Bernard Allison (#502)

The son of a blues legend demonstrates that he’s a powerful guitarist in his own right.


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Jubilee

Does the name sound familiar? It should. Bernard Allison is the son of the late blues guitar superstar Luther Allison, and yes, he “inherited the goods.” The younger Allison has spent several years honing his skills to become a great guitarist in his own right, as well as a stellar vocalist and songwriter.

From his memorable duet with his father at the 1983 Chicago Blues Festival to the years he spent with Koko Taylor’s Blues Machine and Willie Dixon’s band, Bernard has grown into a mature, self-assured front man. This Jubilee performance, taped at the 1999 W.C. Handy Blues Festival in Henderson, KY, showcases the young gun’s scorching guitar licks, thick tone, and mature vocals.

With the torch of blues being handed shakily from one generation to the next, Allison would seem to be the heir apparent with his mixture of traditional and new styles. Perhaps he himself sums it up best in his autobiographical song “Young Boy Blues”: “I’m not Muddy Waters. Don’t mistake me for that. I’m just a young boy who knows where it’s at.”


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