Legendary Louisana bluesman Lazy Lester is touring the UK in July and August 2012.
This tour will come hot on the heels of Lester's induction into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in May 2012 and is his first visit to the UK for over five years.
Lazy Lester, the last surviving member of the colorfully nicknamed South Louisiana blues artists who created the "swamp blues" sound on Excello Records, joins his friend, the late Slim Harpo, in the Blues Hall of Fame. (Lightnin' Slim and Lonesome Sundown have yet to be inducted.)
Lester, whose real name is Leslie Johnson, was born on June 20, 1933, in Torras, Louisiana. He began his recording career in 1956 playing harmonica behind Lightnin' Slim, and Slim's exhortations to "Blow your harmonica, son!" became a trademark of their work together. Lester played harmonica, guitar or percussion on many other sessions in Crowley, Louisiana, behind a variety of artists, including Clifton Chenier, Lonesome Sundown and Tabby Thomas.
He began recording as a featured artist, also in 1956, showing a stylistic range that included both laconic swamp blues and uptempo rockers. His waxings of "Sugar Coated Love," "I'm a Lover Not a Fighter" and "I Hear You Knockin'" were not chart hits in the '50s but became favorites over the years, and his singles were later covered by the Kinks, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roomful of Blues, Barbara Lynn and others. One of the world's premier roots music gatherings, the Ponderosa Stomp, took its name from Lester's last Excello single, and Lester has been a regular at that New Orleans event and other festivals in recent decades.
Lester left Louisiana for a brief stay in Chicago and settled in Michigan, where he laid low for years working in an auto plant before making a welcome comeback in 1987. He has recorded albums for Blue Horizon, Alligator, Antone's, and APO, and his fine performances, easy-going nature and good-humored presence (on- and off-stage) have made him a favorite with blues audiences around the world.
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