Singer and harmonica player Raful Neal died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on September 1.
He was 68.
Born in Baton Rouge, Neal was raised in tiny Chamberlain, LA. He began playing
blues harmonica at 14 and was playing in Louisiana juke joints by the time he
was 17. While many of his contemporaries, including bandmate Buddy Guy, moved to
Chicago in the 1950s and 60s, Neal chose to stay in Baton Rouge to raise his
family. His first recording, Sunny Side of Love, was released in 1958. He
continued to record for regional labels. In 1987 Neal received a W.C. Handy
Blues Award for his recording Man, Watch Your Woman. Many of his children followed him into the world of blues performance with solid
careers of their own. The Neal family performed many times at the New Orleans
Jazz and Heritage Festival.
[Courtesy of the