Legendary guitarist set for Black Country date.
One of the remaining US blues legends will be performing at the Robin 2, Bilston on Monday 25th March.
Still playing and touring the World, Li’l Jimmy Reed is the last of the original Louisiana bluesmen.
The blues was born in the deep South, a wild outcry against segregation, poverty and hard, back-breaking work. Sadly most of the great musicians who created this vibrant, influential music have passed on, leaving only their recordings to testify to their genius. However, one man, whose career stretches back to the time when rhythm ‘n’ blues was just bursting onto the popular music scene, is still with us and playing better than ever.
At 79, Leon Atkins, better known as Lil’ Jimmy Reed, is the real deal, as will be attested to by anyone who has been privileged to hear his stinging guitar work, gritty vocals and haunting harmonica. A tall charismatic figure, Lil’ Jimmy epitomises the classic Louisiana down-home blues tradition.
Born in the late nineteen-thirties in a shotgun shack in Hardwood, Lousiana, a small cotton and sawmill town on the Mississippi River, Leon grew up near a club where every night he absorbed the wail of the blues from across the street. At six he had his own guitar, made from a cigar box, and by the time he was a teenager he was proficient on both guitar and harmonica, playing local clubs around Baton Rouge. Filling-in one night for blues star Jimmy Reed earned him the sobriquet Lil’ Jimmy Reed and started him on the long path to success.
After years of playing small clubs and taverns, Lil’ Jimmy took time out to serve his country in the military. Since his return to civilian life his career has blossomed. He has shared the stage with BB King and Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and headlined festivals in the UK and throughout Europe. Lil Jimmy Reed continues to play all over the US and Europe and as he happily says, “life just get better with time”.