Vocalist/harmonicaplayer Big George Jackson was born November 16, 1949 and in the Twin Cities he is known as the Authentic big man of the blues. He sings with a distinctive bass-rich voice only a six-foot, six inch gentle giant could be blessed with. Add his fat harmonica playing, dead-on phrasing, commanding stage-presence and instant audience rapport and it’s easy to understand why the audience howl when he delivers his music.
The band features two great guitarists: Jeremy Johnson (formely with Mischo) and Phil Schmid (formely with Lynwood Slim) combine tough-as-nails interplay that can alternate between being greasy, swinging and raunchy The band writes its own music, with lyrics written by Big George and they also cover songs by Jimmy Reed, Walter Hornton, Muddy Waters and Big Leon Brooks. In 1998 the band released a CD Beggin Ain’t for Me on Black and Tan Records and in 2001 their second Black and Tan CD. The CD is titled Big Shot. Critics praised Big George’s CD for originality and welcome sense of humor. The Big George Jackson Band is considered to be a great up and coming band and is developing a fast growing following in spite of the incredibly competitive live music scene.
Big George has been working for Minnesgasco, the local gas company in Minneapolis. He has raised six children while pursuing his night-time career as a blues musician. His first european tour took place in November >99 and it was a huge success. Most of the venues had a large crowd and at the bluesfestivals in Luzern (Switzerland) and Unna (Germany) Big George proved to be one of the surprises of the event. During their european tour in April/May 2000 the band performed at he Moulin Blues Festival in Ospel (NL) and at the bluesfestivals of Silkeborg and Odense (DK). The band did two more succesfull european tours in March and November 2001. On the last tour they performed on the Lucerne Blues Festival (CH) and on the Blues Estafette (NL), two of the major blues events in Europe. They also did a live show on national Dutch tv.
In 2002 they performed at the Belgian Rhythm & Blues Festival in Peer (Belgium) and the Colne Bluesfestival in the UK and in 2003 they played at the International Jazzfestival in Montreal (Canada) and Nancy Jazz Pulsations (France). In October 2003 they released their third CD (Southern In My Soul) for Black and Tan Records.
Boo Boo Davis is a survivor and belongs to the last generations of musicians that write and play the blues based on first hand experience of a hard life in the Mississippi Delta. He was born and raised in Drew, Mississippi in the heart of Delta. It was the richest cotton land in the South and the large amounts of field workers attracted the best musicians from the surrounding areas. The entire Delta region was rich with blues, but the town of Drew was a particularly fertile one. Charley Patton stayed near Drew for many years and several legendary performers spent time there. Sharecroppers sang loudly to help pass the grueling hours of work and without a doubt Boo Boo developed his loud, bellowing voice based on the singing he heard in the fields as a young boy. In fact, that voice, through the years has demolished many amps and speaker cabinets.
Boo Boo’s father, Sylvester Davis farmed cotton and played several instruments. Musicians who he played with include John Lee Hooker, Elmore James and Robert Pete Williams. Boo Boo remembers these and other musicians dropping by and rehearsing at their house. At the age of five Boo Boo was playing the harmonica and singing in church with his mother. By thirteen he was playing guitar, and by eighteen he was playing out with his father and older brothers under the name of The Lard Can Band. This band travelled all throughout the Delta. In the early sixties he went north to St Louis and was around during the heyday of the St Louis music scene (Albert King, Ike Turner, Chuck Berry and many others). Together with his brothers they were the weekend house band in Tabby’s Red Room in East St Louis for eighteen years.
Even though Boo Boo moved north to St. Louis, he will always be a southerner at heart. When he is at home (and not performing) his favorite pastimes are hunting with his dogs and fishing. During Boo Boo’s childhood there was no time or money for him to go to school so he never learned to read and write. However that did not prevent him to travel all over the world. Following his guiding spirit (that he calls Dave) Boo Boo has found a way to deal with modern society. The blues helps him to keep his spirit high and survive day-to-day life. It deals with all the basic raw elements of life; good and bad, plain and simple.
His first European tour took place in April 2000 and since then Boo Boo is touring Europe at least twice a year. So far Boo Boo has released 5 CD’s on Black and Tan Records and all of them were very well received. Number 4 (DREW, MISSISSIPPI) was listed with the 10 best blues records of 2006 by MOJO Magazine (UK). In 2007 Boo Boo was invited to perform on the POCONO BLUES FESTIVAL, one of the biggest blues festivals in the USA and in March 2007 Boo Boo performed live on CBC Radio One, national radio in Canada.
What started as a crazy idea after the European tour of Boo Boo in October 2007 has turned out to be not too crazy at all. On the Spring Tour of 2008 they decided to leave out the bass and tour as a trio: Boo Boo Davis on vocals & harmonica, John Gerritse on drums and Jan Mittendorp on guitar. This trio has been touring Europe extensively; the last few years they did over 400 shows in more then twenty different countries including a lot of the big European blues & jazz festivals (North Sea Jazz, Montreux, Peer, Juan les Pins, Rother BluesTage, Amal, Olstzyn)