Alan Black


Genre: Blues, R&B, Rock

Members: Alan Black

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Description: Club-goers in Peterborough, Canada, know that they’re in for some great music if Alan Black is in the house. For years he’s been the backbeat of the best blues, R&B and rock bands in this hip university town, notably Jackson Delta, Buzz Thompson, and Max Mouse and the Gorillas. Alan wows audiences with his ability to play drums and harmonica simultaneously and soulfully. Fans appreciate his eartfelt singing and songwriting and know that he has appeared at every major Canadian festival, been nominated for two Junos, and toured Scandinavia and the UK with the likes of Tracy Nelson and Mose Scarlett.

These days, it’s easiest to catch this talented guy on stage in Al Black and the Steady Band, which offers up New Orleans funk and echoes of the early blues masters. With a rhythm section that includes Black on the drum kit and Andy Pryde on bass, the groove is hypnotic. Together with Gary Peeples on guitar, this core band weaves Rock 'n' Roll and Caribbean rhythms together in songs that can bring to mind The Meters and Little Feat.

Alan Black was brought up surrounded by jazz, big band and country music. The Blacks regularly hosted weekend house parties where country songs were banged out on an old
guitar, old standards were sung, parents danced around the living room. His father (a drummer who adored Gene Krupa) took Al to drum rehearsals with his pipe band and the
eager student played every piece of furniture at home until allowed to practice on his dad’s drum kit.

As a 12-year-old, Alan saw Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee on TV, bought a harmonica and started practicing along with Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones records. By the time he was in high school he was playing house parties, doing songs by heroes like the Yardbirds and James Brown. At 19, he was playing drums in a blues band that eventually backed legendary piano player Sunnyland Slim. As co-founder of Jackson Delta, Alan did much to shape the sound, playing blues rhythms on his vintage drum kit and traditional-yet-innovative blues harp, and singing - often on the same song! This acoustic blues trio garnered two Juno nominations, was runner-up for the BB King Lucille Award at the prestigious Handy Awards, toured North America and Britain and opened for John Lee Hooker, releasing several albums along the way.

For decades now, Alan Black has been the backbeat of Peterborough in bands like Stonebridge Blues Band, Rocket 88s, and Bobcajun. International audiences have heard
him with Colleen Peterson, Larry Garner, Pinetop Perkins, Gene Taylor and many others.
Now he’s fronting Al Black and the Steady Band and won Roots/Blues Band of the Year at the 2013 Wire Awards. Also in 2013, Alan was inducted into the Peterborough Pathway
of Fame.

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