on just last year. Sumlin joined Howlin’ Wolf’s band in 1954 and was with him (except for a few brief lapses) until Wolf died in 1976. His guitar came to define Howlin’ Wolf’s band nearly as much as Wolf himself. Hubert Sumlin had a reputation for being more than a little wild in his youth. When I interviewed Henry Gray (Wolf’s piano player) he told me Wolf would fire Hubert from the band on Friday and hire him back on Monday. Fortunately, Hubert mellowed with age. In Howlin’ Wolf’s funeral program, Hubert Sumlin was referred to as Howlin’ Wolf’s son. I interviewed Hubert in 2005. He was an incredible story teller. He would often end a story by saying “Do you know what I’m saying?” I have to admit, there were times I said yes even if I didn’t know what he was saying because I just wanted to keep hearing those stories. Hubert Sumlin at this time was a gentle soul, but he maintained more than a little mischief. I hope you enjoy this interview. Click on the title above to go to the interview. more »

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