February 4th 1938 85 years old. Born and raised in Ashland, MS, guitarist Joe Beard grew up with the Murphy brothers, one of whom later found an international following as Matt “Guitar” Murphy. Beard moved to Rochester, NY, and from time to time would visit one of his brothers in Chicago. He quickly became enamored of the blues being played in clubs there by people like Jimmy Reed and Sonny Boy Williamson. Beard sat in with John Lee Hooker one night and received encouraging words from Hooker.
Beard befriended classic blues guitarist Son House, who was a neighbor in Rochester.. Beard worked as an electrician by day and would occasionally play out at night and on weekends for most of the ’60s on through to the ’80s. At Rochester’s famed BK Lounge, Beard and his backing bands opened for Bobby Bland, Albert King, and others.
Joe has played many major festivals in the US and Europe and was inducted to the Rochester Music Hall Of Fame in 2017. He has released 4 albums to great critical acclaim. One album featured Ronnie Earl and two others featured Duke Robillard.
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