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Bugs Henderson & The Shuffle Kings

The Tyler, TX-raised Bugs Henderson took his cues from the wealth of great roadhouse blues and blues-rock guitarists that were around Dallas, including Freddie King, Johnny Winter, and literally dozens of others on the Texas music scene of the '60s. Henderson has cited James Burton, Ricky Nelson's guitarist, as a major influence.

Henderson got his first guitar, a Montgomery Ward Airline, one year at Christmas when he was just six years old. Like Louisianan Sonny Landreth, also an exquisite player, Henderson began working in a record store in his teens. As a teenager, he would sneak out of the house to see live shows at local clubs, and he formed his first band, the Sensors, at 16. He later joined a friend, Ronnie Weiss, in a band called Mouse & the Traps, and they charted their first regional radio hit, "Public Execution" in 1966. Although he played in a procession of rock bands and studio sessions for country and rock musicians, by the early '70s Henderson realized the only music he was truly passionate about was blues. His mentor and friend, the legendary Freddie King, advised him to form his own band and follow his heart. By 1978, Henderson released his first record, At Last, for Texas-based Armadillo Records. The album would be the first of more than 14 records in the ensuing three decades. By the late '90s, Henderson was recording for the Portland, OR-based Burnside Records. His albums for that label include 1998's Have Blues...Must Rock, and a later release, Backbop. Other releases include Electric Snow, Stormy Love, Adventures of the Shuffle Kings, and Gitarbazndrumz.

Henderson lives in Garland, TX with his four children and has a simple, overriding philosophy of life: family first, music second, career third. As he explained in the biography accompanying one of his Burnside Records releases, "I couldn't have the life I have now and be a major star. Couldn't go to my kids' ball games. I wouldn't give that up for anything." For the limited touring he does do each year, Henderson takes his family on the road with him: son Buddy plays drums with his father, son Cody works as a sound tech for the band, and daughter Rose sells merchandise. Despite his limited touring and the limited distribution of his recordings over the years with smaller labels like Burnside, Henderson and his varying bands have shared stages with guitar icons including Ted Nugent, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. One of Henderson's guitars hangs proudly in the Hard Rock Café' in Dallas, alongside instruments donated by Chet Atkins and Lee Ritenour.

Henderson recently released a DVD, Live at the Grenada, recorded in Texas, and his website indicates he continues to tour Europe, select festivals around the U.S., and in clubs and theaters around Texas. He made a conscious decision some years ago to avoid grueling road trips, and said in a biography for Burnside Records, "I tell people all the time that I know you're supposed to stop and smell the roses as you go through life, but in my case I stopped and moved into the garden." ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi
full bio

