Percy Strother

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Percy Strother
Birth namePercy Lee Strother
Born(1946-07-23)July 23, 1946
Vicksburg, Mississippi, United States
DiedMay 29, 2005(2005-05-29) (aged 58)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
GenresElectric blues
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, human voice
Years active1970s–2005
LabelsVarious including JSP Records

Percy Lee Strother (July 23, 1946 – May 29, 2005) was an American electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.[1][2] After a tragic start in life, from the mid 1970s, Strother went on to become a mainstay of the Minneapolis blues scene.[3][4] His music was a blend of blues, rhythm and blues and Memphis soul,[5] and his more noteworthy songs included "Blow Wind Blow", "Down Home Blues", "Killing Floor", "Grits Ain't Groceries", "Red Rooster", and "Take My Love".[6]

Life and career[edit]

Strother was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, United States.[7] His father met a violent end when he was hanged for allegedly killing a white man, and his mother died when he was aged 14.[3] Opting to not enter an orphanage, Strother drifted from place to place, and job to job. His lifestyle was not aided by becoming an alcoholic, although he slowly taught himself to play the guitar and adopted more sober ways.[7] He was influenced by the work of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf and Wilson Pickett. In the 1960s he moved north away from Mississippi, and having played in various locations, Strother eventually settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[8]

He recorded his debut album, A Good Woman is Hard to Find, in 1992.[7] In the Living Blues Awards, the title song of the album was rewarded as the Best Blues Song of 1992, and the album was runner-up in the Best Blues Album category. Strother was also featured by both Block Magazine and Blues & Rhythm.[5] The same year, he supplied guest vocals on R.J. Mischo & the Teddy Morgan Blues Band's album, Ready to Go.[5][8][9] In 1993, Strother undertook a tour which included dates in the Netherlands and Belgium, and he performed live on Dutch radio. By June the following year, his next tour added France and Germany to his list of European concert performance venues.[5]

His second album, The Highway Is My Home, was released in 1995.[7] It included ten tracks written by Strother, and a couple of cover versions of Magic Sam songs in "I'm Tore Down" and "Easy Baby." Pat Hayes of the Lamont Cranston Band played guest harmonica on Strother's reworking of Little Walter's tune, "One Of These Mornings."[10] Another track, "Forty Days and Forty Nights",[11] had earlier appeared as one of Strother's contributions to Ready To Go.[12] The liner notes to the album quoted Lazy Bill Lucas as saying "Mercy, Mr. Percy!" after hearing Strother sing.[4] The Highway Is My Home was released by the Dutch record label, Black Magic Records.[10] In April 1995, Strother appeared at the Burnley National Blues Festival, in Burnley, Lancashire, England.[5] Strother also performed at the Twin Cities Hot Summer Jazz Festival.

It's My Time was Strother's third album, which was issued by JSP Records in 1997.[7] One reviewer noted that it "has a set of terrific original songs which effectively showcase his raging, soulful roar and his blistering guitar".[13] This was followed by Home at Last (1998), which was recorded in Europe during one of his tours.[7] The album was aimed as a tribute to those earlier blues musicians who had inspired him in his early years.[1] By this time, Strothers had become a local celebrity in Minneapolis,[8] as he and Lazy Bill Lucas amongst others had helped develop the blues scene in that area.[3]

Strother was later diagnosed with liver cancer, and he died in his adopted hometown on May 29, 2005, at the age of 58.[5][7]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Record label
1992 A Good Woman is Hard to Find Blue Loon Records
1995 The Highway Is My Home Black Magic Records
1997 It's My Time JSP Records
1998 Home at Last Black & Tan Records

[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Edward Komara, ed. (2004). The Blues Encyclopedia. pp. 936/7. ISBN 9781135958329. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  2. ^ Bob L. Eagle; Eric S. LeBlanc (May 2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. p. 234. ISBN 9780313344244. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  3. ^ a b c "NBC: Percy Strother Obituary Information". Blues-l.com. 2005-05-29. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  4. ^ a b "Percy Strother – A Good Woman Is Hard To Find | Parsifal". Parsifal.be. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Percy Strother - Artist Directory". TeamRock.com. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  6. ^ "Percy Strother Discography at CD Universe". Cduniverse.com. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Jason Ankeny. "Percy Strother | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  8. ^ a b c "23. Lucerne Blues Festival - Percy Strother". Bluesfestival.ch. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  9. ^ "Ready to Go - R.J. Mischo | Credits". AllMusic. 1997-02-11. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  10. ^ a b "Blues On Stage - Percy Strother CD Review "The Highway Is My Home"". Mnblues.com. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  11. ^ "Highway Is My Home - Percy Strother | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 1995-05-30. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  12. ^ "Ready to Go - R.J. Mischo | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 1997-02-11. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  13. ^ Thom Owens (1997-11-18). "It's My Time - Percy Strother | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  14. ^ "Percy Strother | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-01-22.

External links[edit]