Carl Weathersby Blues Biography |
Carl Weathersby (born Carlton Weathersby, 24 February 1953, Jackson, Mississippi) is an American electric blues vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. He has worked with Albert King and Billy Branch, among others. He is now a solo artist. He was nominated for the W. C. Handy Award for Best New Blues Artist in 1997.
Carl Weathersby early career
Weathersby spent his early years in Meadville, Mississippi, a place he still considers home, although when he was aged eight, his family moved to East Chicago, Indiana.
Pre-musician years (1953–1979)
As a teenager, Weathersby began to learn to play the guitar. One day, after practicing “Cross Cut Saw” many times through, he decided to show his father. After he finished playing it, his father’s friend, a man Weathersby knew as Albert, the diesel mechanic, said, “Man, that ain’t the way that song goes, that ain’t the way I played it.” The mechanic turned out to be Albert King, who then showed Weathersby how to play it. Despite Weathersby’s mistake, King was impressed and eventually hired Weathersby to play rhythm guitar with him on tour.
However, his career as musician started many years later. Before then, Weathersby worked many jobs, ranging from steel mill worker to prison guard to police officer. He also served in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1977, during the Vietnam War.
Collaborative years (1979–1995)
After the Vietnam War, Weathersby began playing rhythm guitar with Albert King on short road trips from 1979 to 1981, but the experience solidified Weathersby’s identity as a blues musician.
He then started filling in for the guitarist Carlos Johnson, of the Sons of Blues, who Weathersby described as “a pretty shaky guy, you know. He could show up just as easy as he couldn’t show up…” Eventually the band hired Weathersby as their full-time guitarist, a position he held for the next fifteen years.
Solo years (1995–present)
His position as guitarist for the Sons of Blues earned him a name among the blues fans of Chicago, it also left him feeling discontented.
Because of his growing popularity, Evidence Records released Weathersby’s first album, Don’t Lay Your Blues on Me, in 1996, and his subsequent albums, up to Best of Carl Weathersby. His only live album, In the House, was recorded at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland, when he was joined by the harmonica player and past bandmate Billy Branch. In The House was released under the CrossCut record label. Weathersby has since self produced the album, Hold On.
He performed as the headline artist twice a week at the Kingston Mines in Chicago, Illinois.