Under the Hood: Luther Allison’s Birthday!

As a child, Luther Allison played organ in his church in rural Arkansas. By his teens his family had moved to Chicago, where Luther picked up the guitar. His energetic fretwork and marathon live shows made him one of the most popular players on the blues festival circuit. Luther Allison spent much of the 80s in Europe, and he then enjoyed a triumphant stateside comeback before succumbing to lung cancer in 1997. From the House of Blues archives, Luther Allison talks about his dynamic performing style.

Off stage I’m kind of a quiet guy. I tell a couple of jokes here and there. And when I’m on stage it’s like, where does he get this energy? He takes chances! I want people to know that I play what I feel, and I will take a chance. And I think we all need to take a chance on trying to get close together and make more love and more friends, make more blues records, and make more rock n’ roll to stay great. And so that’s me, and when I gotta do it, I gotta do it. And I gotta do it now. - Luther Allison