b. c. 1950, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Chicago-based though he is, Black built a following farther afield, including the UK where his powerful blues rock singing and guitar work was welcomed by blues fans. He toured through the 70s, 80s and 90s, playing with musicians such as guitarists Paul Samson (of Samson) and Paul Petraitis, keyboard player Michael Barry, bass players Roger Bunn and Brian McClure and drummer Gerardo Guzman. After touring successfully with Samson in the early 00s, Black returned to the USA. Samson had been taken ill at the end of the tour and died soon thereafter.
Back home, Black was beset by problems on the personal front, a costly divorce, and in business matters, heavy debts incurred through following questionable advice. Black bowed out of music for a while but political events so angered him that he returned to the scene hoping to make changes that might benefit his fellow countrymen. In 2006, two new releases attracted some attention: ‘Strike The Root’ and ‘Lies’. The latter took as its theme machinations of the US government over significant issues in domestic and international politics. Although a topic such as this was far from being virgin territory for blues singers of previous generations, latterly artists in the field have tended to stay below the parapet, thus making Black’s work more noticeable.
Leaning strongly towards rock, Black’s playing is fiery and forceful and demonstrates technical mastery of his instrument. He has gathered his music under the banner of the Richard Black Project. Spinning off from this core have been several artists embarking on solo careers and a dizzying array of separate groups.