Chris Beard grew up in a house filled with the blues. When your father grew up on Beale Street, when music was in your DNA, then blues is who you are and what you do. And this is what Chris does. He is a modern blues guitarist and singer like few others. His personal connections to the blues were forged with the living blues men he’s sat with since childhood.
Born in 1957, Beard is the son of Joe Beard, a fine blues guitarist who grew up in the New Orleans of the 1950’s. When family friends like Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Buddy Guy stopped by, young Chris became their willing pupil. And after years of playing the clubs in and around Rochester, NY, Chris was offered an opportunity to record.
In 1998, he released his debut recording, "Barwalkin’," on JSP Records. That record earned him a W.C. Handy nomination as Best New Blues Artist. He produced his follow-up disc, "Born To Play The Blues" in 2001 to the critical acclaim of the blues press and it earned him the title, Prince of the Blues. Then, in 2005, Beard released "Live Wire," a stirring combination of live and studio performances for Northern Blues.
On this new CD, "Pass it On Down" Chris digs all through the blues - from the early days down in the Delta, to its modern-day step-children in popular music. Recorded live in the studio with Americana-Rock guitar hero Carlton Campbell (drummer for the world renowned Campbell Bro’s), Brother Wilson (rhythm guitarist for Harold Melvin
and the Blue Notes) Willam Moss bass, Steve MCNally organ and multi-faceted horn player Quentin Lawrence.
“Blues is my roots,” says Chris. “I grew up as Joe Beard’s son in the house of the blues. I grew up around the greats. The influence of Buddy has been major. All he has to say to me is ‘Keep on doing what you’re doing.’ And Matt always told me that the guitar has to become an extension of you. That will always stick with me.” But on this latest recording, Beard, a world class guitarist, devoted time and energy into establishing his unique and compelling voice. With the combination of this assertive voice and exciting guitar, this record is a seamless combination of traditional blues with a contemporary edge.