Blues guitarist Frank "Son" Seals died December 20 of complications due to
diabetes. He was 62.
Son Seals learned about the blues firsthand from his father, a well-known former
minstrel show performer and juke joint operator. In fact, Seals’ childhood home
was located in the back of his fathers juke joint, The Dipsy Doodle, in Osceola,
AR. Seals began playing professionally at age 12, first on the drums and soon
after on guitar. While still in his teens, he toured as a drummer with Earl
Hooker and later with Albert King, one of his primary influences.He moved to Chicago in 1971 and took over Hound Dog Taylor’s regular gigs at the
Expressway Lounge on the South Side. Seals’ recordings for Alligator helped
reshape the Chicago blues, expanding on the traditional Mississippi Delta roots
by incorporating elements from soul and rock music. His raw, hard-edged style
proved popular both with the blues fans on the south side of Chicago and with
audiences farther afield. He won three W.C. Handy Blues Awards, and received a
Grammy Award nomination in 1980. In his later years, he toured widely, despite
the loss of a leg to diabetes. Late in his career he opened several shows for
the jam band Phish, who covered his song "Funky *censored*."
[Obituary courtesy of the Folk Alliance].