David Lee Durham and The True Blues Band

David Lee Durham and The True Blues Band


David Lee Durham has opened over 25 times for B.B. King at the historic Club Ebony. Having developed his own unique way of singing and handling the guitar; he commands the attention of fellow musicians and serious blues fans. He is one of the last of the "real deal bluesmen".


David Lee Durham was born in the Heart of the Mississippi Delta. David Lee picked cotton everyday starting at the age of six. He started playing guitar at the age of fourteen. His upbringing closely parallels the way the blues legends in the past were raised. This upbringing is reflected in how he plays the blues.

As a boy he would sneak to the local juke joint, look through the window, and watch Howlin Wolf play. David Lee says "that people were having so much fun listening to the music and dancing that he had to learn to play". Inspired by Howling Wolf, David Lee, taught himself on a wire broom guitar. He started playing gospel and later blues. He started playing for the public around the age of sixteen.

He has opened for B.B. King and Bobby Bland, and has played on the same show as Bobby Rush and Ray Charles. He has toured with Willie Foster.
Early in his career he played on the same shows with other musicians such as Clarence Carter, Blues Boy Willie, Blind Lee, and Shirley Brown. He has played with Mavis Staples in Chicago.

He plays and sings his original blues songs as well as the standard blues favorites. Some are “My Heart is Filled With Misery”, “I Want To Do It” and “Doing Me Wrong”. "I Want To Do It" is a major crowd pleaser getting the crowd out of their seats and onto the dance floor.

David Lee Durham has given workshops for local universities and he has many blues stories to tell. He was on a blues cruise with Muddy Waters and remembers Muddy Waters wearing a white tux and dancing with the ladies. He knew Albert King well, although he never played on the same show with him. David Lee will sit with the fans during break and talk about his experiences. He will tell you a lot of the real Mississippi Delta juke joint stories.

David Lee Durham puts on a great blues show and is a favorite of the local fans as well as fans from around the world. He was asked to open for the B.B. King museum ground breaking June 2005. A clip of this can be seen on www.mississippideltabluesinfo.com.

In 2004 he was named the Blues Musician of the Year by the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola, and represented the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola at the International Blues Competition. He represented Yazoo City, MS, through the Yazoo Arts and Cultural Alliance at the 22nd International Blues Competiton in January 2006.

He performed at the Rootsway Roots 'n' Blues & Food Festival in Parma, Itlay in June 2006.

He performed at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland in November 2006.

David Lee Durham is considered by many as one of the last of the True Mississippi Delta Bluesmen - the real deal, and a Mississippi Treasure. He plays at local clubs, festivals and private parties. .

In June 2005 David Lee Durham was asked to perform for the groundbreaking for the future B.B. King Museum. David Lee Durham's most recent club openings have been at The 930 Blues Cafe in Jackson, MS, and at actor Morgan Freeman's blues club Ground Zero in Clarksdale, MS. He teamed with Jesse Robinson, the founder of the Subway Club Late Night Blues to put on a special blues event in Jackson, Ms.

The Subway Club is the club featured in the Last of the Mississippi Jukes. Also David Lee and the True Blues Band teamed with The Bordeaux Blues Connection Band from Bordeaux, France for some of their performances on their tour though Mississippi.

David Lee has welcomed performers to the stage at Club Ebony in Indianola on Sunday evenings to jam. In 2004 and 2005 Dorothy Moore and Chris Thomas King were among the celebrities who took to the stage. For more information about David Lee Durham check out www.mississippideltabluesinfo.com where you can view video of the band.

THE MUSIC FILMS (and more) OF ROBERT MUGGE A NIGHT AT CLUB EBONY (2005) A feature-length history of the legendary Indianola, MS music club featuring performances by B.B. King, Lee Shot Williams & Lil' Dave Thompson, David Lee Durham & Ladies Choice Band*, Vasti Jackson & Patrice Moncell, and Barbara Pope & Mickey Rogers, plus interviews with club owner Mary Shepard, Bobby Rush and others. *The band changed the name to The True Blues Band in 2005.

Published in the Clarion Ledger by the 930 Blues Café: “The 930 Blues Café kicks off a great weekend with our own Mid-Summer Blues Fest featuring David Lee Durham and the True Blues Band Friday, July 22. …. David Lee Durham is the last of a generation of blues guitarists and songwriters. He’s opened for B.B. King’s annual homecoming at Club Ebony for more than 20 years and is said to be the only living guitarist who’s mastered King’s distinctive sound, especially his use of the sliding “bent” note. Critics have also compared him to Little Milton and Albert King.”

Blues Today: A Living Blues Symposium, February 16-17, 2005 PEOPLE & PLACES TO KNOW published in Oxford, MS by the Living Blues Symposium. David Durham and the Ladies Choice Band brin


Live RCD: Struggling and Straining was released June 28, 2006. The first CD to be recorded by the B.B. King recording studio live at Club Ebony. Produced by Mississippi Delta Blues, Inc.

This CD has several of David Lee’s original songs and two blues/flute pieces by Levan Lortkipanidze, and includes a few cover songs. The song Struggling and Straining is based on David Lee’s life story. This is what David Lee will tell you about his music: “I got a style all my own. I’m twixt between Albert King and B.B. I sort of mix it, but I know it.”

Check out the CD on Band Village at http://davidleedurham.villagecdstore.com/

Set List

A typical set is about 45 minutes to one hour with a fifteen minute break. The band usually plays for 20, 30, or 40 minutes featuring various members of the band in the first set, before David Lee Durham performs.The band usually plays three or four sets. Covers are typical blues favorites such as Down Home Blues
Every Day I Have the Blues
Cross Cut Saw
Feel So Bad like a Ball game on a Rainey day
Each song is about 4 to 5 minutes

Some others are:
Doing Me Wrong
My Hear is Filled with Misery
Green Onions
Someone Who Don't Want You
Jam Tonight
Blues for Sunday
Feel So Bad
I Want To Do It
Every Day I Have The Blues
Swing Tonight