Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
When people talk about female blues/rock guitar players the focus eventually turns to one name high on the list of some of the best, Becky Barksdale. She is a guitar-playing wailer from Port Arthur, Texas who blends the flavors of electric blues and rock to create an intense, brooding, powerfully sensual style. Introduced to blues not long after her grandfather gave her a guitar at age 12, Becky learned to play by hanging around with local musicians. By age 16, she was on stage as a professional. After years of touring with various bands word of her scorching guitar work began to reach beyond her native Texas. She soon was asked to tour with Canned Heat and that eventually led to her coming to the attention of Michael Jackson. Becky spanned the globe as Jackson's lead guitarist for the 1993 Dangerous World tour, bringing authentic rock punch to the King of Pop's live show. Not long after, Becky wowed the audience at a Blues Heaven appearance at the House of Blues, and later became the first artist signed to the fledgling label's new roster. On stage, Becky rocks the blues with convincing authority, combining fluid, fiery guitar licks with supple, edgy vocals. The rough textures of her voice and the raw passion of her singing have invited comparisons to Port Arthur hometown heroine Janis Joplin, a correlation both flattering and disturbing to a woman who goes her own way. With the release of the powerful, ground-breaking "Real Live" in 1999, Becky documents the reason for all of the buzz surrounding her. With intense playing and bold singing, Becky Barksdale, one of blues' most dynamic performers, serves notice that the blues are ever-changing and she means to be an important part of this change. She will also be playing outside at the Canal Park Inn Friday night and at the Bayfront Blues Saloon Sunday night.