Alvin Youngblood Hart’s praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan to British guitar gods Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor. Since the release of his 1996 debut recording, the all-acoustic Big Mama’s Door, Hart has relayed his eclectic musical message around the world. Based on the strength of his record debut and the allure of his live shows, Hart received five nominations at the 1997 W.C. Handy Blues Awards, and he received the award for Best New Artist. Hart also received two Living Blues Awards that same year.
The anticipated sophomore release of Territory in 1998 gave a rousing tribute to all forms of American music and received the Downbeat Magazine Critics’ Poll Award for Best Blues Album. His Southern Rock record, Start With the Soul, was chosen by the New York Times as one of the top 10 releases of 2000, as well as the BBC’s Blues Record of the Year.
The 2003 release of Down in the Alley garnered a GRAMMY nomination. In 2004, Hart received a GRAMMY for his philanthropic contribution to the compilation Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster. In 2005, Hart released the self-produced (and personal favorite) Motivational Speaker, a rock guitar free-for-all, paying homage to fallen and missing rockers like Phil Lynott and Sly Stone. In 2006, Hart collaborated with several Memphis area musicians in the Craig Brewer cult hit film, Black Snake Moan, by both serving as a guitar tutor to the film’s leading actor, Samuel L. Jackson, and recording a duet with the film’s female lead, Christina Ricci, for the film’s riveting soundtrack. Hart was called upon to contribute his doyen knowledge of blues music to the Denzel Washington-co produced and directed film The Great Debaters. As an avid roots music performer and connoisseur, not only did Hart fit the bill to record predominately on the films dynamic soundtrack, Hart also proved a natural onscreen fit for the role of a juke joint musician.
When not touring solo or plugged in with his revered rock trio, “Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory,” Hart enjoys researching, collecting, repairing and modifying obscure musical equipment.