Bernard Allison (#1025)

Son and student of the legendary blues guitarist Luther Allison


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Bernard Allison has spent a lifetime immersed in the deep tones of blues, soul, R&B, gospel and rock ’n’ roll. This live performance was recorded at the W.C. Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival.

Born in Chicago in 1965, Allison was first exposed to music through his father. By the early 1970s, he had accompanied his father to several blues festivals, where he met Muddy Waters, Hound Dog Taylor and Albert King. Surrounded by music and musicians, he quickly developed a talent for singing and playing the blues. After graduating from high school, Allison joined Koko Taylor’s Blues Machine and performed with them throughout the 1980s until forming his own band, Back Talk. He also played in Willie Dixon’s Blues All-Stars, sat in with Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughn and toured with his father in Europe.

In 1989, while father and son were living together in Paris, the elder Allison helped finance his son’s first European solo album, Next Generation. Since then, Allison has released more than 10 albums of powerful blues material, each track filled with his love for traditional blues as well as his interest in soul, funk, R&B and gospel.

Allison released his U.S. debut, Keepin’ the Blues Alive, in early 1997, the same year his father passed away. The album and subsequent tour received a great deal of critical acclaim, and Allison’s effort to “keep the blues alive” through innovation as well as upholding the traditional forms has not wavered since. Currently supporting his newest album, 2005’s Triple Fret, the strength of Allison’s commitment comes across in his thrilling live performances—filled with rich tones of blues, funk, soul and rock ’n’ roll—that link the past of the blues with its future.