A Night of Acoustic Blues with John Long and Al Fuller in Sarasota
If you’re a lover of traditional blues music, Fogartyville is the place to be on Saturday, March 5th at 8pm for performances by John Long and Al Fuller. John Long, fingerpicker, slide guitarist and harmonica ace, deserves to be celebrated as one of the finest practitioners of the traditional blues. While he sounds like the old masters, he performs exciting and original material with a batch of very cool songs that are as fresh as his arrival on the scene.
Al Fuller is well-known around Sarasota for hosting the weekly Blues Jam at the Blue Rooster. This is your chance to see Al display his fine, bluesy baritone voice, and guitar/harmonica prowess as a solo performer. Tickets are $15 for members and $18 for nonmembers. Advance tickets are available at Fogartyville.
John Long was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1950 and was first exposed to the music he’d make his life’s work not long after. His mother played several stringed instruments and supplemented the household income by teaching local guitarists. By the late 1950s John was absorbing the sounds of Jimmy Reed, Buster Brown, Muddy Waters, Lightnin ’ Hopkins, Junior Parker, and all the rest of the R&B and jump blues of the day, and working on recreating those sounds with his own guitar. By the early 1960s he was playing professionally in local bands, and digging deeper into the blues, through Muddy, Wolf, and Elmore, to Tampa Red, Peetie Wheatstraw , Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell, Lonnie Johnson and others. As Long immersed himself in the pre-war, acoustic blues era, he began to find a home stylistically, and started writing his own original music, inspired in large part by his brother Claude, whom he still credits as his biggest influence.
The early 1970s found him in Chicago, and it was there that he met another important inspiration: veteran bluesman Homesick James Williamson. Williamson had been playing blues guitar since the pre-war era and was kin to, and bandmate of, blues great Elmore James. Homesick was a surrogate father figure to Long, treating him like a son, showing him the ropes in Chicago, and tutoring him in the subtleties of the blues. For the last 30+ years, Long has been seriously honing his craft, perfecting his art, and finding his voice. His album “Stand Your Ground” was nominated for acoustic album of the year at the 2017 Blues Music Awards. As legendary singer and harmonica player Al Blake has said, “John Long is the best rack harmonica player I have ever heard. He is an outstanding singer and true original voice on guitar. He is an incredible song writer as well. What more could you ask for?”
Photos from Fogartyville and Al Fuller Facebook page.