Bernard Allison (#107)

The son of late guitar superstar Luther Allison shows that he’s become a stellar performer in his own right.

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.

Since his memorable duet with his father at the 1983 Chicago Blues Festival, Bernard Allison has grown into a mature, self-assured front man. He spent several years with Koko Taylor’s Blues Machine and Willie Dixon’s band before forming his own. 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—with his mixture of traditional and new styles—seems the heir apparent. Perhaps Allison 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.”