Texas blues singer and pianist Omar Shariff was born March 10, 1938; during the 1960s he relocated to San Francisco, where in 1971 he recorded a pair of albums for the Arhoolie label under his given name Dave Alexander. Upon adopting his stage name he kept a low profile, and did not record for another two decades; The Raven, a collection made up of ten songs cut in 1991 and seven songs cut in 1972 , marked his return to prominence. Shariff was nominated for a W C. Handy Award in 1993. In 1996 small blues label Have Mercy released Badass and followed it up with Black Widow Spider in 2000. Both records are stripped-down nasty blues: song titles like "My Life Is a Nightmare" and "Seven Years of Torture" give the listener an idea where Shariff is coming from. His next album, Anatomy of a Woman, was a concept album about Shariff's favorite subject: women. Shariff remains an obscure artist, obscure but real and blues to the bone. Make sure you catch him if he comes to your town. ~ Jason Ankeny & Tim Sendra, RoviPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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