Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Annie Raines, born near Boston, Massachusetts, July 3, 1969, took up harmonica at age 17. As a freshman, she left Antioch College to pursue a musical career. Fascinated by the sounds of Muddy Waters, Little Walter Jacobs, Big Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, she spent countless hours listening to and absorbing the music of the Chicago Blues masters. She began to busk locally and played gigs at local Boston clubs, and later traveled to Chicago where she met and played with Pinetop Perkins, Louis Meyers, and James Cotton. While working regularly on the regional blues circuit, Annie taught harmonica and began developing her own style within the blues tradition. Fast becoming one of the most sought-after harmonica players in New England, she had earned a reputation for playing with energy, soulfulness and taste, but she was ready to take her musical education to a deeper level. The, she met and began working with country blues master Paul Rishell, who lent musical support to her considerable harmonica, piano, singing and songwriting skills. This gave her the perfect opportunity to study country blues innovators such as Noah Lewis and Sonny Terry, and, more recently, to take up the mandolin.