were you born?
In St. Louis. I've always lived here in St. Louis, other
than 5 years in Santa Monica, CA (while going to law
Tell us a little about your preferred musical instrument! Piano. We had one in the house when I was growing
up, and I just had a natural feel for it. Plus, I can
play bass and lead lines at the same time (ha ha)!
What are some of your musical
As far as musical influences...I could go on for days.
As far as straight gutbucket blues piano goes, Otis
Spann, Roosevelt Sykes, Ike Turner and Lafayette Leake
are my primary influences. However, you'll hear a great
deal of Professor Longhair, James Booker, Clifton Chenier
and Allen Toussaint in my playing as well. My rhythm
and comping style behind other people is primarily from
Professor Longhair, Charles Brown, Ramsey Lewis and
Les McCann. On top of that, you'll hear a great deal
of "feel" which I copped from two of the Motown
piano players-Earl Van Dyke and Johnny Griffith. Bottom
line is that I steal from anybody and everybody who
I "feel" out there. St. Louis musical influences?
Everybody I heard growing up had a big influence on
me. Oliver Sain was a huge role model and influence
on me. Chuck Berry, Ike Turner and Albert King also
taught me a lot by seeing and listening to them live.
Arthur Williams-one of the best harp players and "feel"
musicia ns on the planet-was the guy who really encouraged
me to get my left hand working, and he hooked me up
with all the serious Delta-style players as a teenager.
Same with Boo Boo Davis, whose brothers, along with
Arthur Williams, really taught me how to play serious
blues. I also learned a lot by being in and out of Tommy
Bankhead's band over the years.
What music were you exposed to
in your childhood?
My Dad played harmonica and drums...my sister Liz is
a serious blues piano player on the East Coast.
What music do you like to listen
I try to catch Pennsylvania Slim on a regular basis...he's
probably the best young guitarist in town who really
has an understanding of blues "feel". Billy
Peek has always been inspirational to me as a player,
especially his rhythm chops...he's St. Louis' answer
to Ronnie Wood. Chuck Berry said on stage the other
night (I've played piano with Chuck for almost 8 years
now) that "Billy Peek plays Chuck Berry better
than Chuck Berry does!" Billy can be absolutely
awesome at times. I also enjoy the Bel-Airs and make
it a point to see them regularly. Plus a gang of other
local up and comers who I keep an eye/ear on...lots
of great players here.
Have you done any recordings?
You mean this week? (ha ha). Yes, I've done a gang of
recording, both as a player and producer. You can punch
"Bob Lohr" into www.allmusic.com for a partial
list of what I've been up to most recently! In addition
to that list, I just finished and co-produced a CD with
the Jelly Roll Allstars for the Severn label...this
features Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums,
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones on bass (the old Muddy
Waters rhythm section) plus Sam Carr and Arthur Williams,
Jesse Hoggard and yours truly. Plus, I'm on a bunch
of local CDs and European compilation CDs as well.
What's your favorite music moment?
Anytime I get to play with musicians I grew up listening
to and playing along to their records when I first started
to play. It's a surreal trip for me to get onstage with
Chuck Berry-I used to prop up his LPs on a chair and
pretend I was in his band as I played along when I was
a kid...and now I look over and it's really him I'm
playing with (ha ha)...it was the same way not long
ago when I did a gig with Billy Boy Arnold, and before
that with Jimmy Rogers a few years back. Same when I
did a couple of gigs with Ernie Isley last year. As
far as recording goes, one of the best musical moments
was with Erskine Oglesby when we cut his first CD for
a Dutch label...the first cut, "Jack & Coke"
to me is a classic example of how to lay down a St.
Louis shuffle and groove...go out and get that CD and
listen to that cut and see why St. Louis has a distinctive
blues groove all its own...
What's your favorite gig?
Probably with Chuck Berry. First off, I've played more
gigs with him than anyone else by far (closing in on
100 gigs over 8 years). It's a blast to have the best
seat in the house when he tears the roof off the joint,
plus there's lots of room in his music for piano solos
(ha ha). Second, it's a trip to be onstage with a guy
who changed music, period. Third, he treats me extremely
well...a great guy to work for.
Describe your musical path.
The path for me is to play with time and "feel"
and hope somebody picks up on it from a positive perspective.
Hopefully when a guy or girl brings their date to a
show I'm doing, my musical exploits will help them close
the deal that night (ha ha).
What are your musical goals?
To play with all the living Chess and VeeJay recording
artists!!!! I'm getting close, folks...do some really
"outside" solo CDs...I'm working on one now...do
more Euro festivals, and do more blues/rock production
projects as a change of pace.
What do you think of the state
of St. Louis Blues?
I don't mean to be negative, but...on the straight blues
scene, I hear some good-to-great-to monster players
and singers but few good rhythm sections. You'll hear
a great guitar player with a mediocre bass player and
drummer, for example. In order to go to the next level,
the rhythm section has to be seriously slammin' or you
can't compete/record on a national or international
level-end of story. The R&B scene (which overlaps
the blues scene) is a different story...there are so
many monster players and rhythm sections here that national
touring acts often come through looking to tap into
our pool of talent. So in that regard, I have a lot
of hope for the state of St. Louis blues music...when
those cats come off the road, they have to play somewhere!!!!
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