b. 8 November 1955, Greenville, Mississippi, USA. When Howlin’ Wolf is your babysitter and your father (Eddie Shaw) leads his band, it is hardly surprising if, like Vaan Shaw, you grow up to play the blues yourself. He spent his childhood in and around the band, learned the mechanics of guitar playing from Magic Sam and Hubert Sumlin, and actually backed Wolf at the tender age of 11, substituting for an absent Sumlin. The following year, he joined the house band when his father bought the 1815 Club (renaming it Eddie’s Place) and backed Muddy Waters, Wolf, Freddie King and James Cotton. After Wolf’s death, Eddie Shaw formed the Wolf Gang with his former sidemen and Vaan as guitarist. His first album, 1993’s Morning Rain, would have been more impressive had there been less reliance upon standard Chicago fare. That was remedied by the following year’s The Trail Of Tears, of which more than half consisted of songs written by Shaw fils et père.
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