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Hart was born in Oakland, California, and spent some time in Carroll County, Mississippi, in his youth, where he was influenced by the Mississippi Country Blues performed by his relatives. Hart is known as one of the world's foremost practitioners of country blues. He is also known as a faithful torchbearer for the 1960s and 1970s guitar rock of his youth, as well as Western Swing and vintage country. His music has been compared to a list of diverse artists ranging from Lead Belly, Spade Cooley to acoustic and electric guitar as well as banjo and sometimes the mandolin. Bluesman Taj Mahal once said about Hart: "The boy has got thunder in his hands." Hart himself said, "I guess my big break came when I opened for Taj Mahal for four nights at Yoshi's."
His debut album, Big Mama's Door, came out in 1996. In 2003, Hart's album Down in the Alley was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. In 2005, Hart received a Grammy Award for his contribution to Beautiful Dreamer - The Songs of Stephen Foster.
Hart was featured in the 2003 Wim Wenders film The Soul of a Man, which was featured in Martin Scorsese's film series The Blues. Hart was also featured in the documentary Last of the Mississippi Jukes.
Hart appeared in the film The Great Debaters in 2007, playing a 1930s juke-joint musician.
In 2010 Hart teamed up with friends Jimbo Mathus and Luther Dickinson to form The South Memphis String Band. Their first album, Home Sweet Home, was nominated for "Best Acoustic Album" at the 2011 Blues Foundation Music Awards. The group released a second album, Old Times There, in the spring of 2012.
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Track Listing 1. Big Mama's Door 2. Joe Friday 3. Them Fair Weather Friends 4. France Blues 5. Gallows Pole 6. Pony Blues 7. Amazed 'N' Amused 8. Things 'bout Comin' My Way 9. When I Was a Cowboy (Western Plains) 10. Rest Your Saddle 11. If Blues Was Money 12. Hillbilly Willie's Blues 13. Livin' In a Strain 14. That Kate Adams Jive
Track Listing 1. Tallacatcha 2. Illinois Blues 3. Ouachita Run 4. Sallie, Queen of the Pines 5. Countrycide 6. Ice Rose 7. Dancing With Tears in My Eyes 8. Mama Don't Allow 9. John Hardy 10. Just About To Go 11. Underway at Seven
Track Listing 1. Fightin' Hard 2. Manos Arriba 3. Treat Her Like A Lady 4. Once Again 5. Porch Monkeys' Theme 6. Electric Eel 7. Back To Memphis 8. Cowboy Boots 9. A Prophet's Mission 10. Cryin' Shame 11. The Hustler 12. Maxwell Street Jimmy 13. Will I Ever Get Back Home?
Track Listing 1. Judge Bouche 2. How Long Before I Change My Clothes 3. Deep Blue Sea 4. Jinx Blues 5. Bootlegger's Blues 6. Alberta 7. Broke And Hungry 8. Devil Got My Woman 9. Chilly Winds 10. Tom Rushen Blues 11. Please Baby 12. Motherless Child
Track Listing 1. Big Mama's Door (Might Return) 2. Motivational Speaker 3. Stomp Dance 4. In My Time of Dying 5. Lawd I'm Just a Country Boy in This Great Big Freaky City 6. My World Is Round 7. Nobody's Fault but Mine 8. Shoot Me a Grin 9. The Worm 10. Necessary Roughness (A Power Move) 11. The Meanest Jukebox in Town 12. How Long Before I Change My Clothes 13. Shootout on I-55
Track listing 1. My Soul is a Witness - Alvin Youngblood Hart & Sharon Jones 2. That's What My Baby Likes - Sharon Jones, Alvin Youngblood Hart & Teenie Hodges 3. I've Got Blood in My Eyes for You - Alvin Youngblood Hart & The Carolina Chocolate Drops 4. Step It Up and Go - Alvin Youngblood Hart & Teenie Hodges 5. It's Tight Like That - Sharon Jones, Alvin Youngblood Hart & Teenie Hodges 6. Busy Bootin' - Alvin Youngblood" Hart & The Carolina Chocolate Drops 6. City of Refuge - Alvin Youngblood Hart & The Carolina Chocolate Drops 7. Two Wings - Alvin Youngblood" Hart, Sharon Jones w/Billy Rivers and the Angelic Voices of Faith 8. Delta Serenade - David Berger & The Sultans of Swing 9. Rock n' Rye - David Berger & The Sultans of Swing 10. Wild About That Thing - Sharon Jones, Alvin Youngblood Hart, & Teenie Hodges 11. Nobody's Fault but Mine - Alvin Youngblood Hart & The Carolina Chocolate Drops 12. How Long Before I Change My Clothes - Alvin Youngblood Hart 13. We Shall Not Be Moved - Sharon Jones w/Billy Rivers and the Angelic Voices of Faith 14. Up Above My Head - Sharon Jones w/Billy Rivers and the Angelic Voices of Faith 15. The Shout - Art Tatum 16. Begrssung - Marian Anderson