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Louisiana Red

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Louisiana Red

Louisiana Red
Louisiana Red performing in Düsseldorf, Germany
Background information
Birth name Iverson Minter
Born (1932-03-23)March 23, 1932[1]
Bessemer, Alabama, United States[2]
Died February 25, 2012(2012-02-25) (aged 79)[3]
Hanover, Germany
Genres Blues
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Guitar, harmonica
Years active 1949–2012
Labels Chess, Atlantic, Earwig Music, Roulette, Ruf Records, JSP Records
Associated acts Carey Bell, Eric Burdon, Sugar Blue, Paul Oscher
Website Official website

Iverson Minter (March 23, 1932 – February 25, 2012), known as "Louisiana Red", was an African American blues guitarist, harmonica player, and singer, who recorded more than 50 albums. He was best known for his song "Sweet Blood Call".[3]


Born in Bessemer, Alabama,[3] Minter lost his parents early in life; his mother died of pneumonia shortly after his birth, and his father was lynched by the Ku Klux Klan in 1937.[1] He was brought up by a series of relatives in various towns and cities. Red recorded for Chess in 1949, before joining the Army. He was initially trained with the 82nd Airborne as a parachutist and he went to Korea in 1951. The 82nd airborne didn't go there as a complete unit, only some of soldiers were dispatched and became rangers in 2nd, 3rd and 7th Infantry Divisions. Red said he was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division.

After leaving the Army, he spent two years in the late 1950s playing with John Lee Hooker in Detroit.[1] He recorded for Checker Records in 1952, billed as Rocky Fuller.[4]

His first album, Lowdown Back Porch Blues, was recorded in New York with Tommy Tucker and released in 1963, with second album Seventh Son released later the same year.[5] Louisiana Red released the single "I'm Too Poor To Die" for the Glover label in 1964. It peaked at number 117 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 30 on the Cashbox chart. Billboard did not print a standard R&B chart during 1964.

He maintained a busy recording and performing schedule through the 1960s and 1970s, having done sessions for Chess, Checker, Atlas, Glover, Roulette, L&R and Tomato amongst others.[1] In 1983 he won a W.C. Handy Award for Best Traditional Blues Male Artist.[6][7] He lived in Hanover, Germany since 1981.[8]

He has also made film appearances in Rockpalast (1976), Comeback (1982), Ballhaus Barmbek (1988), Red and Blues (2005) and Family Meeting (2008).[9]

In 1994, Louisiana Red fused the blues with the urban Greek music of the bouzouki player, Stelios Vamvakaris, on the album, Blues Meets Rembetika.[4] He continued to tour, including regular returns to the US,[7] until his death. In 2011, Louisiana Red released Memphis Mojo to broad public acclaim.[10]


Michael Messer, from Michael Messer Music, noted on February 25, 2012: "I am very sorry to be bringer of such sad news that my dear friend, Louisiana Red, died this morning. He had a stroke on Monday and had been in a coma."[11] Louisiana Red had died in Hanover, Germany, aged 79.[3]


  • 1983: W C Handy Award for Best Traditional Blues Male Artist
  • 2009: Grand Prix du Disque (Blues) for Back to the Black Bayou
  • 2009: German Record Critics Award (2.Quarter) Best New Release (Blues)
  • 2009: Bluesnews Poll (for Back to the Black Bayou)
  • 2010: Blues Music Award (Acoustic Artist of the Year)
  • 2010: Blues Music Award (Acoustic Album of the Year) for You Got To Move



