As a youth, singer-guitarist Carl Weathersby was surrounded by musical talent. He's related to Leonard Caston, pianist with Willie Dixon's Big Three, and his cousin is G.C. Cameron of the Motown group the Spinners. But the greatest influence came from his father's close friend, legendary blues guitarist Albert King. The story goes that King was visiting the Weathersby house in East Chicago, Indiana, when he heard young Carl attempting to play King's signature song, "Crosscut Saw." King gave Weathersby a few guitar tips on the spot, then years later gave him a job in his band, not realizing he had hired the son of his old friend. In between, Weathersby was a normal guy. He served in the army in Vietnam. He worked in a steel mill and as a prison guard. He eventually joined King's band in 1979 before taking work with harmonica player Billy Branch's Son of Blues band, for which he played guitar for 14 years. He has released four albums since leaving the SOBs, his latest being Come to Papa
. Weathersby is, obviously enough, influenced heavily by King and included King's "Flood in California" on his newest CD. But he also has elements of Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan, making him perhaps the quintessential modern blues guitarist. He can do the older, harder numbers such as Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" and Dixon's "Same Thing," but is not shy about covering songs by artists like Dr. John and John Hiatt. R&B, soul (both the Detroit and Memphis kinds), and rock are welded into Weathersby's blues, and he's a powerful, seasoned guitarist whose skill can justify such diverse material.