James Solberg (#610)

A Luther Allison alum serves up award-winning blues.

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Two-time winner of the W.C. Handy Award for Best Blues Band in the United States (1997 and 1998), the James Solberg Band has come into its own as a blues force to be reckoned with. And Solberg—known for his long-time stint as a backup guitarist to blues great Luther Allison, until Allison’s death in 1997—is proving that he is a blues power in his own right.

In his Jubilee performance, Solberg shares a dynamite set of tracks, including some from The Hand You’re Dealt (2000). The show was taped at the 2000 W.C. Handy Blues Festival in Henderson, KY. Solberg released a follow-up album, One of These Days, in 2001.

Solberg was already well known as a hard-driving guitarist. His dynamic live performances spotlight his equally striking talent as a singer-songwriter who draws inspiration not only from past blues legends but also from genres as diverse as R&B, gospel, funk, and soul. In songs that embrace the highs and lows of a three-decade career, the various sounds meld seamlessly in his music, making plain Solberg’s emerging status as one of America’s great modern bluesmen.