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
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.