Sam Myers got a second chance at the brass ring, and he happily made the most of it. As frontman for Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets, the legally blind Myers's booming voice and succinct harp work have enjoyed a higher profile recently than ever before.
Although he was born and mostly raised in Mississippi, Myers got into the habit of coming up to visit Chicago as early as 1949 (where he learned from hearing Little Walter and James Cotton). Myers joined a band, King Mose & the Royal Rockers, after settling in Jackson, MS, in 1956. Myers's 1957 debut 45 for Johnny Vincent's Ace logo, "Sleeping in the Ground"/"My Love Is Here to Stay," featured backing by the Royal Rockers.
Myers played both drums and harp behind slide guitar great Elmore James at a 1961 session for Bobby Robinson's Fire label in New Orleans. Myers cut a standout single of his own for Robinson's other logo, Fury Records, the year before that coupled his appealing remake of Jimmy Reed's "You Don't Have to Go" with "Sad, Sad Lonesome Day."
Myers made some albums with a loosely knit group called the Mississippi Delta Blues Band for TJ during the early '80s before teaming up with young Texas guitar slinger Funderburgh, whose insistence on swinging grooves presents the perfect backdrop for Myers. Their first collaboration for New Orleans-based Black Top Records, 1985's My Love Is Here to Stay, was followed by several more albums -- Sins, Rack 'Em Up, Tell Me What I Want to Hear, 1995's Live at the Grand Emporium -- each one confirming that this was one of the most enduring blues partnerships of the 1990s. In 2004, Myers released his first solo album, Coming from the Old School, just two years before he died, on July 17, 2006. ~ Bill Dahl
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