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The Legendary Blues Band

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The Legendary Blues Band includes Calvin Jones (b.1926, Greenwood, MS; bass, violin); Willie Smith (b.1935, Helena, AR; drum); various others on vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano.

When the Muddy Waters band quit the master en masse in 1980, most of the sidemen stuck together and formed their own group. The Legendary Blues Band, as they were named, included Pinetop Perkins, Jerry Portnoy, Willie Smith, and Calvin Jones throughout its early years. Short-term member Louis Myers, another Muddy Waters alumnus, appeared as guitarist on the band’s first album (Rounder, 1981).

The band has since changed personnel with some regularity, and while its lineup has become progressively less “legendary” in name or historic associations, its music has remained solid and true to the mainstream Chicago style. In a later configuration, they even made the Billboard Black Music charts. Recent albums have featured guitarist Billy Flynn and harmonicist Madison Slim. The rhythm section of Jones and Smith has anchored the unit throughout the changes, never failing to deliver the Chicago blues with aplomb. ~ Jim O’Neal, All Music Guide

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