cosmic American love child of Howlin Wolf and Link Wray!
Known as a "musician's musician," Alvin Youngblood
Hart's praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan
to Brit guitar gods Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor.
Since the release of his 1996 debut recording, the
all-acoustic BIG MAMA'S DOOR, Hart has relayed his
eclectic musical message around the world.
devout follower of the "no barriers" approach carved out by
veteran performers like Gatemouth Brown and the late/great Doug Sahm, Hart aims to delight the masses and points to challenge
the so-called blues purists.
BIG MAMA'S DOOR was reviewed with blessings by Playboy with the
prospect that Hart "had the power to bring the blues to Generation
X" also stating that "Charley Patton would approve of Hart's version
of Pony Blues, and the cover of Gallows Pole is the coolest since
Based on the strength of his record debut and the allure of his live
shows, Hart received five nominations at the 1997 W.C. Handy Blues
Awards. He was nominated for Best New Artist, Best Acoustic Artist,
and Best Traditional Blues Artist and his album (BIG MAMA'S DOOR)
was nominated for both Acoustic Album of the Year and Traditional
Album of the Year. He received the award for Best New Artist. Hart
also received two Living Blues Awards that same year. The
anticipated sophomore release of TERRITORY in 1998 gave a rousing
tribute to all forms of American music and received the Downbeat
Magazine Critics' Poll Award for Best Blues Album (though TERRITORY
is not a Blues album).
The summer of 1999 found Hart teaming up with celebrated producer
Jim Dickinson to begin recording START WITH THE SOUL, a record
hailed as a new-breed Southern Rock classic and one that piloted
Hart's return to the "sacred garage." START WITH THE SOUL was chosen
by the New York Times as one of the top 10 releases of 2000, as well
as the BBC's Blues Record of the Year.
In 2001 Hart shared Living Blues Magazine's best guitarist honors
with fellow road dog Big Jack Johnson.
The 2003 release of DOWN IN THE ALLEY garnered a Grammy nomination.
Despite critics' recurring attempts to suggest Hart was "best
enjoyed when performing solo", Hart continued to diversify his
audience by extensively touring as a member of Job Cain, a
hard-rocking side project he assembled with guitarist Audley Freed
(Cry of Love/Black Crowes) and Nashville musician Robert Kearns (The
Bottle Rockets/Lynyrd Skynyrd). In August of 2003, Hart was invited
to fill in for Taj Mahal for five nights in Tokyo as a member of Kip
Hanrahan's Conjure, the world's longest running jazz poetry
ensemble. Assembled to lend musical support to the words of Bay Area
poet Ishmael Reed, Conjure featured the talents of tenor sax giant
David Murray and original Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli. Hart
remains a member of the revolving cast and recorded with the group
on BAD MOUTH.
In 2004, Hart received a Grammy for his philanthropic contribution
to the compilation BEAUTIFUL DREAMER: THE SONGS OF STEPHEN FOSTER.
All of the proceeds from the recording benefited American Roots
Publishing, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving
American regional culture through literature and art.
In the summer of 2005, fortified in the wake of much recognition and
determined to defy any stereotypes attached to his artistry, Hart
released the self-produced (and personal favorite) MOTIVATIONAL
SPEAKER a rock guitar free-for-all, paying homage to fallen and
missing rockers like Phil Lynott and Sly Stone. Hart's songwriting,
singing and electric guitar prowess are all championed on this
project and showcase the versatility he continuously strives to
offer his fans and profession.
In 2006, Hart collaborated with several Memphis area musicians in
the Craig Brewer cult hit film "Black Snake Moan" by both serving as
a guitar tutor to the film's leading actor, Samuel L. Jackson, and
recording a duet with the film's female lead, Christina Ricci, for
the film's riveting soundtrack. In the fall of 2006, Hart was invited
to hit the road for two months with Rock-n-Roll legend Bo Diddley
for what turned out to be Diddley's final coast to coast tour.
In April of 2007, Hart's extended and varied interests led him to
influence his local educational arena by participating on a tour of
Mississippi high schools as a member of the Thelonious Monk
Institute of Jazz.
Hart then joined fellow notable string playing colleagues Corey
Harris, Don Vappie, Keb Mo and Guy Davis and contributed to the
uniquely progressive 2007 OtisTaylor record RECAPTURING THE BANJO.
Later that year, Hart was called upon to contribute his doyen
knowledge of blues music to the Denzel Washington-co produced and
directed film THE GREAT DEBATERS. Based on a true story about the
black historical Wiley College debate team, the release of the film
coincided with a nationally stepped-up effort by urban debate
leagues to get hundreds of inner-city and financially challenged
schools to establish debate programs.
As an avid roots music performer and connoisseur, not only did Hart
fit the bill to record predominately on the films dynamic
soundtrack, Hart also proved a natural onscreen fit for the role of
a juke joint musician. Songs for THE GREAT DEBATERS soundtrack were
comprised of remakes of traditional blues and gospel songs from the
1920s and 1930s and were hand-picked by Denzel Washington from over
personal career highlight occurred in the summer of 2008 when
Hart met the late Irish guitar legend Gary Moore. Moore invited
Hart, a lifelong Thin Lizzy fan, onstage to jam with himself and
original Thin Lizzy drummer, Brian Downey. In the Spring of 2009
Moore requested Hartís band as the opening act on a tour of
Germany. Moore was seen offstage most every night with friends,
cheering Hart's band along during their set.
In 2010 Hart joined forces with friends Luther Dickinson (North
Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes) and Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut
Zippers, Tri-State Coalition) to form "The South Memphis String
Band". The fun-loving and regaling trio was quickly dubbed by the
media as an "acoustic super group". Recorded in a borrowed radio
station studio while the band was on its first road trip, their
debut record HOME SWEET HOME was received with rabid enthusiasm. The
2011 Blues Music Awards (The Blues Foundation) nominated the record
for "Best Acoustic Album". The group plans to release a second album
in the spring of 2012.
When not touring solo or plugged in with his revered rock trio
"Alvin Youngblood Hart's Muscle Theory", Hart enjoys researching, collecting, repairing and
modifying obscure musical equipment.