Legendary Bluesman Hubert Sumlin Dies At 80
Guitarist Hubert Sumlin died Sunday, 4 December of heart failure at a hospital in Wayne, New Jersey. The legendary bluesman celebrated his 80th birthday only weeks ago on 16 November. Gaining fame as the guitarist behind Howlin' Wolf from 1953 until Wolf's death in 1976, Hubert influenced an entire generation of electric blues and rock guitarists. In the current issue of Rolling Stone, he's ranked 43rd in magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2008, he won mulitple Blues Music Awards and was nominated for several Grammy awards, including his CD "About Them Shoes" (2006) which featured guest performances by Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Levon Helm, David Johansen and James Cotton.
In 1970, Howlin' Wolf and Hubert Sumlin flew to London to take part in one of the first "super session" blues albums. They were joined in Olympic Studios by Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ringo Starr Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Jeffrey Carp, Ian Stewart and other musicians. Released in the summer of 1971 as "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions" (Chess / Universal) it peaked at #71 on the Billboard charts. It was reissued as a deluxe edition in 2002.
Hubert performed at all three of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festivals (2004, 2007 and 2010). Some of our favorite festival moments with Hubert are below.