Joe Beard


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title
Musician, Guitarist

Joe Beard doesn't remember a time when he didn't have a guitar.  He grew up near Ashland, Mississippi becoming friends with locals Syl and Jimmy Johnson and Floyd and Matt Murphy. In Memphis he met B.B. King and Howlin’ Wolf.  Later in the 1960s in Chicago, he played with Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and Luther Allison, among other blues greats.  One of his longest and closest friendships came when he moved to Rochester, New York in 1956, where blues legend Son House lived just around the corner.  Beard never recorded in the early part of his career but taped several sessions with House in his living room. It wasn't until 1996 that he began recording a series of albums for the Audioquest Label.  As a songwriter, Joe penned "Footsteps in the Hall" and "Cancel My Reservation" among others.