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Born Roosevelt Melvin Barnes in Longwood, Mississippi, Barnes got his start in 1960 as a member of the Swinging Gold Coasters, a local Mississippi blues outfit. He relocated to Chicago in 1964, where he played in bars and clubs, but returned to Mississippi in 1971 and continued to perform locally into the early 1980s. In 1984, Barnes hooked up with Lil' Dave Thompson when the latter was aged 15, and the duo played on Mississippi's juke joint circuit. A year later Barnes opened a nightclub in Greenville, Miss., the Playboy Club, and played there with his backing group the Playboys. They became regional blues favorites, and eventually signed to Rooster Blues, who released Barnes's debut effort in 1990.
The album was hailed by Allmusic as "an instant modern classic", and Guitar Player called Barnes "a wonderfully idiosyncratic guitar player and an extraordinary vocalist by any standard". Barnes toured the U.S. and Europe following the album's release.
Barnes's career was interrupted in the middle of the decade when he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he died of the disease in April 1996 in Chicago, aged 59. Read more about Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.
Gear used by Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes
Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes links
1936-09-25 to 1996-04-02