‘Bluesman for Life’ brings traditional blues to Railhead’

Dec 12, 2000 10:26 AM

For more than 50 years Roy Gains has extruded blues from the strings of his guitar, pleasing crowds wherever he played. At the age of 15 he was on stage with the legendary T-Bone Walker. A year later, he was on the road with Roy Milton’s band.

The man called "the greatest living guitarist and a composer of tremendous ability," by Living Blues Magazine, appears at The Railhead at Boulder Station as the popular Free Boulder Blues series continues Thursday at 8 and 11 p.m.

Gains has played with such names as Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Della Reese, Stevie Wonder, Bobby Bland and Quincy Jones. He was barely old enough to vote when he honed his skills as band leader for Chuck Willis.

He joined Ray Charles’ big band in 1966 and wrote the hit song, "No Use Cryin,’" for "Crying Time."

Last year, he was again honored by Living Blues Magazine, being named 1999’s "Comeback Artist of the Year."

The free blues concerts continue at The Railhead the following Thursday with Chris Haitt and Cold Shot presenting their tribute to Texas Bluesman Stevie Ray Vaughan. Haitt is known for diversity, with his ability to play 13 different instruments and his own updating of classical blues tunes.