Mad Dog Lester Davenport

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1970s 1990s 2000s

Biography

16 January 1932, Tchula, Mississippi, USA. Prior to recording his debut album in 1992, Mad Dog Lester Davenport’s claim to fame had been as the replacement for Billy Boy Arnold in the Bo Diddley band, although he proved less adept at improvising on the harmonica over a one-chord vamp. He was five years old when he received a harmonica as a Christmas present; within a few years, he was accompanying his slide guitarist father Neely at weekend suppers. At the age of 14, he joined his older brothers in Chicago. Homesick James lived nearby and he and Snooky Pryor gave lessons to Davenport and his cousin, Otis (later Smokey) Smothers. After sharing gigs with James, Johnny Young and pianist Jimmy Walker, he joined Big Boy Spires’ Rocket Four. While with that band, he was asked by Diddley to replace Arnold in his band, and he played on the session that produced ‘Pretty Thing’ and ‘Bring It To Jerome’.

He proved his...

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