Dick Shurman

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Dick Shurman
Birth nameRichard L. Shurman
Born (1950-05-23) May 23, 1950 (age 70)
Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States
GenresChicago blues, blues, rhythm and blues
Occupation(s)Record producer, sound engineer, music journalist, music historian, backing vocalist
LabelsAlligator, Delmark, various

Richard L. Shurman (born May 23, 1950)[1] is an American record producer,[2] sound engineer, music journalist, music historian, and backing vocalist.[2]

He has produced numerous recordings by notable musicians including Johnny Winter, Lurrie Bell, Eddie C. Campbell, Albert Collins, Little Smokey Smothers, Jody Williams, Roy Buchanan, Big Bill Morganfield, Larry Garner, Robert Cray, Hip Linkchain, Magic Slim, Charlie Musselwhite, Otis Rush, Johnny Heartsman, and Fenton Robinson.[3][4] Shurman has also written many liner notes, and is the publisher of Chicago Blues News.[5] In 2005, he was the recipient of the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive" award.[6] He co-produced Showdown!, an album which won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1987.

Shurman was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2014 for his multitudinous contributions as a 'non-performer'.[7]


Shurman was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States, and later resided in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, before relocating to Seattle after his father secured employment with Boeing.[1] There he befriended a number of blues musicians, and started writing articles for the British magazine, Blues Unlimited.[1] Shurman first attended the University of Chicago in September 1968.[8] Fearing that his continual attendance at local blues clubs may harm his education, he enrolled at the University of Washington, earning a master's degree in library science that enabled him to begin full-time employment in a suburban library back in Chicago. He continued to work full-time in a succession of library jobs.[1] His occasional writing work led Shurman to interview musicians such as Albert Collins, Otis Rush, Jody Williams, Johnny Heartsman, and Lee "Shot" Williams.[1] Shurman befriended many blues figures including Earl Hooker[9] and Johnny Heartsman.[10]

His involvement in, and passion for Chicago blues, led Shurman into record production work. His most successful period was with Alligator Records, often working alongside the label's founder Bruce Iglauer on production duties. Albert Collins was signed by Alligator Records in 1978, on the recommendation of Shurman, whom Collins had met in Seattle.[11] His first release for the label was Ice Pickin' (1978), which was recorded at Curtom Studios, Chicago, and produced by Iglauer, Shurman and Richard McLeese.[12]

Shurman co-produced the album Showdown!, with Iglauer, which won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1987.[4]

Shurman has contributed to various publications, including Living Blues, Juke Blues and Block Magazine.[1][13] In 1997, Shurman jointly compiled and wrote the liner notes for Sonny Boy Williamson II's compilation album, His Best.[14] In 2000, Shurman gave encouragement to Jody Williams to resume performing, and produced Williams' comeback album, Return of a Legend (2002), on which his bold playing belied his thirty-year break from music.[15]

In 2010, following the death of Little Smokey Smothers, Shurman and Iglauer jointly penned an obituary which appeared in Living Blues.[16]

In 2014, Shurman was inducted as a member of the Blues Hall of Fame.[17]

Shurman has annotated many albums and contributed to chapters of books, feature articles and reviews, and for many years had a news column in Living Blues. He is also a member of the Chicago Blues Festival Advisory Committee.[18] His annotation work included the ten disc box set, Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. B.B. King (2012).[19] In addition he earlier penned the liner notes for Howlin' Wolf's 1991 compilation, The Chess Box.[20]

Selected record production and other work[edit]

