Sunday, October 11, 2009


I first met Twist Turner way back in the early eighties. Bobby introduced me to him while we were on break. Twist is a drummer who has played with an extensive list of artists,  including thirty Grammy nominees and an estimated 15 WC Handy award winners.  
Twist grew up in the northwest in particular Seattle, Washington. The blues artist that launched his career was the great Isaac Scott. Isaac passed away in 2001 from complications of Diabetes.
He carried the blues banner for the city of Seattle for many years.
Twist headed for Chicago in 1975. During the late 70’s twist landed a gig With Hubert Sumlin and played with him for almost 10 years. He also played at Theresa’s Lounge steadily for two years with Jr. Wells’ band.  He did a spell with Buddy Guy’s band also during this time period. He jokes that it is easier to name people he has not worked with than the ones he has.
He worked ten years straight six days a week with no holiday pay folks. Twist has paid his blues dues and it shows with his current music.

Twist is currently a songwriter and record producer with a focus on his own music. His music is primarily Rhythm and Blues very reminiscent of Tyrone Davis, Jackie Wilson, but it does not stop there.  He utilizes great horn lines with very nice Hammond B-3 accents.  If you listen close enough you realize that Twist is truly a great songwriter and the years of musical knowledge he has accumulated shows.

I was at an auction about two months ago and purchased about 50 old blues 78’s.  I had to dust off an old stereo set-up that played 78’s.  I hooked it all up and started to go through the records. Those 78’s are from the golden age of blues namely 1948-1953 and there are some great artists Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and the like.  I finished them and decided to pull out the 33 1/3 LP’s next. I looked through the stacks and found “Listen To The Blues”. When I first met Twist he sold that album.  I played it and after wards I called Twist.  He was working on an amp project. We talked a little about Smilin Bobby and I inquired if he’d mind if I did a story about him. He said yes as long as I did not mention the album. He is not happy with it. I’m sorry Twist, but that LP is a time capsule and  a very fine rendition of what was happening in the blues scene. Although it never had much acclaim and never made it to a gold record status, it is worth ten times its weight in that precious metal. Thanks Twist!