Smokey Wilson

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Smokey Wilson
Birth name Robert Lee Wilson
Born (1936-07-11) July 11, 1936 (age 78)
Glen Allan, Mississippi, United States
Genres West Coast blues, Juke Joint blues
Occupation(s) Guitarist, singer, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1970s-present
Labels P-Vine Records, various

Smokey Wilson (born Robert Lee Wilson, July 11, 1936, Glen Allan, Mississippi, United States)[1] is an American West Coast blues guitarist. He has spent most of his career performing West Coast blues and juke joint blues in Los Angeles, California. He has recorded a number of albums for record labels such as P-Vine Records, Bullseye Blues and Texmuse Records. His career got off to a late start, with international recognition eluding him until the 1990s.


Wilson played alongside Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes, Big Jack Johnson, and Frank Frost, before his move to Los Angeles in 1970.[2] He opened the Pioneer Club in Watts, where he was the frontman of their house band. In addition his duties included booking blues musicians to appear at the club, which included Big Joe Turner, Percy Mayfield, Pee Wee Crayton and Albert Collins.[1] His down to earth guitar playing is typical of his Mississippi Delta background. "I bring the cotton-field with me," he said, "and I got the juke-joint inside."[2]

Wilson released two albums on Big Town Records in the 1970s.[1][2] His 1983 album, 88th Street Blues, for the Murray Brothers label (later re-issued on Blind Pig Records) had contributions from Rod Piazza (harmonica and record producer) and Hollywood Fats (rhythm guitar).[1] Wilson has performed three times at the Long Beach Blues Festival, in 1980, 1981 and 1999; having earlier appeared at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1978.

Smoke N' Fire (1993) and The Real Deal (1995) followed, as Wilson's reputation began to grow as he reached his sixtieth year.[1]

Selected discography[edit]

  • Push (1978) - (re-issued in 2003 on P-Vine)
  • 88th Street Blues (1983) - (re-issued in 1995 on Blind Pig)
  • With the William Clarke Band (1990) - Black Magic
  • Smoke N' Fire (1993) - Bullseye Blues
  • The Real Deal (1995) - Bullseye Blues
  • The Man from Mars (1997) - Bullseye Blues
  • Smokey Stack Lightnin' (1995) - Vivid Sound
  • Blowin' Smoke (2003) - P-Vine
  • Sings the Blues (2005) - P-Vine

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bill Dahl (1936-07-11). "Smokey Wilson | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  2. ^ a b c Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 190–191. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 

External links[edit]