Big James Montgomery
c. 1950, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Playing harmonica and singing, Montgomery belied his origins by digging into the music of black Americans. As a student at Boston University, he formed his own band in 1970, which became locally successful. In his early years he sometimes worked, at first informally, with senior bluesmen such as James Cotton, John Lee Hooker and Junior Wells. The experience thus gained in blues clubs stood the young musician in good stead as he sought to succeed in a world where white musicians were viewed with some doubts. In Chicago, he was encouraged by Paul Butterfield and although he later worked in rock and funk bands, the blues tradition was too deeply ingrained for him to leave it behind. As he matured still further, this factor considerably informed his playing. He formed the East Coast Funkbusters with Alex Taylor, played with Dan Aykroyd (Blues Brothers) and was also a member of an All-Star Blues Brothers Band. He was also with Commander...