DUPONT has defied and embraced the fates from day one. He was born on
Friday, August 13th, 1956, in McComb, Mississippi, and grew up in the
Mississippi Delta, where almost everyone worked on the nearby
plantation. His mother, a piano player who had received lessons from a
young Fats Domino in New Orleans, was so superstitious that she
celebrated David's birthday on August 12th until his 13th birthday, when
she finally 'fessed up.
By that time, she had encouraged him to play music; his father, a
promising boxer, had left the family permanently for New Orleans. David
had picked cotton, a job which persisted until the late 60s, when
mechanization finally overtook manual labor, and he had been in bands
with his 3 brothers.
"That first band didn't last very long. One Christmas - I was about 3
years old - my mother got us all musical instruments. My grandmother was
watching us one day, and she left out somewhere, told us to stay in the
house. We decided we had a marching band, and started walking along 24
Highway, which was a pretty busy road there, near McComb, to the general
store in town. When my grandmother found out we was playing along that
highway, which was dangerous, she whipped the older boys with a switch.
I got off because she figured I was too young to know any better".
He ran away from home at 14, headed south to New Orleans in search of
his father, eventually staying with relatives there. By the time he
returned to Swan Lake, his mother had been killed in a mysterious auto
accident, and he went north with an older brother to Chicago's west
side, and began to play guitar.
"I got to Chicago in October '71 and I didn't even have a coat. I
started playing guitar seriously in February '72. We were partyin' at a
friend's house, I heard a Sly & the Family Stone record, & decided I had
to play a guitar so I could play this riff on that record. I started to
play all day from 10 in the morning till 10 at night."
Music has ruled his life since then, and he traveled the country,
playing in a wide variety of bands, including jazz, reggae, and even
backing up a black Elvis impersonator. Chainsaw was homeless for a time,
met a young Stevie Ray Vaughan., narrowly missed being killed by white
supremacists, and generally lived an itinerant life during that time,
until settling back in Chicago in the late 80s. After several band
projects, and a demo recording, he caught the attention of blues harp
legend Junior Wells, and hooked up for an international tour that
included Japan, in the coveted spot as Junior's guitarist.
He continued writing songs, in a style he calls "Delta crush", a sort of
industrial blues that would eventually see daylight on "Lake Street
Lullaby", a collection of original songs released independently in the
Fall of 2003. His experiences growing up on the plantation, on the road
as a homeless musician, and playing the Chicago Blues circuit have all
contributed to the album. Working with bands in both the trio format
popularized on Chicago's west side, as well as the larger configurations
favored by Muddy Waters and other southside players, he is collaborating
and developing new takes on urban blues that reflect more modern
influences yet pay tribute to the classics, still tempting the fates by
taking chances, but choosing his notes and words carefully in his
His debut CD, "Lake St. Lullaby", includes a song cycle of 13 original
songs that document the journey he and so many other bluesmen have made
from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago, and marked him as one of the
brightest songwriting talents on the Chicago scene today. The release of
“Bourbon St. Breakdown”, his second full CD, and the second part of a
blues trilogy, contained another 13 originals, in a variety of Louisiana
styles, and he’s currently working on a Memphis-themed record to
complete the trilogy