11 Songs, 48 Minutes


About Lonnie Shields

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Lonnie Shields' Portrait (Rooster Blues) was praised by critics as one of the best debut albums of the year when it was released in 1992. Since then, the high praise from all corners of the world has continued for Shields' simple yet complex style of soulful, rhythmic blues.

Shields was brought up in a family where the church played a central role in daily life, and his gospel roots show through in everything he sings. He began playing soul and funk before discovering the Delta blues through his friend Sam Carr. Shields worked with Carr in the Unforgettable Blues Band and took as his other mentors local musicians like Frank Frost and Big Jack Johnson. Later, he discovered B.B. King, whom he considers his primary influence. Shields formed his first group when he was 15. Called the Checkmates, they took their musical cues from the sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Isley Brothers. After the band broke up, Shields gave up playing guitar for some time until he met drummer Sam Carr in Lula, Mississippi. Carr was insistent that Shields learn to play authentic blues, and a short time later, he was out on the road with Carr, Frank Frost and Big Jack Johnson.

After Shields played the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas in 1986, he was asked to record a single for the Rooster Blues label. This in turn led to his first album for Rooster Blues, released in 1993. The album got him noticed in the blues world and let to a broader touring base that included festival stops around the Northeast. Shields recorded and released Tired of Waiting (1996) and Blues Is On Fire (1997) for the London-based JSP Record label. A second Rooster Blues album, Midnight Delight, was released in 2000. He continues to perform around the U.S., Europe and Canada. ~ Richard Skelly

West Helena, AR
April 17, 1956