Carl Weathersby (born Carlton Weathersby, 24 February 1953, Jackson, Mississippi is an American electric blues vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. Weathersby has worked most notably with Albert King and Billy Branch, and is now a solo artist.
Weathersby was also nominated in 1997 for a W.C. Handy Award (now known as a Blues Music Award) for ‘Best New Blues Artist’.
Weathersby spent his early years in Meadville, Mississippi, a place he still considers home, although when he was aged eight, his family moved to East Chicago, Indiana.
As a teenager, Weathersby began to learn the guitar. One day, after practicing “Cross Cut Saw” many times through, he decided to show his father. After he finished playing it, his father’s friend, a man Weathersby knew as Albert, the diesel mechanic, said, “Man, that ain’t the way that song goes, that ain’t the way I played it.” The mechanic turned out to be Albert King, who then showed Weathersby how to play it. Despite Weathersby’s mistake, King was impressed and eventually signed Weathersby on to play rhythm guitar with him on tour.
However his career as musician started many years later. Before then, Weathersby worked many jobs ranging from steel mill worker to prison guard and police man. He also served in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1977, during the Vietnam War.
After the Vietnam War, Weathersby began playing rhythm guitar with Albert King. It was only on short road trips between 1979–81, but the experience solidified Weathersby’s identity as a blues musician.
He then started filling in for the guitarist of the Sons of Blues, Carlos Johnson, who Weathersby described as “a pretty shaky guy, you know. He could show up just as easy as he couldn’t show up…” Eventually the band hired Weathersby on as their full-time guitarist, a position he held for the next fifteen years.
His position as guitarist for the Sons of Blues earned him a name among the blues fans of Chicago, it also left him feeling discontent.
Because of his growing popularity, Evidence Records released Weathersby’s first album, Don’t Lay Your Blues on Me (1996). They published all of his subsequent albums, up to Best of Carl Weathersby. His only live album, In the House, was recorded at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland, when he was joined by the harp player and past band mate Billy Branch. In The House was released under the CrossCut record label. Weathersby has since self produced the album, Hold On.
Discography: Solo albums
1996: Don’t Lay Your Blues on Me, Evidence Records
1997: Looking Out My Window, Evidence Records
1998: Restless Feeling, Evidence Records
2000: Come To Papa, Evidence Records
2003: Best of Carl Weathersby, Evidence Records
2004: In The House: Live at Lucerne Vol. 5, CrossCut Records
2005: Hold On, Louisiana Red Hot Records
2009: I’m Still Standing Here, Magnolia Records
Sideman and guest performer
1985: Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues – Romancing The Blue Stone, Black & Blue Records
1985: Buster Benton – Blues at the Top, Evidence Records
1989: Robert Covington – Blues in the Night, Evidence Records
1992: Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues – Mississippi Flashback, GBW Records
1994: Hubert Sumlin & Billy Branch – Chicago Blues Session, Vol. 22, Wolf Records
1994: Carey Bell – Deep Down, Alligator Records
1994: George Gruntz – Beyond Another Wall: Live in China, TCB Music
1995: Billy Branch – The Blues Keep Following Me Around, Verve Records
1996: Jayne Cortez & The Firespitters – Taking The Blues Back Home, Verve Records
1996: Billy Branch – Satisfy Me, Verve Records
1999: Mississippi Heat – Handyman, Van Der Linden Records
2001: Rico McFarland – Tired of Being Alone, Evidence Records
2002: Buster Benton – Blues Reference: Blues And Trouble, Black & Blue Records
2002: Mississippi Heat – Footprints on the Ceiling, CrossCut Records
2003: The Sons of Blues – Blues Reference: As The Years Go Passing By, Black & Blue Records
2004: Trudy Lynn – Blues Power: Trudy’s Blues, Isabel Records
2004: Charles Wilson – If Heartaches Were Nickels, Delmark Records
2004: Nora Jean Bruso – Going Back To Mississippi, Severn Records
2004: Sam Cockrell & The Groove – I’m in the Business, Boom Boom Records
2005: Mississippi Heat – Glad You’re Mine, CrossCut Records
2005: Biscuit Miller – Come Together, No Label
2005: Little Milton – Think of Me, Telarc
2008: Mississippi Heat – “Hattiesburg Blues”, Delmark Records
2005: Bernard Allison, Larry McCray, Carl Weathersby, Lucky Peterson – Triple Fret, JSP Records
2010: Let’s Live It Up! (Mississippi Heat, John Primer, Carl Weathersby), Delmark Records