Bo Diddley with Hamilton Loomis

Folks who are hung up on that visual image of Bo Diddley cradling his quirky, rectangular Gretsch guitar, or his 1980s Nike ad campaign, don't realize his impact on an entire generation of influential musicians. Diddley's creation of the skitterish "hambone" beat sent a jolt of inspiration through everybody from Buddy Holly to Jeff Beck to the Rolling Stones. Then, there was Diddley's pioneering use of tremolo, distortion and feedback. Not bad for a guy who made a career out of a basic, droning riff that became his signature and eventually landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Over the years, Diddley has devoted time to championing the causes of younger bluesmen who cite him as an influence, including Toronto's Paul James and Galveston's Hamilton Loomis. Diddley, now 73, has recorded a couple of tracks with the twentysomething Loomis (who named his record label Ham-Bone Music as a tribute to his mentor), and their collective creative juices always blend smoothly when they jam together a few times a year.

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Greg Barr
Contact: Greg Barr