We’re looking forward to spending time with Alvin Youngblood Hart at the 2014 Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival. Known as a “musician’s musician,” Alvin Youngblood Hart’s praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan to Brit guitar gods Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor. Since the release of his debut recording, the all-acoustic BIG MAMA’S DOOR, Hart has relayed his eclectic musical message around the world.
Several records, projects and reviews later, he was awarded a Grammy in 2004. In 2005, Fortified in the wake of much recognition and determined to defy any stereotypes attached to his artistry, Hart released the self-produced (and personal favorite) MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER a rock guitar free-for-all, paying homage to fallen and missing rockers like Phil Lynott and Sly Stone. Hart’s songwriting, singing and electric guitar prowess are all championed on the project and showcase the versatility he continuously strives to offer his fans and profession.
A devout follower of the “no barriers” approach carved out by veteran performers like Gatemouth Brown and the late/great Doug Sahm, Hart aims to delight the masses and points to challenge the so-called blues purists. Hart’s fondness for obscure instruments and vintage gear contribute to a formidable and unique plugged in performance that discerning music lovers rave about. His rock trio “Muscle Theory” plays a versatile and enthralling live show that consistently inspires its listeners (new and old) to research and rethink what they once thought they knew about his craft and abilities.
Alan White of Early Blues Magazine sat down with Alvin to talk about his career and his playing:
Alan: Your music goes beyond the confines of the blues including elements of western swing, pop, reggae and rock. What is your view of the blues as a music genre and do you regard it more as ‘world music’?
Alvin: I really hate genres! It’s just become to be such a stifling thing. If you ask about influences I have to say Bill Graham the promoter because when he put on shows at The Fillmore and stuff he’d get everybody, he’d have John Lee Hooker and Cream on the same bill, Miles Davies and Blood, Sweat & Tears. It got to a point where some people started to get a little bit too serious about the whole genre thing and particularly with like the blues thing. I think if you get too serious it starts scaring the kids off.