You could say that Ian Siegal came to the blues via an unusual path. He didn’t grow up the son of a sharecropper on a dusty farm in the Delta of Mississippi. Indeed for a man whose music is so enthusiastically fuelled by such American idioms as folk and the blues, the British-born Siegal actually began his music career as an art school dropout busking on the streets of Germany.
The official launch of Siegal’s career began in 2003 when he served as the opening act for ex-Stone Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. Next up was a tour of The United Kingdom alongside Big Bill Morganfield (son of legendary bluesman Muddy Waters).
The same line followed with the release of Swagger (2007) and Broadside (2009). In addition to a growing audience, Siegal also began to gain the attention of the press, picking up a ‘Blues Album of the year’ award from MOJO magazine. (Swagger had previously been named the magazine’s number two album of its year).
In 2011, Siegal released The Skinny. Recorded in north Mississippi, the album soaks up the flavor of the region, boasting a producer (Cody Dickinson) from the North Mississippi All-stars. The accompanying band’s line-up was also a reflection of Siegal’s desire to embrace the sound and ethos of area. Gary Burnside, Rodd Bland and Robert Kimbrough (all from North Mississippi) provide precisely the flavor needed to evoke the sonic ghosts of the Delta.
Soaring to number one in the iTunes UK blues chart and greedily receiving a monsoon of awards, The Candy Store Kid furthered Siegal’s efforts of expanding his audience. By now the word was out and soon began leaking to the rest of Europe and the US.
With three more albums under his belt, Siegal’s following has grown as steadily as his unique sound has matured. In 2014, he released Man and Guitar as well as ‘Picnic Sessions.’ A year later, One Night in Amsterdam followed. Given the dizzying surprises in Siegal’s musical growth, a fan of the blues can rest assured that his career will provide much to get excited about. His next adventure in sonic experimentation will likely be as thrilling as his last. So missing an Ian Siegal album would be a huge mistake.