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Joe "Guitar" Hughes

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Joe Guitar
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Joe “Guitar” Hughes (September 29, 1937 – May 20, 2003) was an American blues musician, from Houston, Texas, United States. An inventive and versatile performer, Hughes was equally happy with slow blues, Texas shuffles and old R&B hits.

Joe “Guitar” Hughes lived his entire life in Houston, where he crafted his skills to rank among the city’s most elite players of the blues guitar. But unlike home town peers such as Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins, Hughes decision to remain in Houston in lieu of constant touring may have cost him the price of fame these others achieved.

He was born in Houston’s Fourth Ward on September 29, 1937. Though his mother did not approve of Blues music, Joe was still exposed early in life to a steady diet of Texas artists such as T-Bone Walker and Lightnin’ Hopkins through radio and records owned by his stepfather. His mother did encourage her son to sing; but it was the sounds of Gospel and Country-Western that met her approval. Anything resembling Blues could result in punishment and beatings for the youngster.

As a teenager, Joe purchased his first guitar from money he earned as a dishwasher. This soon led to the formation of his first musical group, The Dukes, at the age of 16. In its first incarnation, The Dukes were primarily a vocal trio. One of its members would remain a life-long friend of Joe’s and he would also become one of Houston’s most recognized Blues artists, Johnny Copeland.

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