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Interview

Artie "Blues Boy" White

Artie "Blues Boy" White is a genuine bluesman. One of the best living pillars of the legendary art form. With a throaty shout, an exquisite sense of vocal phrasing and a style that's:

  • 40% Little Milton,

  • 20% B.B. King,

  • 20% Bobby Bland,

  • 20% Albert King &

  • 100% Artie "Blues Boy" White.

"That's 200%", you say? Well, yep, Artie's that good!. He sings hard blues shuffles ("Tore Up"), Deep Soul ("I Need Someone"), funky stuff ("Love Like Yours") and brassy soul blues ("Crazy 'Bout My Baby") with the best of 'em. Although not (yet) a household name, he's garnered praise and admiration from the blues community in the U.S. and overseas. He has a loyal following that's motivated him to cut some 15 albums of new material in 20 years time.

White was born April 16, 1937 in Vicksburg, Ms. Like many blues singers he started with Gospel and sang with a spiritual group, The Harps Of David, at the age of 11 prior to coming to Chicago in 1956. White continued to sing gospel, now with the Full Gospel Wonders. White switched over to blues in the early 1960s. Over the next two decades, he recorded a number of singles with independent labels such as P&M, Gamma, and Al Tee. Titles include "Gimme Some Of Yours", "Lookin' For A Good Time", "Love Like Yours (Is Hard To Find)", "Rough Enough", "She's The One" & "Bad Intentions". White briefly reached #99 on the R & B charts with "You Are My Leanin' Tree" in 1977. But it wasn't until 1984 that he recorded his first full-length album for Ronn Records called "Blues Boy" that reprised his smash "Leanin' Tree". The LP made more noise with the popular singles "Jimmie" and "Chain Of Fools". Artie adopted "Blues Boy" as part of his name. He then signed with Ichiban in 1987 and waxed six fine sets in the soul-blues vein- two of which even charted on Billboard's R & B charts. In an era when synthesizers and fleeting drum program sounds dominated black music, Artie produced soulful blues with real musicians. When Ichiban closed shop Artie was signed to a three-album deal with Waldoxy, a Malaco affiliate. After three marvelous albums with Waldoxy Artie started his own label (Achilltown) and had released three albums thus far. But now he's back with "Package Deal". Blues Critic took the opportunity to interview Artie for this fine release

The Interview

BC = Blues Critic

ArtieWhite = Artie "Blues Boy" White

BC: Like other greats from Sam Cooke to Vernon Garrett, you started off singing gospel. How did you become a blues man?

ArtieWhite: I had been loving and following Blues all my life. I met a guy one day and he told me if I would sing the blues he would give me a certain amount of money so I started singing the blues it was as simple as that.

BC: When did you first record?

ArtieWhite: In 1965

BC: Growing up in Chicago whom many call the "home of the blues", you must've played with a lot of big names over the years? Who had an impact on your career?

ArtieWhiteOther entertainers that most impacted my career were Little Milton, Bobby Bland, BB King, Albert King and Little Jr. Parker. Travis Haddix for the great writing he has done for me.


Artie Blues Boy White 


BC: In 1977 you scored a huge hit with "Leanin' Tree". Why was there no full LP until 1985's "Blues Boy" on Ronn?

ArtieWhite: I was with a small company at that time.

(editor's note: Artie was then recording for Al Tee's label)

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BC: You signed with Ichiban in 1987. Your six records for the label are the best to come from that label. The sound is clean and full. When did you start producing your own music?

ArtieWhiteIn the early 80s when I first recorded with Jewel Records.

BC: Little Milton played a large part in making the cd "Thangs Got To Change" such a success. You and Milton were longtime friends. Did you get a chance to talk to him recently before he died?

ArtieWhite: Yes I spoke with him the same day he became ill.

BC: Are you proud of the work you did for the label? Do you have a favorite record you've done?

ArtieWhite: Yes I am. My favorite record Iíve done would be "I need someone" and there are many other favorites of mine.

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BC: How did you hook up with Waldoxy?

ArtieWhite: I was familiar with the label and I stopped there on one of my trips South and spoke with Tommy Couch Jr. I left several albums with him and I was called later to join the label. I am very proud of the work I did there. 

BC: You cut three acclaimed CDs for the label. How come you didn't re-sign with them?

ArtieWhite: The label was cutting back and making some changes and I needed to continue with my music therefore while I was waiting I decided to do something for myself. There maybe another Waldoxy CD in my future.

BC: You started your own label called A Chill Town and continued to produce full-bodied soul/blues with real musicians. "Can't Get Enough", which I consider to be one of your best was the first on your label. You then did two sturdy blues CDs. Why didn't you cut costs and use programming and synths instead of real musicians since that's the norm today?

ArtieWhite: I wanted to continue to produce the real blues sound that can best be accomplished with real musicians I always try to give the best possible product to my fans who I appreciate very much. Quality is very important to me.

Artie Blues Boy White Bluesboy

BC: I noticed on your new record "Package Deal" you enlisted the help of Walter Wells and you've added some more Southern Soul to the mix. The title track is a definite hit. "Chinese Shuffle" is one heckuva dance tune, but what is the "Chinese Shuffle"?

ArtieWhite: It is the blues version of the electric slide as only blues lovers can do it.

BC: One of the finest cuts is the hard blues shuffle "Bag Lady" written by Travis Haddix. In fact one of the major sources of strong material on all your albums is from Haddix. How did this friendship begin?

ArtieWhite: I was playing Cleveland in 1986 and I included him on my show and we became friends.

BC: I understand you and Travis had a recording session recently. Will that material see the light of day?

ArtieWhite: Yes it definitely will

BC: How do you feel about the state of the blues today?

ArtieWhiteThe Blues is here to stay however it does not get adequate amount air play.

BC: You have a loyal following who will always buy your records, but has doing it all yourself with A Chill Town a drawback or a blessing?

ArtieWhite: Both. It is a drawback because of budget constraints being a small company. It is a blessing in that I am able to continue to produce music that I love for my loyal fans.

BC: What is the secret of Artie 'Blues Boy' White's success?

ArtieWhite: Loving what I do, putting God first, lots of hard work, support from people such as yourself, and most of all being blessed with opportunities and loyal fans. I thank God for my success...

Artie Bluesboy White Discography HERE


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(C) 2018. All written material found on this website is the property of Blues Critic and may only be used with permission and full accreditation (either "Blues Critic" or "Dylann DeAnna of Blues Critic") and link to this website.