Sam Carr

Sam Carr, son of legendary blues man Robert Nighthawk, is the last of the great drummers from the Mississippi Delta. Starting out manning the traps for Nighthawk and Sonny Boy Williamson, Sam soon joined forces with Frank Frost and Big Jack Johnson to form the Jelly Roll Kings, the most low down band in the Delta. Recording classic sides in the '6Os for the Phillips and Jewel labels, the Jelly Roll Kings definitely knew how to get your ass shakin'. Produced by Scotty Moore, their first album on Phillips is impossible to find, routinely setting overzealous collectors back a good five grand! Fortunately, it's been reissued to the approval of the more poverty-stricken blues fanatic among us, making it possible for every household to have one.

A good decade and a half went by before the band entered the studio again, and they only seemed to have improved with age. Burning The Juke Joint Down, waxed for the Earwig label, proved to be an instant classic; the music was as gut-bucket and ghetto funky as the arsenal of battered equipment displayed on the album cover: beat up Farfisa organ, ancient Fender Concert amp, cheap Hofner knockoff violin bass and Big Jack Johnson's powder blue Fender Jaguar laid atop a padded Kustom bass amp, all taking up sidewalk space in front of the Red Top Lounge. What else need be said?

After another decade passed the equally awesome Look On Yonder's Wall surfaced, once again on Earwig. Whether it was intentional or not, the message seemed to lie within every trance-like groove: Eric Clapton, Robert Cray and all you other slick pretenders-GO HOME, YA JUST CAN'T COMPETE!!

Sam has also backed T-Model Ford and the insane Chuck Berry Junior of the blues, Robert Bilbo Walker. A great time-keeper, Carr can make anyone sound like they're in the groove as he instinctively jumps when the guitar jumps -- and that's no small feat when you are playing with Bilbo! Sam Carr continues to play today and still calls the Delta his home.

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