Long John Hunter and the Bad News Blues Band (#113)

The ace guitarist brings raw Texas blues to a Kentucky stage.


After playing in El Paso for 30 years as the Lone Star State’s best-kept secret, Long John Hunter blasted onto the international blues world’s most-wanted list with the release of his 1996 album, Border Town Legend. The critical acclaim that showered that recording as well as Hunter’s 1997 follow-up, Swinging from the Rafters, made one fact very clear: Long John Hunter had arrived. And as the Chicago Tribune attested, his “ability [was] too big for just Texas.”

Hunter brings his scorching Texas blues to the Jubilee stage with the help of Jeff Masterson, Mike Blommer Jr., Alex Flores, Chip Ritter, and Mike Blommer Sr. of the Tucson, AZ-based Bad News Blues Band in a performance taped at the 2000 W.C. Handy Blues Festival in Henderson, KY.

The spirited set illustrates why, from one end of the country to the other, Hunter’s raw talent and keen showmanship have taken the blues world by storm. The Los Angeles Times called him a “top-notch singer, guitarist and unbridled wildman performer ... a raw feral talent bursting with energy.” Added the Chicago Tribune: “Hunter embodies Texas blues in all its varied, roustabout glory like no one on the scene today.”