Torchbearer of his step-father Robert Johnson's legacy, Lockwood learned guitar from the blues legend, and went on to become a legendary blues artist himself, as well as teaching Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King (it was Lockwood who suggested an 8-piece backup band for Riley King, which later became his trademark sound). His trademark jazz-inflected blues style mixed Robert Johnson, Charlie Christian & Eddie Durham...
Born in 1915 in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas, Lockwood got his first guitar from Johnson. He began playing juke joints and house parties at the age of 15 with harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson. In 1941, he cut 4 sides for Chicago's Bluebird label, and in 1942 he and Williamson became regular performers (not to mention the first musicians to play amplified blues over the radio) on the first blues radio broadcast, KFFA's King Biscuit Time.
Over the next decade or two, he was the studio guitarist for Chess Records, recording with Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Otis Spann, Eddie Boyd, Willie Mabon, Sunnyland Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, the Moonglows and many others. During the same period, he was in great demand as a sideman, performing with Jimmy Rogers, Junior Wells, Homesick James, Yank Rachell, Henry Townsend, John Brim, and Johnny Shines.
Since then, he has recorded for Mercury, Bea & Baby, J.O.B., Decca, Delmark, Trix, Advent, Flyright, P-Vine, Evidence, and Rounder Records, and has performed at nearly all of theworld's top Jazz & Blues festivals, including the Chicago Blues Festival, King Biscuit Festival, Tower Blues Festival (Japan), and the St. Louis Blues Festival.
His Contrasts and ... Does 12 (where he shows of his master on the 12-string guitar), were recently reissued on 32 Records.
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