B I O G R A P H Y
Lonnie Shields is truly the next generation of the blues. He cut his blues teeth performing with the Jelly Roll Kings. His recording career has led him through a number of studios from Memphis and Clarksdale to tours all over the world.
This Delta born guitarist, singer and songwriter's style is just the opposite of his demeanor. Lonnie comes across as a mild mannered southern gentleman with a laid back nature. On stage, he is transformed into an extraordinary entertainer moving to his music and feeding off the energy of the audience. His music is deeply rooted in gospel, soul and R & B while his sound, like his soul is never too far from the home of the blues.
Lonnie Shields career has skyrocketed over the past few years and he is performing all over the world. He was the first Delta artist that Rooster Blues picked up after moving to Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1987. His CD "Portrait" was released in 1992 and reads like a who's who of Delta Blues Performers. Since then he has gone on to release more CD's and build an impressive list of songwriter credits.
Over the years, Lonnie has played with many Blues greats including Sam Carr, Sonny Rhodes,Eddie Shaw and Big Jack Johnson to name just a few.
Newest Release, "Keeper of the Blues"
"I listened to these tracks here online and have to say I haven't heard as much reality in a singer and writer in a long time! Lonnie is the 'Keeper' of bluesy soul!!!" ~Miguel Henhagen
"Lonnie Shields is among the younger generation of Mississippi blues men keeping the music alive. Originally from West Helena, Arkansas (considered an extension of the Mississippi Delta due to it's musical heritage), Shields has honed his craft and performance style paying his dues in small Mississippi clubs like this country store/juke joint in Bobo, MS.
Shields started his career learning from traditional musicians like Big Jack Johnson, Sam Carr and Frank Frost, but he also brings in more modern R&B and soul influences into his music. Like many ambitious young performers before him, Shields has left the South to concentrate on his musical career from his home base in Pennsylvania."
Lonnie's last release "Keeper of The Blues" is another jewel in a string of 5 CDs featuring his soulful, "down home" Blues with a contemporary focus yet juke-joint feel. Lonnie's hard work has paid off in a fine compilation of music and a reputation of a man with the heart and soul of the Blues. Lonnie now makes his home in Media, Pennsylvania but always has and always will be the Keeper of The Blues wherever he lays his guitar. ~DeltaBoogie.com
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Lonnie Shields' Portrait (Rooster Blues) was praised by critics as one of the best debut albums of the year when it was released in 1992. Since then, the high praise from all corners of the world has continued for Shields' simple yet complex style of soulful, rhythmic blues.
Shields was brought up in a family where the church played a central role in daily life, and his gospel roots show through in everything he sings. He began playing soul and funk before discovering the Delta blues through his friend Sam Carr. Shields worked with Carr in the Unforgettable Blues Band and took as his other mentors local musicians like Frank Frost and Big Jack Johnson. Later, he discovered B.B. King, whom he considers his primary influence.
Shields formed his first group when he was 15. Called the Checkmates, they took their musical cues from the sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Isley Brothers. After the band broke up, Shields gave up playing guitar for some time until he met drummer Sam Carr in Lula, Mississippi. Carr was insistent that Shields learn to play authentic blues, and a short time later, he was out on the road with Carr, Frank Frost and Big Jack Johnson.
After Shields played the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas in 1986, he was asked to record a single for the Rooster Blues label. This in turn led to his first album for Rooster Blues, released in 1993. The album got him noticed in the blues world and let to a broader touring base that included festival stops around the Northeast. Shields recorded and released Tired of Waiting (1996) and Blues Is On Fire (1997) for the London-based JSP Record label. A second Rooster Blues album, Midnight Delight, was released in 2000. He continues to perform around the U.S., Europe and Canada.
~ Richard Skelly, All Music Guide