Different beard styles Different beard styles pictures Crazy beard styles Different beard styles names Different beard styles for round face Different beard styles images Different beard styles bald head Different beard styles for long face Different bear. Guitarist Joe Beard looks back and ahead at shows

Guitarist Joe Beard learned to sing the blues when he was just a boy. Unique beard styles.

Now at 78, he continues to play at outdoor festivals, concerts and small bars.

When Beard arrived in Rochester in 1956, no one was playing the blues. Local artists Steve Grills, Danny Smith, Fred Palmer, Bob West and John Mooney were up and coming jazz musicians. He described the local talent as “just kids.”

Blues legend Son House, a pioneer of the Delta region sound, had moved from Mississippi to Rochester’s Corn Hill Area in 1943. But by then, he had retired from the music business for many years and was unaware of the enthusiasm for his early recordings.

Beard was strictly a blues artist, but at the time, jazz and soul music dominated the music scene, so it was hard to find gigs. To pay the bills, he worked as an electrician during the day and played the bass guitar at night in a Soul music band called The Lincoln Continentals.

Beard never visualized himself as the front man for a band or playing lead guitar, until one night in Chicago. He said they were in a club on 3030 West Madison and things weren’t going over well. During intermission, Beard was asked by the opening act if he wanted to play a song.

He accepted their gesture of goodwill, under one condition: He’d be allowed to do it without his accompanying band.

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"I didn’t relish playing in a band that only did soul music," Beard said, so it was a great opportunity to sing a song he enjoyed playing.

Beard played "Sallie Mae," a blues song by John Lee Hooker.

“When I finished, a guy approached me and said I was the only person he’d ever heard who played that song as well or better than John Lee Hooker,” he recalled. “The guy asked, 'Do you know who I am?' I replied no. He said, 'I’m John Lee Hooker.'”

After that encounter with one of the best blues artists of that time, Beard felt a sense of liberation; from that day, he decided to assemble a band and return to playing only blues music.

Rochester’s jazz scene was beginning to take a back seat to the blues, so it turned out to be a good decision.

It didn’t take long for local jazz enthusiasts to discover Beard’s unconventional fiery playing technique, coupled with an introspective and passionate vocal style. By the early 1970s, Beard and his band was the most popular act in Rochester.

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“Joe is considered a traditional blues player,” said Fred Stone, a local jazz and blues musician. "He has contributed a lot of expertise in this field. When we played together, the band never had a set script to play from. For each song, we had to find Joe’s groove (tune) and follow his lead. This is what makes his playing style unique.”

His smokey guitar riffs were developed in Ashland, a small town located in the Delta region of Mississippi, where one of the earliest styles of blues music originated.

There was always a guitar in Beard’s childhood home and oftentimes someone would be playing it. He grew up watching B.B. King, Matt "Guitar" Murphy and many other iconic blues musicians practice before gigs in the living room where he lived.

“Those musicians influenced me to a point where I was able to learn how to play the guitar, just by listening and watching them play,” Beard said. “When I picked up the guitar for the first time at 15 years old, I could play all my favorite blues songs.”

His music career has taken him around the world to places like Paris, India, Belgium and Sweden. And in 1989, he performed at President George H. W. Bush’s inaugural ball.

“Joe and Son House are legends in Rochester, as far as the blues goes,” said Cicero Ryland Jr., Beard’s booking manager. “For Joe, 2016 is a milestone that marks 50 years of playing the blues in Rochester. And he has never had a problem of not having an audience when he plays in this city.”

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His vision: To record a CD with his two sons. Both sons, Chris and Dwayne, play the guitar and other instruments.

Joe has recorded six CDs to date that can be bought locally at the House of Guitars, 645 Titus Ave., and Bop Shop Records, 1460 Monroe Ave.

Upcoming events include blues festivals in the Finger Lakes (June 18), Corn Hill (July 10,) and shows at Buffalo’s Dinosaur Bar-B-Que with Steve Grills and The Roadmasters (July 6 and Aug. 6).

Posted by at 12:04AM

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