"If you really want to do something that's worth something, you've got to give it your all. I try to do that every time I play."
(Frank) Son Seals released his first record in 1973. From that point on he earned himself a reputation as one of the leaders of a new generation of Chicago blues guitar players.
, writing in The New York Times
, called Seals "the most exciting young blues guitarist and singer in years."
Born in Osceola, Arkansas
in 1942 Son grew up immersed into the blues. His father owned a juke joint
(The Dipsy Doodle - famous for blues in the front and dice in the back). As a small child, Son was surrounded by great blues and great bluesmen like Sonny Boy Williamson, Albert King and Robert Nighthawk playing in his father´s club, he picked up the guitar and was a natural to follow in their footsteps.
Son's father Jim had played piano, trombone, guitar and drums, touring with the ´Rabbit Foot Minstrels
, the training ground of Ma Rainey
and Bessie Smith
"My father taught me everything from the start. Tuning the guitar, fingering. Where I wanted to be riffing around all up and down the neck right away, he'd keep me on one chord for hours, until I could feel in it in my sleep. I'd get up the next morning, grab the guitar, and I'd be right on that chord."
By the time he was 18, Seals had his own band as a guitarist during the week and playing drums backing up whomever was playing at his father's club on the weekends. He soon hit the road playing drums with Earl Hooker
and then with Albert King
(with whom he recorded the seminal Stax album Live Wire/Blues Power
). He moved to Chicago in 1971 and began jamming with Junior Wells
, Hound Dog Taylor
, James Cotton
and Buddy Guy
Son made his first record in 1973, The Son Seals Blues Band, which established him. His 1977 follow-up, Midnight Son
, was called by Rolling Stone
magazine "one of the most significant blues albums of the decade."
Since then he has relased many albums on the Alligator Records
lable. He is a great act to catch live.
Deluxe Edition (2002)
Lettin' Go (2000)
Spontaneous Combustion (1996)
Nothing But The Truth (1994)
Living In The Danger Zone (1991)
Bad Axe (1984)
Chicago Fire (1980)
Live & Burning (1978)
Midnight Sun (1976)
Son Seals Blues Band (1973)
"His deep, gruff, hard-edged voice perfectly matches the acid bite of his bad ax, which sometimes moves up into Albert Collins overdrive, sometimes down for a peck of chicken scratch. His guitar work is searing and expressive...he strikes with no-holds-barred ferocity."
-- Down Beat