Dooley Wilson

Dooley Wilson

 Toledo, Ohio, USA

Dooley Wilson is the best blues slide guitarist north of the Mason-Dixon line. Playing in the style of the iconic "Mississippi" Fred McDowell, Wilson is an intrinsic blues player and presents his songs with a great level of purity and sincerity.


Hailing from the unlikely environs of South Toledo, Ohio, Dooley Wilson is among a rare breed of latter-day purveyors of “hard” Mississippi/Louisiana – styled blues. With an approach that is steeped in the tradition of his forebears, Wilson offers a combination of bottleneck/slide guitar virtuosity with a renegade intensity that is more at home in a seedy rock club than at a typical “blues society” venue.

In the mid-nineties, Wilson co-fronted the indie-blues outfit, Henry & June, with whom he released the single, “Goin’ Back To Memphis.” The song has since been made famous by the White Stripes, who have included it in their live show since 1998. Henry & June reunited briefly in early 2010 for an immensely successful one-off show in their hometown of Toledo.

In autumn of 2001, Wilson migrated to New Orleans, where he spent a formative year busking on the streets of the French Quarter, pitted amongst a peer group of today’s most formidable torch-bearers of traditional American Blues.

2003 saw Wilson back home in his native Toledo, where, as a soloist, he became a finalist in the 2004 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. He was the first-ever contestant from Toledo’s Black Swamp Blues Society to earn such a distinction.

Wilson has earned a modicum of international recognition touring Europe twice (2004 & 2005) as a support act for Detroit’s Soledad Brothers, and has been enthusiastically received by rock fans up and down the U.K., France, Spain, Portugal, and The Netherlands. In September 2005, Wilson returned to the U.K to play a co-headline tour alongside The High Plane Drifters.

Since returning from Europe, Wilson has performed in various capacities throughout the Midwest, including at the 2008 and 2009 Deep Blues Festivals. Wilson also fronts the popular blues/rock group Boogaloosa Prayer, as well as old-timey trio The Staving Chain, and has recently expanded his musical repertoire by joining Toledo-based hiphop group MC Habitat & Draw Blood.

Wilson will be releasing a 10" vinyl on Top Magic Records in February 2011. It will be his first release since 2006.


Singles: split 7" with The High Plane Drifters; "Goin' Back To Memphis"

LPs: "Tuff Break for Hand-Job," "Asshole's Last Chance"

Set List

Typical sets are 35-40 minutes but can play anywhere from 20-120 if promoter desires.

A typical setlist is:
Rocket To The Moon
Goin' Back To Memphis
Jump Through The Eye of the Needle
Train, Train
M & O Blues
Easy When You Put It On Me
When I Was Young
Back To Tennessee
Bundle Up & Go