19th Street Red’s blues is not the “polite” blues. It is the low down, razor’s edge gutbucket blues that makes dancers want to sweat and shake their butts. This gritty style reminds you of the street music of Chicago’s Jew-town and the lowdown groove of Muddy Waters.
In Clarksdale, Mississippi, 19th Street Red is a celebrity. Presiding over his street spot next to “Ground Zero” blues club for years, and raising the bar at his favorite juke joint, “Red’s Lounge”, 19th Street Red has been an integral part of this scene. The 6-hour drive from his New Orleans home is a ritual. The ghosts of his influences, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters are conjured with his raspy but musical vocal style and the raw lashing of his Les Paul slide guitar.
Randy “19th Street Red” Cohen first musical jobs as a leader were in a little juke joint called “Alva’s Lounge” in Washington D.C. The african-american tradition of the blues was happening here and this was Red’s “university of the blues”. Next, it was a move to Oakland, California to absorb the moody, low-down stylings of Jimmy McCracklin, Lowell Fulson and T-Bone Walker. At Eli’s mile high club, the scene was thriving; but the bad neighborhoods of East Oakland was where red learned his craft. “Fillmore Slim”, Craig Horton and “Little Frankie” Lee were his running partners. These players possessed the fire and intensity he was seeking……..
In the late nineties Red, returned to his roots and joined forces with the “Chicago Brother and Sister Blues Band”. Bruce Brooks and Julliette Valentine came to the West Coast from Chicago’s Maxwell Street, “Jew-town” street scene that was once the stomping grounds of Robert Nighthawk and “Little Walter” Jacobs. Their ghosts were smiling……. Next, traveling the United States with his one-man band Red earned a reputation as a hard-core street singer with many thousands of fans. This also brought him back to New Orleans and Mississippi ……His home.
Touring europe frequently for the past several years, a whole new audience has discovered the music of “19th Street Red …The newest record, “Avenue Boogie” like the one before it, “Street Dog”, is raw and accessable. It was a labor of love, bringing the down home blues of the American south to New Orleans. Recorded live in the studio, it shows the passionate, raunchy vibe of sweaty juke joints and the searing emotion and rhythms of Mississippi Delta Blues and Crescent City Rhythm & Blues resonates wherever Randy “19th Street Red” Cohen sets up shop……….