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7 days of the blues: Luther "Bad Man" Keith

BBQ Baby
BBQ Baby
Luther Keith

“. . .If that boy wants to boogie woogie, let, him, it's in him and it's got to get out.” That famous line from John Lee Hooker's, 'Boogie Chillun', ' typifies the illustrious Detroit Blues legend, Luther “Bad Man” Keith.  
Most recently, Detroiters were treated to the styling of Luther at Memphis Smoke in Royal Oak on 12-11-09. Luther may be seen this upcoming Saturday, 12-19-09 at the Stonehouse Bar in Detroit. Luther's website is: He is looking to have a new CD released sometime after the first of the year.
Luther did not come up in the traditional bluesman fashion. He did not come from a musical background nor a musical home. He did the blues the hard way, but it was a labor of love. His original childhood ambition was to play baseball.
That vision changed when he caught a Luther Allison show in Ann Arbor, MI, in 1980. Luther Keith had an epiphany. The blues came alive for him and shortly after he purchased a guitar form a pawn shop and began to play at local jam sessions. When he became good enough people suggested he start his own band. He did in kind and looking back on the early years remembers players like Jeff Maylin, telling him he was a bluesman. It meant the world to Luther to hear that qualification.
Luther's style is a synthesis of Blues, Rock and Funk. The Blues has proved as a family of players, in Detroit, for Luther and they all love the music.
Luther tell us of Detroit's Blues: ”. . .(Detroit) Blues is Blues from the heart. It is the guts and the soul of the people who live and work in the city. It is not pretentious. . .(he cites some examples) Johnnie Basset, Bugs Beddow and Harmonica Shaw.
Luther is also the executive director of Arise Detroit ( a local, non-profit organization that improves the lives of communities, families and children around Metro Detroit. Never Surrender Your Blues!