Alvin Youngblood Hart is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, who served as a guide to a young generation of musicians during the 1990s. Like the blues veteran Taj Mahal, who saw blues as world music rather than as an American genre, influences Hart’s musicals extended beyond the confines of the blues, developing an eclectic style that includes elements of western swing, pop, reggae and rock.
Hart’s musical adventure began far from the blues, serving on the coast guard of the Mississippi River. When his family was established in Chicago, a city rich in blues culture, Hart met and was playing in the streets with other blues artists like the late Maxwell Street Jimmy or with Lucky Lopez, thus obtaining his second name ‘Youngblood’ from the older musicians. To get him to sit down and play, Hart used to put extra money in his tip boxes.
In 1996, at the age of 33, he released his debut album “Big Mama’s Door”, an acoustic album of country-blues that put him in orbit within the genre. From there, his career has been on the rise, to the point of being nominated for the Grammy for his album “Down in the Alley” and winning the award for his contribution to the album “Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster.”
He appears in the documentaries “The Soul of a Man” by Wim Wenders, and also “Last of the Mississippi Jukes”, and is considered an heir to the legacy of Taj Mahal, being already an inspiration for contemporary blues musicians.