David Maxwell

David Maxwell


David is a highly acclaimed virtuosic and soulful blues-jazz world-class pianist who BONNIE RAITT called "one of the most amazing piano players I’ve ever heard!” Multiple award winner,, studio chops galore, playing festivals and clubs worldwide, MAXWELL DELIVERS deep blues, boogies and gospel-jazz!



David Maxwell has amassed an enormous resume throughout the years playing piano with some of the greatest and most well-known musicians in the blues. David’s style encompasses elements of the blues and jazz, but he is best known for his soulful virtuosity and unmatched ability to reach the heart of post-war Chicago Blues. Through his work, he has gained the respect of artists, critics and fans and has established a reputation as one of the finest pianists alive.

While growing up just outside of Boston in the 1960’s, David frequented the legendary Club 47, Jazz Workshop and Paul’s Mall and was exposed to such blues greats as Skip James, Son House, Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton and Muddy Waters.

Through his friendship with Muddy, David was able to study the intricate lines of Otis Spann – Muddy’s longtime pianist – who quickly became David’s mentor and biggest influence. From 1966 until Spann’s death in 1970, David absorbed Otis’s rhythmic sense, deft use of both hands, and ability to shine while performing in a band setting – complimenting the others, allowing the music to breathe, but still attaching a personal touch to the music. David also became friends and formed important relationships with Pinetop Perkins, Sunnyland Slim and John Lee Hooker.

In 1972, David sat in with Freddie King and soon became the legendary guitarist’s piano player – touring both the US and Europe with tour dates at the Montreux and Ann Arbor Jazz Festivals, and at Madison Square Garden. David’s reputation among the blues crowd grew quickly, and throughout the 1970’s he was called upon to do stints with Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, James Cotton, and Otis Rush among others, playing festival and club dates with some of the greatest blues musicians ever. He also was a part of the house band at the famed Speakeasy in Cambridge, MA, backing many touring performers in the mid-seventies. David joined the James Cotton Band in 1977 (with Matt Murphy on guitar) and toured with him for two and a half years.

David settled in his home base of Boston, where from 1983-1989 he organized the house band at Nightstage in Cambridge, MA. He formed his own band, ‘David Maxwell and the Blues Wizards’, who backed such luminaries as Albert King, Lowell Fulson and Hubert Sumlin when they came through the city. David complimented these dates with festival tours with Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker and Johnny Adams before joining Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters as their full-time pianist from 1990 to 1992, performing on five different albums and touring the US and Europe. After his stint with the Broadcasters, David did several tours with Jimmy Rogers, went to Japan for the second time with Otis Rush and toured Europe with Otis and John Primer.
David also played in Italy, Spain and Norway with James Cotton in 1995, and played the Blue Note Clubs in Japan with him in 1997. In the spring of 1998, David played with Cotton at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. In the Summer of 1998, the James Cotton Trio performed in Switzerland and also in Norway at the Notodden Festival. Over the years, David has traveled and played in India, Morocco, Thailand and Indonesia and has recorded music from those areas as well.

David teamed up with James Cotton again in 1993 as part of the James Cotton Trio. He continued to work with James, becoming an integral part of his Trio and Band through 2002. David would often open up sets playing solo for ten to fifteen minutes. The band played major festivals in the US and toured in Europe and Japan. David also participated in James Cotton’s 1997 Grammy Award winning album “Deep in the Blues” (Verve). In the last few years David has been featured on dates with Levon Helm and reunited with Hubert Sumlin, with whom he toured in England in 2002. It was after this tour that David began recording (in England) his second album under his own name “Max Attack” (Dixiefrog), which was released in Europe in June of 2003. The album features guest appearances from Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard, Kim Wilson, James Cotton, Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin. David participated, as well, in the Howlin’ Wolf Tribute Band, featuring Sumlin, David Johansen and Levon Helm.

In addition to appearing in major festivals in North America and Europe, David has been busy in recording studios over the last thirty years having done albums for Telarc, Severn, Verve, ToneCool, Delmark, Alligator and other labels with James Cotton, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Hubert Sumlin, Joe Louis Walker, Ronnie Earl, Louisiana Red, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Roy Gaines, John Primer, Bob Margolin, Paul Oscher, Steve Freund and many others.