Comments

daaaaaaaaaaa a a a a m n that's all I can say
that tone & wah sound is so very tasty!
hodgdons7
Great version of the classic Mojo. Nice bass jam in the middle there!
1st time i saw Bugs was at the
Armadillo world headquarters
willy nelsons..roa d house.
in Austin,Tx. 1977,
With Roy buchanan. i was
stationed at FT HOOD,TX.
BEFORE WE SHIPPED PUT
HAD A BLAST .IT WAS ONLY
JUST $4.00
Holy freakin' moly
tferan65
related to nothing...bu t ruth brown and the otnet women who road the circuit and survived God bless you..
txboob
the first time i saw Bugs, i knew he and i had something in common, take off the shoes and dance barefoot. I saw him many a time barefoot until i moved to the northwest( Seattle, Whidbey Island then Lopez Island) in '86. Bugs would recognize me and give a wink to me anytime he played barefootin damn he is missed
It was 1979 and there I was on Flagpole Hill in Dallas with just me, my frisbee, a six pack, a green substance, Bugs and 50,000 people enjoying life the way it was supposed to be. Free and good!
hodgdons7
Wow. All these years. Another great I've not had the pleasure! Another passed way too soon. Live Got my Mojo Workin'!!!!
Snuck out the window after my parents went to sleep; hitchhiked to the Cellar in downtown Ft Worth to see Bugs play; will never forget those nights. Great musician. rip bugs.
rickielaskow s k i
Just found out Bug's passed. Incrediable guitar work. I seen him play at the Music Hall in Houston early 80's with Johnny winter he was fantastic! He used his mic cord for special effects and his mic stand for a slide incrediable! Damn, he will be missed!
Little Rickie Laskowski
awesome
I set this up before he passed. Important guy in my own playing. I renemed a memorial as he passed right befor my 60th. Sad BDay for sure. I got to meet him & talk to him a few times & feel very blessed.
scottcampbel l 1 9 5 8
You will be missed, Bugs. One of the finest guitarists who ever lived.
I will always think of Bugs when I think of Texas Blues...Say Hello to Dutchess and I'll never forget her recipe for blackeyed peas, always eat them on New Year's Eve at midnight...A s always, I will miss you Baby..
RIP Bugs
kpccox
It was announced today, March 9, 2012, that Bugs Henderson has died. He was reported to have liver cancer.
Listened to Bugs for years in Fort Worth at the Cellar. When I moved to California in the 70's, thought I'd never hear my favorite kind of Blues again...Glad to know Bugs has some CDs available... N a n c y Haas, Cabazon, California
This guy kicks A**.
scottcampbel l 1 9 5 8
I grew up in Mother Blues. Bugs also never wore long pants back then.
I used to see Bugs play at places like Mother Blues, way back in the day...the guy never wore shoes back then.
One more to add to the list of "The best guitar players you never heard!":

Danny Gatton
Bugs Henderson
Tom Principato
Beverly "Guitar" Watkins
Roy Buchanan
Mike Bloomfield
scottcampbel l 1 9 5 8
Wow! Love hearing Bugs here on Pandora. He's been our secret weapon here in Dallas forever. Just a superb guitarist.
I was lucky enough to get to play with Bugs at Mother Blues in Dallas, Tx. Freddie King and the band Brat were playing and Bugs sat in with us. It was always good to know that us East Texas Piney Woods boys (I am from Kilgore, just down the road from Tyler) could come to the big city and show our a** for the city folks! Good time were had by all. Pandora Rules! I have found atrists on here that are so obscure that I never thought I would be able to find them.
Can't believe I found Bugs on pandora. He played for me when I ran the Blue Note Cafe in Wichita, Ks in the mid 80's. Bassist Walking Doctor Bobby, yea man
Bugs got my mojo working/toe tapping blues at its finest
A few years ago, At The Dallas Guitar Show, I saw Bugs play two songs at the same time. Unbelieveabl e !
peter.taylor 1 6
King of tone!
Nice phrasing!... Probably the best high-speed blues player, bar none!
1pds
bad a**, smokin' guitar work. yeah, not known for his vocals but one of the most under rated guitar players I've ever seen. Highly recommend seeing him live. He plays in small to mid size venues, check his calender and don't miss him if he comes round.
Mmmmm...very , very nice. Though, I wish his voice had the gritty attitude his guitar does. And who is that bass on "Mojo"? Damn!
I LOVE BUGS!!! I have loved him for years and am always glad when I can go see him live! He and his whole band are wonderful people!
Holy Crap! How did I miss this guy?!? I haven't felt this stupid since I discovered I had never heard of some guy named Link Wray!
Damn, I haven't heard his name since working at the Too Bitter in San Marcos back in say, '75 and '76. I remember him always rockin' the place down when he came around.
I just love this guy!!! I have been hooked on his music ever since I heard him play in Tulsa over 15 years ago. He's a great guy!!!
Legendary Dallas Tx axeman that doesn't get enough pub. Started with Mouse and the Traps garage band in the 60's. Still kickin around Dallas. He's a great neighbor too!
these songs are fun to dance to

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