Saturday 3 March 2018
A genuine Egremont favourite, Kent DuChaine returns to Florence for another night of classic and contemporary Delta Blues, with his sidekick Leadbessie, a beat-up 1934 steel guitar which he has lovingly restored.
Don't miss 'a REAL' Bluesman' (Mike Harding, The Mike Harding Folk Show 2015) in the intimate FAC auditorium
Kent was born in Wyzata, a town in Minnesota and was taught to play ukulele, guitar and clarinet by his father by the age go 11. He later learned to play piano and electric guitar at school. He played in a local band with school friends performing 60s music. While reading the sleeve notes on an Eric Clapton album he was intrigued to find out more about Blues music and eventually he opened up for and performed with many of the greatest Bluesmen and women, including Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Bukka White, John Lee Hooker and Margie Evans.
In 1979 he found his beloved 'Leadbessie' a beat up 1934 National steel guitar and kitted it out with heavy gauge strings to cope with his ferociously powerful playing style. He decided to move down South to be nearer to the roots of the Blues music he now embraced. Kent now lived the 'blues life' riding the rails and running the roads, living in an old Cadillac then a tent and a motorhome playing venues all across the USA playing nearly every night. In 1989 Kent met and established a partnership with the legendary Bluesman Johnny Shines (a travelling companion of Robert Johnson "King of the Delta Blues"). Together with harmonica great Snooky Pryor they were honoured with the coveted W. C. Handy award for the best country/blues album of the year. Kent and Johnny performed over 200 shows together across North America, while Kent also continued his solo career. In 1992 Kent was one of the pallbearers who carried Johnny Shines to his grave.
In the early 1990s Kent decided to spread the Blues he loved in the UK and Europe and to date has well over 100 overseas tours completed and eight solo CDs and one DVD under his belt. The Sunday Times listed him as one of the five best concerts in the UK in 2001 and a further crowning honour came when he was asked by Alabama's State Culture Officer to represent the State on a cultural visit to Italy despite him no longer living in Alabama.
Kent had just finished a six-week tour in the UK in 2015 and was about to fly home when he was asked by Ben "Boogie" Waters if he would cancel his flight in order to play in a BB King tribute concert in central London in aid of the British Heart Foundation together with a number of luminaries including music legends Bill Wyman and Elliott Randall. Kent was only too happy to be part of such a superb evening.
When not thrilling music lovers with Delta Blues, Urban Blues and his own original compositions, Kent can be found at home in beautiful South Georgia with his wife Sarah, pursuing his favourite hobby: fishing. They live on the shore of a large lake on the border between Georgia and Alabama, in a house which Kent has literally built with his own hands, reading DIY manuals along the way.
DuChaine is about as close as it's possible to be to an authentic Delta-style Bluesman in the 21st century - Review from Blues in Britain Magazine (2014).