Although Bobby Radcliff has spent the last 25 years honing his craft in bars around his native Washington, D.C., and in New York City and Chicago, the singer and songwriter came into his prime at the age of 45, in the late 2000s. Born September 22, 1951, Radcliff grew up in Bethesda, Maryland and had easy access to Washington, D.C. blues clubs, where he learned from people like Bobby Parker. Before graduating from high school, he'd already made several trips to Chicago to meet his idol, Magic Sam Maghett, owing to a small but growing blues club scene in Washington. Radcliff began playing when he was twelve, and he started off taking classical guitar lessons. After his guitar teacher showed him some blues, he began buying every blues guitar album he could get his hands on.
In 1977, Radcliff moved to New York City and worked in a bookstore by day until 1987, when he realized he was making enough money playing in clubs to give up his day job. Since he hooked up his recording deal with BlackTop Records, Radcliff has toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe more than a dozen times, and his fiery guitar playing is always a festival crowd-pleaser. Radcliff has three excellent albums out on the BlackTop label that showcase his songwriting, guitar playing, and soulful singing. They include his debut, Dresses Too Short (1989), Universal Blues (1991), and There's a Cold Grave in Your Way (1994). Collectors will seek out his 1985 vinyl release, Early in the Morning, on the A-Okay label. ~ Richard Skelly
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