Lil Jimmy Reed Band

Part of our bluesy Thursday night line-up.

The blues was born in the deep South, a wild outcry against segregation, poverty and hard, back-breaking work. Sadly most of the great musicians who created this vibrant, influential music have passed on, leaving only their recordings to testify to their genius. However, one man, whose career stretches back to the time when rhythm ‘n’ blues was just bursting onto the popular music scene, is still with us and playing better than ever.

At 77, Leon Atkins, better known as Lil’ Jimmy Reed, is the real deal, as will be attested to by anyone who has been privileged to hear his stinging guitar work, gritty vocals and haunting harmonica. A tall charismatic figure, Lil’ Jimmy epitomises the classic Louisiana down-home blues tradition. Born in the late nineteen-thirties in a shotgun shack in a small cotton and sawmill town on the Mississippi River, Leon grew up near a club where every night he absorbed the wail of the blues from across the street. At six he had his own guitar, made from a cigar box, and by the time he was a teenager he was proficient on both guitar and harmonica, playing local clubs around Baton Rouge. Filling-in one night for blues star Jimmy Reed earned him the sobriquet Lil’ Jimmy Reed and started him on the long path to success.

He has shared the stage with B. B. King and Bobby “ Blue” Bland and headlined festivals in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. His many fans recognise that Lil’ Jimmy’s performances are almost the last chance to hear the raw, unadulterated sound of authentic Louisiana blues.
Performing as a 4 piece band featuring acclaimed blues and boogie pianist Bob Hall (The Blues Band), over the past 6 years, this tight little outfit has given a series of show-stopping performances all over Europe.

Lil Jimmy Reed continues to play all over the US and Europe and as he happily says “life just gets better with time”.

 

2018 Line up

Southwell Festival