Champion was born in
Canton, Mississippi in 1999. He was raised on a farm in a religious
household and joined his family's local church choir at the age of
eight. At the age of 15 his family relocated to Miami, Florida, and
Champion attended high school there for a year before the family
moved back to Mississippi. After his graduation, Champion returned
to Florida and worked as a boxer and radio DJ. Champion began his
professional career in the early 1990s as a rapper named MC Gold.
Incorporating hip hop into a blues setting, Champion learned to play
the harmonica before self-releasing his debut album, "Goin' Back
Home " in 1998.
in 2014 Champion was also signed by Malaco (Waldoxy) who released "Bootleg Whiskey" in 2014 and "One Of A Kind" in 2015.
"Goin' Back Home" (Grady Shady Music 1998)
1. Scratch My Back
"Payin' For My Sins" (Shanachie 1999)
1 I'm Smilin' Again
"2 Days Short Of A Week" (Shanachie 2001)
1 Wine And Women 4:27
Grady Champion featuring Eddie Cotton Jr. "Back In Mississippi Live At The 930 Blues Cafe" (Grady Shady Music 2008)
1 Intro 0:31
"Dreamin'" (Grady Shady Music 2011)
My Rooster Is King
**** The Mississippi juke joint Blues of Champion slowly built his reputation leading to this breakout album. He won the 26th International Blues Challenge in 2010 and his profile had raised sufficiently for "Dreamin'" to get the attention it deserved. "Make That Monkey Jump" became a considerable chitlin' circuit hit- the Southern Soul market embraced heartily, likely boosted by Jackson, Mississippi's WMPR. Elsewhere he delivers "Thank You For Giving Me The Blues", which sounds like ZZ Hill doing an Albert King downtempo Blues. Showing versatility he also includes a AC/Pop ballad "Weight Of The World" and "Cross That Bridge" employs a Reggae rhythm.
"The Shanachie Days" (Grady Shady Music 2012)
1: Brother, Brother
"Tough Times Don't Last" (Grady Shady Music 2012)
1 My Time Baby 3:29
"Bootleg Whiskey" (Waldoxy 2015)
Borrow, Steal Beg
***1/2 Champion who vocally often reminds folks of ZZ Hill is on the very label that helped/aided Hill on his successful second act of "Down Home Blues" revival. The set opens with a fast shuffle "Beg, Borrow & Steal" featuring ZZ-like throaty lead with layered vocals on the refrain followed by a little honk or three on the "blues harp" (harmonica), followed by the swinging beachy "Bootleg Whiskey" and a simmering slow Blues. That horn-propelled Malaco sound is still alive and breathing on the hit "South Side" and "Mr. Right". There's an admirable amount of variety to this album. The album was ranked #3 in our "Best Of 2014" Retro-Soul/Soul Blues Albums list.
"One Of A Kind" (Waldoxy 2016)
Bump and Grind
**** Down Home Blues lives. As if to leave no doubt Grady Campion is the new generation ZZ Hill his new set delivers a faithful cover off Hill's "Bump In Grind" (he even namechecks Hill with the line "Like ZZ used to"). The Southern Soul market embraced the horn-assisted "Heels And Hips" and "Move Something". God bless Malaco and Champion for keeping the traditional sounds alive. While the mostly real Blues "One Kind Favor" wasn't created for the Southern Soul market Malaco still keeps a foot in the door with their classic brand of Down Home Blues and Soul.