Arvey was born in Chicago, Illinois, and started playing music at the age of eighteen when he went to college in Gainesville, Florida. While there he became interested in the blues, and joined his first band backing Robert Hunter (which also backed Bo Diddley).
On his return to Chicago Arvey worked on the local blues circuit as a sideman, before forming his own band - West Side Heat - and released his first album. West Side Heat was active between 1981 and 1991, touring the world, sometimes backing notable blues artists, and appearing on the Crossroads Stage at the 1990 Chicago Blues Festival.
Arvey remembered: "I guess I just got burned out on that after a while, and shortly after the band quit, I started up with Kraig. We would basically go and play acoustic sets all day at Blues Fests, and on the streets."
He was then approached by admen who wanted him to perform for the Irish beer "Harp lager"; Arvey had no knowledge of or interest in Irish music, and his new employers wanted him to play his own blues and blues-rock – but audiences did expect to hear Irish music. "So I went to the Old Town School of Folk Music, and totally immersed myself in everything I could. I found all these folk guys, like Makem and Tommy Clancy, and I really fell in love with it." He was sponsored by Harp for two years, at almost 150 dates a year at clubs throughout the Chicagoland area, playing blues, rock, and Irish music.
Arvey has now returned to playing the blues and blues-rock in the Chicago area.
Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.