Brother Yusef
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Brother Yusef

Pasadena, California, United States | SELF

Pasadena, California, United States | SELF
Band Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Belgium Rhythm 'n' Blues Festival Peer 2006"

Brother Yusef (USA)
This man played a solo gig on his guitar. These things are usually very risky performances if the crowd doesn't like it. But lucky enough, Brother Usef gave us some wonderful blues songs. He played the guitar with a lot of slides and around his leg he had a tamborine. It was the first time ever, that Brother Yusef performed outside the USA. That the Europeans like his sound was proven during and after the gig. The cd's he brought to sell in the small shop, were sold out in a few minutes. My dad was one of the lucky ones to get a cd and a signature of Brother Usef. Strong stuff this brother! - / The Social Music Revolutin

"CD Review"

Sit back and enjoy the way this young man sings and works his guitar.

Blues By Request is just Brother Yusef playing his guitar and singing the blues the way he feels it. He covers several famous blues tunes on this release and adds his own realness to each one. He sings, stomps his feet, slaps his guitar and works the strings on this solo project. The honesty in the recording refreshing and uncomplicated. Just a man and his instrument making his own style of roots blues. KILLER - Roots Music Report

"Brother Yusef is amazing"

Monday, May 14, 2007
Last week, on my way back from a school visit in Lockeport, two hours away from home, I stopped in at a second-hand clothing store -- one of the Frenchy's chain.

Frenchy's uusually has a bin with a few CDs, generally people's 70s and 80s castoffs: Debbie Harry, Earth Wind and Fire, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, that sort of thing. Stuff that was bad then and is worse now.

I pulled one CD out of the pathetic little pile. It had no cover, but said it was "Fattback Blues" by Brother Yusef. The album was called The Crossroads Project. It was $1.25, I bought it.

In the car, I had been listening to Calexico live in Stockholm. I have tried to like Calexico, but I can't do it. I am going to throw out the CD. I put in Brother Yusef, not knowing what to expect.

All I can say is: wow. The guy does incredible acoustic blues, banging out a bass line with his thumb while doing the rest with his other fingers. Great lyrics, soul-felt music, awesome guitar playing.

Don't take my word for it. Click the Brother Yusef link and listen to "Good Mornin' Blues" -- available as a free download (it also plays when you first load the page, so watch out if you are at work and your speakers are turned up).

I am not sure what to think of the fact that Brother Yusef's steady gig is playing in Downtown Disneyland three times a week. On the one hand, it's sad, sad, sad. The guy's blues are so heartfelt, and here he is in a sterile museum of American culture. On the other hand, as Sara says, it's probably as good a day job as a musician can ask for. It probably pays well, and he gets to play. - The Muddy Hill Post

"Quote: Blues Review Mag."

"[he has] a sound so full you'd be forgiven for looking for a band." - Blues Review

"Quote: The Sunday Star"

"...southern fried soul singing, jazzy scat chants and sweet admonitions of bluesy love." - The Sunday Star

"Quote: Pasadena Weekley"

"his shows are about slide, beat, groove and attitude." - Pasadena Weekly


1999 Back At The Crossroads Project (LP)
2001 Live & Raw:the bootleg recordings (LP)
2003 Blues By Request (LP)
2005 In The Moment (LP)
2006 Kids Get The Blues Too/Blues For Beginners (LP)
Track from all LPs are being played & streamed on various radio & web "radio" stations throughout the world



Brother Yusef has been described as a master solo guitarist, as well as a uniquely passionate vocalist. He remembers first hearing the call of the Blues as a young a child attending church with this grandparents in Bakersfield, CA. The raw and intense emotions in church left a lasting impression which he carried with him into other music genres. At age 19 Brother Yusef picked up a guitar and began experimenting with reggae, r&b and jazz. He found himself at a musical crossroads in 1989 when he went to the Bakersfield church of his childhood, to pay this last respects at his grandfather's funeral. A soloist there began picking out a soothing church hymn on guitar, connecting Yusef to his grandfather, elders and ancestors in the rich tradition of the blues.
Brother Yusef has gained recognition from audiences and musicians throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County area for his range of sounds and emotions -sadness, joy, anger and laughter. He keeps "one foot in the past and one in the present", by combining "traditional" finger picking and slide guitar playing with the contemporary feel of urban blues. Audiences love the full sound of his solo performances (he uses his right hand thumb to beat out a percussive bass-line and shuffle, while the index finger plays rhythm and lead lines); and musicians nicknamed him "Fatback" or "Fatt-Back Bluesman", for his intense playing and vocal style.
Since December 2001, Brother Yusef has been a regular performer at Downtown Disney, located at the Disneyland resort in Anaheim California.