Rab McCullough was an active
contributor in the 60s and 70s when the blues baby came of age, sharing stage
with his peers, who went on to be Rock 'n' Roll legends, including Rory
Gallagher, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, ACDC and John Mayall and The Blues
Unfortunately, the violence and political unrest
in Northern Ireland put an end to Rab's career and destroyed the once great
music scene. Rab stopped touring and remained in war torn Belfast to support and
protect his family. The wheel of time has turned from the 60s through the 90s,
but in Belfast, time stood still. For Rab, these were the dark days. His soulful
interpretation of the music is rooted in his hard, often painful life, while
living in Belfast, a city that exists as an equally suitable home of the blues.
the 90s dawned, so did the some small rays of hope, and with it an end to
troubles in Northern Ireland. Fortunately, Rab was able to turn his harsh
experiences into a magic potion of hope through the blues. As his music matured
and deepened, he never stopped writing, playing continually perfecting his tone.
and developing his style for his re-emergence in the world of music. The tough streets
of Belfast would help mould and ultimately redefine his vital style.
musician's journey of rediscovery starts with the rediscovery of himself and in
1998 Rab traveled to the home of the blues, Memphis Tennessee, where he
performed at the famed Beale Street Music Festival. Rab earned immediate respect
as a world class player from blues enthusiasts and musicians, including sidemen
of Chuck Berry and the late great Muddy Waters. His performance in Memphis by
all accounts was in of the most intense ever witnessed at the festival. This
proved to be the catalyst for Rab to resume the career that he thought he had
Rab's story began another chapter with the turn
of the new millennium in 2000 when he returned to Memphis to compete in the
Blues Foundations, world famous International Blues Challenge. Rab took a trophy
back to Belfast and left his name on the tongues of everyone that witnessed the
blistering performance. The success in Memphis resulted in invitations to major
blues festivals and a record contract with Eagle-Rock / Blue Storm Records.
This led to Rab's release of Belfast Blues which received rave reviews in
Canada and the US Real Blues Magazine voted Belfast Blues "
record of the year" Blues Revue Magazine quotes "Rab McCullough
is a great blues guitarist and vocalist who deserves much more attention".
2001, Cream lyricist / producer Pete Brown approached Rab, and
asked him to be part of an all star British Blues line up including such greats
as John Mayall, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Peter Green and Dick Heck-stall
Smith. Rab recorded 5 tracks on the record Blues and Beyond. In 2002,
the record was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award.
McCullough continues to move forward to the next chapter of his life after the
signing of a record contract with Dixie Frog Records. He is set the release
the album Belfast Breakdown to the world in July 0f 2003. His collaboration
with artists such as Hubert Sumlin (Howlin' Wolf). Nickie Scott (Van
Morrison), Brian Mitchell (Bob Dylan) and Tony Beard (Jeff Beck) help make
this record a masterpiece.
It would have been a tragedy for this
legendary player to be lost but it would have paled next to losing his family.
Rab McCullough chose the noble role of a father, and his reward, and ours is the
re-emergence of a great talent with his family intact. Rab McCullough is a vital
new force on the scene. His irresistible combination of Irish and American blues
is helping to redefine contemporary blues music.