Year Album title Artist Other information
1976 Right Place, Wrong Time Otis Rush Liner notes
1978 Ice Pickin' Albert Collins Co-production with Bruce Iglauer and Richard McLeese
1980 Frostbite Albert Collins Co-production with Iglauer and Casey Jones
1983 Don't Lose Your Cool Albert Collins Co-production with Iglauer and Collins
1984 Guitar Slinger Johnny Winter Co-production with Iglauer and Winter
1985 Serious Business Johnny Winter Co-production with Iglauer and Winter
1985 Showdown! Albert Collins, Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland Co-production with Iglauer
1985 When a Guitar Plays the Blues Roy Buchanan Co-production with Iglauer and Buchanan
1986 Dancing on the Edge Roy Buchanan Co-production with Iglauer and Buchanan
1986 Third Degree Johnny Winter Co-production with Winter
1987 Hot Wires Roy Buchanan Co-production with Justin Niebank, Iglauer and Buchanan
1991 The Touch Johnny Heartsman Co-production with Iglauer
1991 Let Me In Johnny Winter Co-production with Winter; backing vocalist
1992 Hey, Where's Your Brother? Johnny Winter Co-production with Winter
1997 His Best Sonny Boy Williamson II Compiler and liner notes with Andy McKaie
1998 Rough News Charlie Musselwhite Producer and backing vocalist
1998 Live in NYC '97 Johnny Winter Producer
1998 Black Tornado Magic Slim Producer
2000 Snakebite Magic Slim Producer
2000 Once Upon the Blues Larry Garner Producer and backing vocalist
2001 Ramblin' Mind Big Bill Morganfield Producer
2002 Return of a Legend Jody Williams Producer
2004 I'm a Bluesman Johnny Winter Co-production with Tom Hambridge and Winter
2009 Chicago Blues Buddies Little Smokey Smothers Producer, photography and liner notes
2012 Spider Eating Preacher Eddie C. Campbell Producer
2013 Blues in my Soul Lurrie Bell Producer and liner notes



  1. ^ a b c d e f "KRAB Has The Blues - Urban Blues With Dick Shurman". Krab.fm. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  2. ^ a b "People - Dick Shurman - Soundcheck". Soundcheck.wnyc.org. 2012-02-24. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  3. ^ a b "Dick Shurman | Credits". AllMusic. 1950-05-23. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  4. ^ a b "Raisin' Cain - The Wild and Raucous Story of Johnny Winter - Johnny's Sound". Johnnywinterbook.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  5. ^ "2-2010 - Chicago Blues News by Dick Shurman". Bluesart.at. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  6. ^ "Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame 2007 — Dick Shurman". Gtcbms.org. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  7. ^ "Other Individuals | The Blues Foundation". Blues.org. 2014-06-20. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  8. ^ "Friday Blues Fix: Ten Questions with Dick Shurman". Fridaybluesfix.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  9. ^ Sebastian Danchin (1970-06-15). "Earl Hooker, Blues Master". Books.google.co.uk. p. 342. ISBN 9781578063079. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  10. ^ Edward Komara (2005-10-28). "Encyclopedia of the Blues". Books.google.co.uk. Routledge. p. 417. ISBN 978-0415926997. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  11. ^ Albert Collins - Vital Blues Guitar Series. Transcriptions: Richard DeVinck. Creative Concepts Publishing (California) 1994. ISBN 1-56922-047-6.
  12. ^ "Ice Pickin' - Albert Collins | Credits". AllMusic. 1973-01-17. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  13. ^ "About Juke Blues Magazine". Jukeblues.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  14. ^ "His Best [MCA] - Sonny Boy Williamson II | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  15. ^ Dahl, Bill (2002). Return Of A Legend [CD liner notes].
  16. ^ Dick Shurman & Bruce Iglauer, Obituary in Juke Blues, no.70, 2010, p.60
  17. ^ "Eddie Shaw, Dick Shurman to be inducted into Blues Hall of Fame". Windycityblues.org. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  18. ^ "Dick Shurman". Blues.org. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  19. ^ "Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. B. B. King". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  20. ^ Shurman, Dick (1991). Howlin' Wolf: The Chess Box (Media notes). Howlin' Wolf. MCA/Chess Records. CHD3-9332.

External links[edit]