Big Daddy Kinsey & Sons

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b. Lester Kinsey, 18 March 1927, Pleasant Grove, Mississippi, USA, 3 April 2001. An acknowledged disciple of Muddy Waters, Kinsey owned his first guitar at the age of six. Before travelling north in 1944,…
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Artist Biography by

b. Lester Kinsey, 18 March 1927, Pleasant Grove, Mississippi, USA, 3 April 2001. An acknowledged disciple of Muddy Waters, Kinsey owned his first guitar at the age of six. Before travelling north in 1944, he had seen both Waters (then still McKinley Morganfield) and pianist Pinetop Perkins play at local parties and juke houses. Moving to Gary, Indiana, he played harmonica in a local band, the Soul Brothers. As his own family grew, he trained each of his sons, Ralph, Donald and Kenneth, to play an instrument and perform as a family unit. By the late 60s, the band was working the Ramada Inn circuit, the first black unit to do so. For much of the 70s, Daddy Kinsey worked local clubs with non-family musicians while his sons worked with Albert King and Bob Marley. In 1984, they were reunited as the Kinsey Report and the following year made their debut album. In 1986 the sons signed to Alligator Records and their father toured with them as their opening act. They also backed him on ‘Can’t Let Go’, assisted by Lucky Peterson on keyboards. Kinsey’s albums on Verve /Gitanes benefit from superlative accompaniment from musicians such as Buddy Guy, John Primer, James Cotton, Pinetop Perkins, Johnnie Johnson and Willie Smith. I Am The Blues is dedicated to Muddy Waters and Kinsey was plainly content to continue in his shadow until his death from prostate cancer in 2001.