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Anson Funderburgh

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Anson Funderburgh was born November 15, 1954, and got hooked on the blues when he got his first guitar at age seven or eight. His first musical experiences happened in the clubs in Dallas. He developed his team approach to blues music while learning from the likes of Freddie King, Jimmy Reed and Albert Collins when these great bluesmen were passing through Dallas-area clubs, but Funderburgh had already taught himself guitar mostly from listening to classic blues records. He never had the chance to see Muddy Waters, but he did get to play with Lightniní Hopkins in the late Ď70s. Funderburgh formed the Rockets in 1978, but didnít meet Sam Myers until 1982.

Funderburgh recorded with The Fabulous Thunderbirds on their Butt Rockiní album, and went solo in 1981, when the New Orleans-based BlackTop label released Talk to You by Hand, the labelís first release. Funderburgh added Myers on harmonica and lead vocals in 1986. Myers had traveled for years on the chitlin circuit, where he had the chance to accompany people like Elmore James and Robert Junior Lockwood. Funderburgh admits that adding Myers on vocals and harmonica was a turning point for the Rockets, partly because of the image they project from the stage, a big towering Black man and three White guys backing him up. Funderburgh continued his association in the Ď90s with Black Top releasing Tell Me What I Want to Hear (1991), Live at Grand Emporium (1995), and Thatís What They Want (1997). After releasing nine albums on Black Top, in 1999 Funderburgh changed record labels with the release of Change in My Pocket for Bullseye Blues.

On 2003ís Which Way is Texas?, the Lone Star guitarist delivers another set of hard-driving blues with Sam Myers at his side and the Rockets hitting stride behind them. Ansonís taut guitar work has always been immediately identifiable with tone to spare, and things donít change over the course of the bakerís dozen, but seven of the tracks were penned with the help of Anson, making this perhaps a far more personal recording than heís offered in the past.

Note:  Sam Myers passed away while at home on July 17, 2006, following his release from the hospital after throat cancer surgery. He was making good progress with his recovery, and his death was totally unexpected. He was laid to rest next to his parents, Ollie and Celeste Myers, near Meridian, Mississippi.

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