AMERICAN Blues legend Kent Duchaine returns to West Kirby Arts Centre next month after his sell out show last year.

The Minnesota-born guitarist and singer and beloved 1934 National Steel guitar Leadbessie will be supported by Hoylake-based bluesmen Al Peters and Leigh Marles during the show on Saturday, February 8.

A spokesman for the show said: "Supported by two of the best bluesmen on the Wirral Al Peters and Leigh Marles, come and enjoy what will be a great night of the Blues with one of the great blues men still around."

Duchaine has listened to, hung out with, opened up for, travelled and played with most of the great Blues men and women his whole adult life.

Among them are Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor, BB, Albert and Freddie King, Willie Dixon, Bukka White, Johnny Shines, Robert JR Lockwood, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Furry Lewis and Son House.

Kent's early days with the Blues involved him both living and learning the Blues life.

The 68-year-old has played in most of the major Blues festivals in the United States and Europe and was part of a Grammy-nominated album recorded at the prestigious Smithsonian Institute Festival of Folk Life in Washington DC.

The theme of the festival was "The roots of Rhythm & Blues, The Robert Johnson Era" and was recorded and released by Sony Music.

"It featured Robert Johnson's old buddies, Johnny Shines, Robert JR Lockwood, Honeyboy Edwards, and Henry Townsend."

Kent attended two of the early "Ann Arbor Blues Festivals" in the 70s.

It united together virtually every important Blues man and woman in the world who performed for the three days and nights in August.

His dedication and talent for the blues earned him the honor of opening two shows for Bukka White, spending time with Mississippi Fred McDowell and befriending his hometown Bluesmen, Lazy Bill Lucas and Mojo Buford in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He has even hung out with Muddy Waters who he later paid his last respects to at Muddys' funeral in Chicago.

The Blues were happening all around Kent at this time and he ended up playing alongside Kim Wilson in a band called Aces, Straights & Shuffles.

Willie Dixon heard the band and complimented Kent on his slide playing sounding like a young Muddy Waters. Willie arranged a recording contract for the boys to help them launch their career by putting them on stage with Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins and Margie Evans.

Kent spent time in Austin, Texas in the mid 70s, soaking up the blues at "Antone's", who where beginning to bring in a lot of the old Blues men.

He met Stevie Ray Vaughn and learned that there where others who shared the same passion and respect for the real Blues.

After some time, Kent could see that the solo Blues life was where he wanted to go.

Travelling the roads alone allowed him the opportunities he was seeking.

Following the Blues trails unhindered gave him the freedom to play where and when he wanted, for what ever he could get, even if it was just a meal and a drink. The solo life built his following, reputation and talent for the real Blues.

By the late 80's he was doing 300+ shows a year all over N. America. He was blessed by the Blues in 1989 by coming across the great Johnny Shines who was living in Alabama.

The Orcadian, Orkney Blues Festival said of him recently: "Not only is Kent know as a well known master of the blues, his guitar playing is exceptional and his deep intriguing voice a great combination that really set the old style delta blues alight.

DuChaine really has lived the blues life which is clearly evident in his music."

Tickets for his concert at West Kirby Arts Centre, which starts at 7.30pm, are £10.

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