Robert Wolfman Belfour
Robert Wolfman Belfour passed away recently, on February 24th, 2015 in Memphis. He was 74. The great Hill Country bluesman has left a legacy of raw Mississippi blues for fans and lovers of the genre.
He was born in Red Banks, Mississippi and it’s said that he learned to play guitar at a very early age, having tuition from other greats such as R.L.Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. Kimbrough was said to be a huge influence on the young Robert Belfour.
After learning to play guitar so young, it would be decades before he began playing publicly and releasing a couple of albums.
After 35 years of working in the construction industry, it would be in the 1980’s when he started to play on Beale Street. In 1994, he had 8 songs included in a compilation albums, The Spirit Lives On, Deep South Country Blues and Spirituals in the 1990s.
Unbelievably, it was in 2000 before he released his first album on the Fat Possum Records label, titled ‘What’s Wrong With You’. His final album, ‘Pushing My Luck’ was released in 2003 and received critical acclaim.
For much of the past twenty years, Robert Wolman Balfour had been a fixture on the southern blues festival circuit.
He was hailed for his ‘dapper’ dress and his dedication to the Hill Country style of his forebears on his regular visits to the nightclubs of Memphis and Clarksdale. His sets were nearly three hours long, with the audience leaning forward, wanting to get closer to his sound. His deep, husky voice earned him the nick name ‘Wolfman’.
Possibly the last original bluesman of the Hill Country style of blues, Robert Wolfman Belfour has left a lasting legacy with his unique stylistic mix of blues, his thumping bass lines and the melody teased from his self-tuned guitar. RIP.
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