December 30th, 2011
Blues guitar legend Hubert Sumlin passed away earlier this month at the age of 80. Although he was born and raised in the South, he moved to Chicago in 1954 to join Howlin’ Wolf’s band where he became a fixture of the Chicago blues scene. While he defected to the Muddy Waters camp for a short time, he earned his reputation by playing on some of the Wolf’s best known songs.
I had the pleasure of seeing Sumlin in 1996 at Summerfest in Milwaukee. (At least I think it was 1996.) If memory serves, it was in the Sprecher tent which means my buddy Kias and I drank great beer while seeing a fantastic show. It was truly something else to be standing so close to a legend. This was the guy who played on “Killing Floor”!
I found a nice soundboard recording for this show. Here Sumlin is surrounded by Norwegians at Famous Dave’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Butanes, a Twin Cities outfit, backed him up. The notes I got with the show indicate it was from 9 July 2002 but the source for the picture above dates it 7 September 2002. Somebody got their 7 and 9 transposed somewhere along the line.
The Butanes played on their own for some of that night and I’ve edited things so that we get Sumlin’s second set.
Hubert intro / Hubert’s Swing
Howlin’ For My Darling
This Is It
Improvisational blues / talk about 9-11
Have You Ever Loved A Woman?
Sometimes I Play the Blues
I Did What I Could
Things I Got
How Many More Years
I Didn’t Know
“Killing Floor” from April 2002. This is from the Natu Blues Festival which, as near as I can tell, takes place in Brazil. The André Christovam Trio is the backing band.