FEELIN’ GOOD PRODUCTIONS - Agenzia di Blues in Italia e in Europa.


Sonny Rhodes

sonny-rhodesSonny Rhodes is one of the blues world’s great original characters.
He deliver a smoking mix of contemporary blues.
For the past four decades he has garnered well deserved accolades from
his contemporaries, peers, and fans worldwide. Sonny is a genuine Texas
bluesman, and he is an unique artists who performs mostly original
material. A blistering instrumentalist, Rhodes is a gritty singer with a real
passion for the music he performs, one of the very few artists in the blues
history who play the lap-steel guitar, an instrument who that gives to his
music a unique sound. On stage, with some of the most colorful suits,
Sonny is an unforgettable dashing figure, that provides a contrast to the
gritty power of the songs he writes and the music he makes. Born
November 3, 1940 in Smithville, Texas, he was the 6th and last child of
Leroy and Julia Smith, who were sharecroppers. He began playing
seriously when he was 12, although he got his first guitar when he was
8 as a Christmas present. Rhodes began performing around downtown
Smithville and Austin in the late ’50s, while still in his teens. Sonny heard a
lot of T-Bone Walker when he was young, and it shows in his playing
today. Other guitarists he credits as being influences include, LC
Robinson, Pee Wee Crayton, Percy Mayfield and BB King. Sonny’s first
band, Clarence Smith and the Daylighters, played the Austin Texas area
Blues clubs before Sonny decided to join the Navy. Rhodes recorded a
single for Domino Records in Austin, “When Something is Wrong,” in
1958, and also learned to play bass. He played bass behind Freddie King
and his friend Albert Collins. After his stint in the Navy, Sonny returned to
California while in his 20s, and lived in Fresno a few years before hooking
up with Galaxy Records in Oakland. In 1966,he recorded a single, I Don’t
Love You No More b/w All Night Long I Play the Blues. Sonny recorded yet
another single for Galaxy in 1967 and then in 1978, and out of total
frustration with the Bay Area record companies, Sonny recorded the
infamous “Cigarette Blues” on his own label, Rhodesway Records.
Sonny toured Europe in 1976, and opened a whole new European market, and recorded for several European labels. In the eighties he
relocated again to Oakland and became a California Bluesman,contributing to the fertile San Francisco blues scene. Then in the nineties
Sonny moves again, this time to New Jersey, enriching Philadelphia and the entire Northeast with his distinctive brand of blues. For the last
seven CDs he has come to Florida to record for Bob Greenlee’s King Snake Records. Blues guitarist, singer/writer Sonny Rhodes is such a
talented songwriter, so full of musical ideas, that he’s destined to inherit the acclaim that his influences such as Blues great Albert Collins had
enjoyed. The hardest working Bluesman in America, he’s a
living legend from East Bay Oakland to the Florida coast. On
any given night in North America he’s seen wearin’ the
“peach” and heard burnin’ up his lap steel guitar with the
Blues. His many recordings release in Europe and the United
States , like new release Texas Fender Bender on Greater
Planet records, back this up. Sonny Rhodes recorded his first
record in 1961 under his real name, Clarence Edward Smith.
Throughout the last 50 years, Rhodes has recorded over three
hundred songs with a very versatile repertoire from ballads,
soul, R&B, deep blues, and some of the jumpin’est shuffles
you’ll ever dance to. Sonny’s music is powerful and deeply
emotional. His gravel voice is a perfect compliment to the raw
edged Texas blues sound of his guitar and lap steel guitar style
of playing. He is an imaginative songwriter whose songs tell a
story, “Songs come across me, and you have to work them out,
write ‘em down, and put them into shape”. He has been
honored by the Smithsonian Institute for his contribution to the
arts and nominated for nine W.C. Handy Awards,and onored by
The American Congress with the title of Blues Legend”,….and
the story continue……..