Chris Beard is a modern blues guitarist and singer like no other. His personal connections to the blues were forged with the living blues men he sat with since childhood.
Born in 1957, Beard is the son of blues guitarist, Joe Beard, who grew up on Beale Street in the 1950s. When family friends like Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Buddy Guy stopped by to visit, young Beard became their willing pupil. Chris says, “when your father grew up on Beale Street and music was in your DNA, then blues is who you are and what you do.”
“Blues is my roots,” continues Chris, “as Joe Beards son, I grew up around some of the best bluesmen. The influence of Buddy has been major for me. All he had to say to me was, 'keep on doing what you’re doing' and Matt always told me, 'the guitar has to become an extension of you', that will always stick with me.”
After years playing the clubs in and around Rochester, NY, Chris was offered the opportunity to record. In 1998, he released his debut recording, Barwalkin, on JSP Records. That record earned Beard a W.C. Handy nomination as the Best New Blues Artist. Chris produced his follow-up disc, Born To Play the Blues in 2001 to the critical acclaim of the blues press and earned Beard the title, 'Prince of the Blues'. In 2005, Beard released Live Wire, a stirring combination of live and studio performances for Northern Blues. Beards next recording, Who Am I And What I Do, depicts his live story of growing up in a house full of blues and sings of his family commitment to keeping the blues alive.
'Pass It On Down' slated for worldwide release on September 15, 2023
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - eMusicWire -- Blue Heart Records is pleased to announce the signing of second generation bluesman, Chris Beard. Raised in the company of veteran bluesmen including Buddy Guy and the late Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Beard bridges the generations with his approach to the blues. Pass It on Down, Beard's sixth career album and Blue Heart Records debut, features his father, Rochester Music Hall of Famer, Joe Beard.
Chris Beard was born in Rochester, New York in 1957, where he literally grew up in the "house of blues." By age 6, Beard could pick "Green Onions" on the guitar. By age 15, he was playing regularly with his father's band and other local R&B groups. Connecting feelings to his music was ingrained in Chris at a young age and has yielded the intense emotional expression he shares in both recorded and live performances. As a second-generation artist, Beard understands his role in shaping a fresh sound that appeals to the younger audiences of today. Never straying too far from the traditional I-IV-V progressions, he speaks musically through his own unique and contemporary style.
"It's been quite some time since I last worked with Chris, when he was on NorthernBlues Music back in the early 2000's," says Betsie Brown, Blue Heart Records partner. "I am delighted Sallie and I get the opportunity to present his latest offering featuring father and son."
"I'm thrilled to join the Blue Heart Records family, which has enabled me to share Pass It On Down with all the blues fans that expect the very best from 'The Prince of the Blues,' says Beard. "I am eternally grateful to God, my dad and family, my bandmates and everyone that made this recording possible. Pass It On Down is undoubtedly my strongest recording to date as I hit my stride as a second generation bluesman."
Album preorders begin on August 18, 2023.
For additional information, visit chrisbeardmusic.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram @chrisbeardmusic.