wallace coleman


WALLACE COLEMAN was born in 1936 in Morristown, Tennessee, and first heard the blues on late-night radio programs on WLAC from Nashville. He was especially impressed as a boy by harmonica players Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter Jacobs and Big Walter Horton and singers Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. For most of his life, however, making music took a back seat to earning a living and Coleman played primarily at home for his own enjoyment. It was not until 1985, almost 30 years after Coleman had moved to Cleveland, that he first began performing regularly in public, with local bluesman Guitar Slim at the Cascade Lounge in Cleveland.

A master of the Chicago school of blues harp who sounds like he just stepped off a 1950s Chess record, Coleman also is a clever songwriter and effective singer. He joined forces with legendary blues guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood in 1987 and spent the next decade touring with the veteran showman, who learned guitar directly from Robert Johnson. The only harp player Lockwood has ever had in his band, Coleman played on such Lockwood albums as / Got To Find Me A Woman and What’s The Score before striking out on his own in 1997.

As a bandleader, Coleman keeps the traditional blues flame alive by appearing at clubs, colleges and blues festivals throughout the U.S. Coleman has recorded three well-received albums for his own label, Pinto Blue Music: Stretch My Money, Live at Joe’s and The Bad Weather Blues.

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