During the heyday of southern rock and blues in the 70s and 80s, Bill Blue was a ubiquitous presence in the music scene. He cut his tour teeth with Arthur (Big Boy) Crudup, author of Elvis’ hit “That’s Alright Mama“. When Crudup died in 1974, Bill carried on. He formed The Bill Blue Band and continued recording and touring, sharing the stage with ZZ Top, The Allman Brothers, Albert King, Johnny Winter and Hank Williams Jr.
In 1982, the hard working, hard touring Bill Blue vanished from the tour scene. After 17 years on the road, a chance visit to Key West proved a catalyst for a much needed change of life. Bill visited the island in 1980 and in 1982 left the continental states and chose to live in the American tropics. In essence, Bill Blue simply disappeared.
Music never lay far away from Bill Blue’s heart and he found local fame in Key West bars and venues playing his voracious brand of Blues. Bill became the elder statesman of the music community, adored by locals and delighting tourists who discovered him while on holiday. Blue and his music had not disappeared entirely. And in 2012, a meeting with UK record producer and new Key West resident, Ian Shaw would change the status of Bill’s musical hiatus and bring Bill once again into the music spotlight.
Bill Blue released Mojolation on October 13th – it is his first new studio album in 30 years.
Mojolation features many of Bill’s friends who came together to help him make the record, including drummer Richard Crooks (Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen) and UK guitarist Matt Backer (Steve Winwood, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, and Julian Lennon), the Funky in the Middle Horns, Nashville guitarist Michael McAdams (Steve Earle and Mary Chapin Carpenter).
“Bill is the real deal; a backyard Blues player who learnt his chops on the road with some of the Blues greats. He’s written some great songs, has a unique style of guitar playing and an amazing voice. I think it’s important to record and document what he does, without the studio getting in the way too much,” says Shaw. “Bill is as authentic and gritty as they come, and it’s my job to capture that classic sound.”
Mojolation was largely recorded live in the studio and is chock full of energy; raw, edgy guitars and funky horns power Bill’s unique blues growl. It’s music that’s at once fresh, yet captures the authentic spirit of old blues recordings. After thirty years as the elder statesman of music in Key West, Bill Blue crashes back into the international blues music scene with Mojolation, a record that is punchy, powerful, upbeat and exciting.