  • Lowdown Back Porch Blues (1963) (Roulette)
  • Seventh Son (1963) (Carnival)
  • Shouts the Blues (1970) (Forum Circle)
  • Louisiana Red Sings The Blues (1972) (Atlantic)
  • Sweet Blood Call (1975) (Blue Labor)
  • Dead Stray Dog (1976) (Blue Labor)
  • New York Blues (1979) (L+R)
  • Reality Blues (1980) (L+R)
  • High Voltage Blues (1980) (Black Panther) feat. Sugar Blue
  • Midnight Rambler (1982) (Tomato/Rhino)
  • Blues for Ida B (1982) (JSP)
  • Boy from Black Bayou (1983) (L+R)
  • Blues From The Heart (1983) (JSP)
  • Anti Nuclear Blues (1983) (L+R)
  • Bluesman (1984) (JSP)
  • Back to the Road Again (1984) (MMG)
  • My Life (1984) (L+R) feat. Carey Bell
  • World on Fire (1985) (MMG)
  • Brothers in Blues (1985) (CMA)
  • Back to the Roots (1987) (CMA)
  • Last Mohican of the Blues (1992) (Polton)
  • Ashland Avenue Blues (1992) (Schubert)
  • Always Played The Blues (1994) (JSP)
  • Louisiana Red (1994) (Forum)
  • Blues Meets Rembetika (1994) (Distazi)
  • Sittin' Here Wonderin' (1995) (Earwig Music)
  • Sugar Hips (1995) (CMA)
  • Rising Sun Collection (1996) (JAMR)
  • I Hear the Train Coming (1997) (Chrisly)
  • Over my Head (1997) (Chrisly)
  • Walked All Night Long (1997) (Blues Alliance)
  • Rip off Blues (1998) (Chrisly)
  • Winter & Summer Sessions (1998) (Blues Factory)
  • Driftin (1999) (Earwig Music)
  • Millennium Blues (1999) (Earwig Music)
  • Sings Deep Blues (2001) (P-Vine)
  • A Different Shade of Red (2002) (Severn)
  • No Turn On Red (2005) (Hightone)
  • Hot Sauce (2005) (Red Lightnin')
  • Back to the Black Bayou (2008) (Bluestown) with Kim Wilson and Little Victor
  • You Got to Move (2009) (Blu Max/Vizztone) with David Maxwell
  • Memphis Mojo (2011) Ruf Records
  • When my Mama was living (2012) rec. 1975 (Labor Rec.)

Live albums

  • Live & Well (1976) (Ornament)
  • King Bee (1978) (Orchid) feat. Sugar Blue
  • Red, Funk and Blue (1978) (Black Panther Rec.) feat. Sugar Blue
  • Live in Montreux (2000) (Labor)
  • Live at 55 (1994) (Enja) feat.Carey Bell
  • Bad Case of the Blues (2004) (Mojo Tone) feat. Carey Bell
  • Live at Painted Sky (2008) (Paul Prod.)

Compilation albums

  • Anthologie du Blues Vol. 11 (Roulette Rec.)
  • Blues Classics (1983) (L+R)
  • Pretty Woman (1991) (Blues Beacon)
  • The Best of Louisiana Red (1995) (Evidence Rec.)
  • The Blues Spectrum of Louisiana Red (1998) (JSP) feat. Sugar Blue

Guest appearances (selected)

Various artists (selected)

  • The Paul Jones Rhythm & Blues Show – The American Guests (JSP CD210)
  • The Paul Jones Rhythm & Blues Show – The American Guests – Vol.3 (JSP CD235)
  • Chicago Blues Vol.2
  • Earwig 16. Ann. Sampler (Earwig Music 1995)
  • Earwig 20. Ann. Sampler (Earwig Music 2000)
  • Am. Folk Blues Festival (L+R 1980 & 1983)
  • The 1. Blues Sampler (L+R 1980)
  • Blues Legends-Blues Giants (1993 Castle Communications)
  • Live at Boston Blues Festival Vol:2 (Blues Trust 2007)
  • Family Meeting by Wentus Blues Band (Ruf 2008) with Mick Taylor, Lazy Lester
  • Blues Wire Birthday Tour (August 2007 – Greece)
  • Houserockin' And Blues Shoutin – Rhythm Room 15 Year Anniversary Album"" (Blue Witch Records 2006)


  1. ^ a b c d Wynn, Ron Louisiana Red Biography,, Macrovision Corporation
  2. ^ Official website
  3. ^ a b c d - accessed 2012-02-28
  4. ^ a b Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 138–139.  
  5. ^ Owens, Thom "Lowdown Back Porch Blues (review)" at, Macrovision Corporation
  6. ^ "Blues Foundation Winners 1983".  
  7. ^ a b "Louisiana Red in Concert with Doug 'Harmonica' McLean at Brookhaven Lab", Brookhaven National Laboratory News
  8. ^ Official site biography
  9. ^
  10. ^ – Louisiana Red and Little Victor's Juke Joint"Memphis Mojo"Bman's Blues Report: New Release from Ruf Records: . 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  11. ^ "Bman's Blues Report: Louisiana Red has passed. This is confirmed.". 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Earwig Music label website
  • Louisiana Red profile, Ponderosa Stomp
  • Louisiana Red at IMDB
  • Pittsburgh Music History profile of Louisiana Red
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