He is often compared to Otis Spann, for his ability to resurrect the spirit and sound of the master of post-war Chicago Blues Piano, but David is no mere imitation. He has created a style and sound uniquely his own. His diverse musical back



2008-David will release 2 albums this year,tba in
march. David has done a lot of studio on
other artist project set to be release in 08.

2006-Chicago Bob Nelson-Flyin'to High (95 North Records)

2005-Various-Tribute to the Cadillac (95 North Records)

2005-David Maxwell & Friends Max Attack-remastered-95 North Records

2004-Live at the Handy Awards volume2-Shemekia
Copeland/RL Burnside (forthcoming release)
2004-Paul Oscher, Alone With the Blues (Electro-Fi
2004-Nico Wayne Toussaint, Transatlantic Live
2004-James Cotton, Baby Don’t You Tear My Clothes
2004-David Maxwell & Friends, Max Attack (Bluemax
2003-Darrell Nulisch, Times Like These (Severn
2003-David Maxwell & Friends, Max Attack
(Dixiefrog~European release)
2003-Steve Guyger, Live at the Dinosaur BBQ
[re-issue] (Horseplay Records)
2002-James Cotton, 35th Anniversary Jam (Telarc)
2002-Fred McDowell-Preachin’ the Blues~The Music of
Mississippi Fred McDowell (Telarc)
2002-Hubert Sumlin with Eric Clapton, Keith Richards
and Levon Helm (forthcoming release)
2002-Joe Louis Walker, In the Morning (Telarc)
2002-Blues for a Rotten Afternoon ~ various artists
2001-Ronnie Earl, Ronnie Earl and Friends (Telarc)
2001-Louisiana Red, A Different Shade of Red (Severn
2001-Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Talkin’ About
Soul (Telarc)
2000-James Cotton, Fire Down Under the Hill (Telarc)
2000-James Cotton, Superharps (Telarc)
2000-Roy Gaines, New Frontier Lover (Severn
2000-Ola Mae Dixon, Labor of Love (Severn Records)
1999-Savoy Brown, Blues Keep Me Holding On (Mystic
1999-The Songs of Willy Dixon~with special guests
1999-Steve Freund, “C” for Chicago (Telarc)
1999-Cathy Lemons Blues Band, Dark Road (Saloon)
1998-Mike Welch, Catch Me (Tone-Cool)
1998-Blues Organ Grooves ~ various artists (Rounder
1997-Jesse Yawn, Forever More (Horseplay)
1997-David Maxwell, Maximum Blues Piano(Tone-Cool)
1997-John Primer, Keep on Lovin’ the Blues(Code Bleu)
1996-James Cotton, Deep in the Blues (Verve)
1995-Bob Margolin, Up and In (Alligator)
1995-Paul Oscher, The Deep Blues of Paul Oscher
(Blues Planet)
1995-John Primer, The Real Deal (Atlantic)
1995-Steve Guyger (Remedy Records)
1994-Paul Oscher, Knockin’ at the Devil’s Door
1993-Jimmy Rodgers with Ronnie Earl and the
Broadcasters (Bullseye)
1993-Brooklyn Slim, Nothing but the Blues (Mojo
1993-Robert Lee “Chicago Bob” Nelson, Keep What I
Got (Planis Phare)
1993-Paul Rishell, Swear to Tell the Truth (Tone-Cool)
1993-Bob Margolin, Down in the Alley (Alligator)
1992-Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson, They Call me the
Snake (Fan Club Fed)
1992-Ronnie Earl, Test of Time (Black Top)
1992-Eddie Kirkland, All Around the World (Deluge)
1992-Pinetop Perkins, On Top (Deluge)
1991-Ronnie Earl, Surrounded by Love (Black Top)
1991-Boston Blues Blast ~ volume 1 (Tone-Cool)
1991-Fried Green Tomatoes Soundtrack,“Rooster
Blues” with Ronnie Earl & Peter Wolf (MCA)
1990-Ronnie Earl, Peace of Mind (Black Top)
1987-Hubert Sumlin, Blues Party (Black Top)
1983-Ronnie Earl, Smokin’ (Black Top)
1979-The Nighthawks, Jacks and Kings ~ Full House
1978-The Nighthawks, Jacks and Kings ~ volume 1
1977-Paula Lockhart with Peter Ecklund (Flying Fish)
1973-Freddie King, Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival

Set List

Original songs from “MAXIMUM BLUES PIANO” and “MAX ATTACK”. Some interpretations of classic blues & boogie/woogie pieces.