Guitarist, singer and songwriter Chris Beard is the son of Rochester-area blues guitarist Joe Beard. He has been patiently paying his dues on the club circuit around the Northeast for the last 20 years. Beard, who goes by the nickname "Prince of the Blues," is one of the young lions of blues in the 1990s. He can be safely grouped with other idiom-expanding artists like Larry Garner, Tutu Jones and Michael Hill.
Beard began playing guitar at age five, inspired by all the blues talent his father had over to the house -- artists like Buddy Guy and Matt "Guitar" Murphy. He learned to play "Green Onions" as a 6-year-old, and at 15 he began playing with a local classic rhythm & blues ensemble. He continued playing in local bands and sitting in with his father's band through high school. After graduation, he began fronting his own group and writing his own songs, taking inspiration from people like Albert King and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.
Beard's debut album, Barwalkin', for the London-based JSP Records, is a 12-track showcase of style and songwriting virtuosity. Produced by Johnny Rawls, who also plays guitar on the recording, Beard is accompanied by Hammond B-3 organist Brian Charette, former Johnny Copeland Band bassist Randy Lippincott, and drummer Barry Harrison. The Nutmeg Horns, consisting of Bruce and Robert Feiner on saxophones and Jim Hunt on trumpet, add body to some songs. ~ Richard Skelly