Paul Oscher
Event(s) performed: Calgary Midwinter Bluesfest (2009)

Blues singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (harmonica, guitar, piano, bass harp, melodica) Paul Oscher was the first white musician to become a member of the great Muddy Waters blues band (1967-71). Along with being Muddy’s harp player, he recorded with the blues legend on the legendary Chess label and lived in Muddy’s house on Chicago’s Southside, sharing the basement with the great Otis Spann.

Paul’s 2004 album, Alone with the Blues (Electro-Fi), was nominated for four W.C. Handy Awards. His 2005 release Down in the Delta won two Blues Music Awards for “Acoustic Album of the Year” and “Acoustic Artist of the Year” in 2006. In January 2006 Paul recorded a live album at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, Arizona which is expected to be released later this year.

Paul Oscher’s been playing those low down blues for over four decades. Besides Muddy, Paul has performed and/or recorded with a who’s who in the world of blues including Victoria Spivey, Otis Spann, Johnny Young, Buddy Guy, Louisiana Red, John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Rogers, Johnny Copeland, and many more. His recent work has seen him record with Keb Mo,’ Mos Def, Francis Clay, Johnny Dyer, Rusty Zinn, Mark Hummel, and the Mannish Boys'. Paul is also featured along with Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Levon Helm on Hubert Sumlin’s iconic CD, About Them Shoes, nominated for a Grammy in 2005.

In 2001, Paul Oscher moved from New York to L.A. with his wife, playwright and novelist, Suzan-Lori Parks (the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer prize in the drama category, for her play Topdog/Underdog in 2002). Urged on by his wife, Paul is also trying his hand at writing down his experiences in the blues. Excerpts from his almost finished book “Alone with the Blues” have already been published in the companion book to the PBS series Martin Scorcese Presents the Blues.

Paul Oscher has lived such a rich and adventurous life, yet he is humbled by those experiences. “I always try to thank the high power. The real gift of talent is not the ability to be able to play, it is the gift of the love you have for the music. That’s what takes you over the hurdles.”

For contact info, video, vintage photos, soundclips, and more check out Paul Oscher