Professor Eddie Lusk
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Professor Eddie Lusk
Professor Eddie Lusk
Eddie James Lusk, Jr.
Born (1948-09-21)September 21, 1948
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died August 26, 1992(1992-08-26) (aged 43)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Chicago blues
Musician
Instruments Keyboards, piano
1960s-1992

Eddie James Lusk, Jr.[1] known professionally as Professor Eddie Lusk (September 21, 1948 - August 26, 1992)[2] was an American Chicago blues musician.[3] An ordained minister, Lusk craved out a successful career in the blues and variously worked with Luther Allison, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Johnson, Koko Taylor, Phil Guy, Jimmy Dawkins, Sunnyland Slim, Michael Coleman, Fenton Robinson, Syl Johnson, and Otis Rush.

Rolling Stone named Lusk as one of Chicago`s most underrated blues players.[4] He committed suicide at the age of 43, following a dire medical prognosis.

Life and career

Eddie Lusk was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, to parents who were ordained ministers in the Pentecostal Church. On Chicago's South Side they ran The Lusk Bible Way Center, and once Lusk was old enough he began playing the piano there. The blues music seeping from the nearby Pepper's Lounge proved a big distraction for the young Lusk. He became ordained himself in 1968,[3] and gained a bachelor's degree in business administration at Northwestern University,[2] but his love for the blues saw him installed at the Shiloh Academy. It was this connection that tempted Professor Longhair to bestow the title of 'Professor' on his young music disciple.[3]

An accomplished keyboard and piano player, Lusk backed Luther Allison for three years before his work saw him regularly used as a session and touring musician.[3] Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Lusk recorded with Buddy Guy (Breaking Out, 1980),[5]Jimmy Johnson (North/South, 1982),[6]Koko Taylor (Queen of the Blues, 1985),[7]Phil Guy (It's a Real Mutha, 1985 and All Star Chicago Blues Session, 1994),[8][9]Jimmy Dawkins (Feel the Blues, 1985 and Kant Sheek Dees Bluze, 1992),[10][11]Sunnyland Slim (Be Careful How You Vote, 1989),[12]Michael Coleman (Back Breaking Blues, 1990),[13] and Nate Taylor (Hard Times, 1992).[14] Lusk also toured nationally with some of those musicians and backed Fenton Robinson, Syl Johnson, and Otis Rush on the road.[3]

In 1985, Lusk joined Jimmy Dawkins, Eddie C. Campbell, Lowell Fulson and Anthony Palmer on Can't Sit Down! (JSP Records).[15] With growing confidence and experience, Lusk formed his own band named the Professor's Blues Review, and with the singer Gloria Hardiman, recorded "Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On" for the 1987 Alligator Records compilation album, New Bluebloods. On his only solo album, Professor Strut (1989), Hardiman was replaced by Karen Carroll.[16] His work also later appeared on the various artists compilation, Black and Blue, Vol. 2 (1998).[17] Lusk and Hardiman's version of "Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On" has become a hit in the Carolina beach music scene.[18]

He and his band appeared in the 1991 film, V. I. Warshawski, and later that year toured across Europe with Michael Coleman and Kenny Neal.[3] In 1993, Lusk's prior recording entitled, Chicago Blues Festival 91, with Coleman and Neal was released.[19][20]

In mid-1992, Lusk was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, brought on by AIDS, and in a state of desperation committed suicide by jumping into the Chicago River.[2][3]

Discography

Albums

Year Title Record label
1989 Professor Strut Delmark Records

[21]

References

  1. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 71. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  2. ^ a b c Ryan Olsen (2006). Komara, Edward, ed. Encyclopedia of the Blues. New York: Routledge. p. 640. ISBN 978-0-415-92699-7. OL 7496252M. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Professor Eddie Lusk. "Professor Eddie Lusk | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ Mary Stevens (1992-09-04). "River West Sets Memorial For Professor Eddie Lusk". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ "Breaking Out - Buddy Guy | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ "North/South - Jimmy Johnson | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  7. ^ "Queen of the Blues - Koko Taylor | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ "It's a Real Mutha - Phil Guy | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ "Phil Guy - All Star Chicago Blues Session (CD, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ "Feel the Blues - Jimmy Dawkins | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ "Kant Sheck Dees Bluze - Jimmy Dawkins | Credits". AllMusic. 1991-06-18. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ "Be Careful How You Vote - Sunnyland Slim | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  13. ^ "Back Breaking Blues - Michael Coleman's Blues Band | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ "Hard Times - Nate Turner | Credits". AllMusic. 2004-07-06. Retrieved . 
  15. ^ "Jimmy Dawkins o Eddie C. Campbell o Lowell Fulson o Professor Eddie Lusk & Anthony Palmer - Can't Sit Down! (Vinyl, LP)". Discogs.com. Retrieved . 
  16. ^ "Eddie Lusk - Professor Strut". Delmark.com. Retrieved . 
  17. ^ Gregory McIntosh. "Black and Blue, Vol. 2 - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  18. ^ "Alligator Records - Genuine Houserockin' Music Since 1971". Alligator.com. Retrieved . 
  19. ^ "Michael Coleman (2) *** Professor Eddie Lusk - Chicago Blues Festival 91 (CD, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved . 
  20. ^ "Bman's Blues Report: Professor Eddie Lusk with MICHAEL COLEMAN". Bmansbluesreport.com. 2012-08-26. Retrieved . 
  21. ^ "Karen Carroll, Professor Eddie Lusk, Professor's Blues Review* - Professor Strut (Cassette)". Discogs.com. Retrieved . 

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