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Published: Friday, 4/16/2004

High-energy blues showman coming to Toledo

Occasionally you'll hear a radio commercial trying to appeal to younger listeners by saying "this isn't your father's music."

That is and isn't the case when it comes Bernard Allison. The son of blues legend Luther Allison taught himself to play the guitar at the age of 10 by turning on his father's album, "Love Me Momma," and mimicking the chords. He later honed his craft by touring with and being mentored by the elder Allison.

But today, Bernard's style is unique and is at the forefront of the new blues revolution. He freely intertwines blues, funk, and rock in creating a sound that is transforming his father's music.

As Musician magazine says, "he mixes the driving, rhythmic attack and stinging tone of Texas house rockers like Albert Collins with sonic and textural flourishes more suggestive of Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan."

As one of the high-energy showmen on the blues circuit, Allison is known for his interaction with the audience.

"Regardless of how big I get, I don't ever think I could stay on the stage. This is all part of the family vibe I try to create at every show," Allison said in an interview with Blues Revue magazine.

Fresh off a tour of Europe and an appearance at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, Allison brings his show to Toledo's Speedway Bar & Grill on Sunday at 8 p.m. The show is sponsored by the Black Swamp Blues Society. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Speedway Bar & Grill, 5625 Benore Rd., or by calling (419) 536-7699 or (419) 729-9182.

Tickets can also be reserved by sending your contact information to patblues@accesstoledo.net or doreenritr@buckeye-express.com.

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