The 10 Greatest Dallas Blues Artists
The Lone Star State has long produced some of the greatest blues legends to ever pick up a guitar or stand behind a microphone. Legends like Albert Collins from Leona, Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins from Centerville and Johnny Winter from Beaumont all have found the blues in Texas. Hell, we even have a Grammy Award-winning Austin blues artist Marcia Ball playing opera houses, town halls and beer and BBQ festivals across the country, and the Godfather of the Blues Robert Johnson recorded one of his albums in Dallas.
Courtesy of Delta Groove Face off: Smokin' Joe Kubek (left) and Bnois King.
But Dallas has also had more than its fair share of legendary names leaving their mark on the blues world. Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, Blind Lemon Jefferson and, of course, Oak Cliff's own Stevie Ray Vaughn all have dominated blues charts across the web. But what about the other Dallas blues artists who've been blazing local and national stages for decades, slowly building their own legends yet somehow staying underneath the mainstream media's radar?
To help keep that name at the forefront of our online collective consciousness, here's a list of our favorite Dallas-based blues artists:
1. Mike Morgan
A man wearing a patch over his eye in the media evokes images of a pirate, an outlaw biker or an injured vet forever scarred fighting for our freedom, depending on your perspective. Now give that patched-eye man a guitar, and the images reach a whole new level of bad ass that's even sexier than Johnny Depp's Keith Richards' impersonation. Since the mid-'80s, Mike Morgan has been slinging his Fender Strat with local and regional bands and teaching other people how to sling their own guitars. His band Mike Morgan and The Crawl was once considered one of the best contemporary blues bands in Texas, releasing such hits as Raw & Ready, Full Moon Over Dallas and The Road. Mike is currently fronting a three-piece version of his band.
2. Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones
No one knows the blues better than Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones. He's played guitar with Freddie King's backing ensemble until the blues king death in 1976, and also jammed with the likes of blues vocalist Johnnie Taylor and local Dallas legend the "Reverend" R.L. Griffin. For eight years "Jr. Boy" led the Charlie Musselwhite Band and took part in winning Band of the Year at the W.C. Handy Awards. In 1997, he released his first solo album I Need Time, followed by Watch What You Say a year later, Mr. Domestic in 2001, Jr. Boy Live in '06 and Gettin' Real in '09. Although mainstream success has somehow missed him for most of his life, Jr. Boy's contributions to the blues will long be remembered by fans worldwide.
3. Miss Marcy
In a musical genre dominated too often by men, Miss Marcy is at the forefront of the Dallas blues scene, wowing blues aficionados with a voice that sounds one part angelic/two parts devilish, which nearly caused this listener's heart to stop as I fell into her words. Graduating from the University of North Texas in 2001, Miss Marcy has spent the last decade playing club gigs, festivals and private parties across the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In 2010, she released her first album Miss Marcy and the Texas SugarDaddy's. Harnessing blues divas like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and Big Mama Thorton, Miss Marcy is living proof that the blues are timeless.