Henry Oden

Henry Oden


Henry Oden plays West Coast Blues, jump swing, dance standards, classic R&B, originals and American roots music.


Henry Oden grew up in Richmond, California. Born the 8th day of February 1947 to parents who migrated from rural Alabama and Arkansas to work in the Kaiser Shipyards of Richmond. Henry’s father would order him his first guitar from a Montgomery Ward mail order catalogue. Robert Kelton, a neighbor and former Jimmy McCraklin guitarist, would give Henry his first guitar lesson. Within one year of his first lesson, and not yet legally old enough to enter night clubs, Henry would be found at Sunday afternoon jam sessions in and around Richmond.

Henry has accompanied a who’s who of blues luminaries in his 40 plus years as a blues musician and as such could be defined as a “Uomo Universale” of the blues. Jimmy Reed, Big Mama Thornton, Pee Wee Crayton, High Tide Harris, the King Brothers, L.C. “Good Rocking” Robinson, Buddy Ace, Michael Bloomfield, Bill Withers and Little Joe Blue are but a few of the artist he has backed .

Henry’s musical career began playing in the “gut-buckets” and blues lounges in and about Richmond along with “HighTide” Harris, the Whispering Shadows, the Moore Brothers and/or the King Brothers. These performances would be off set from time to time with occasional appearance at local church revivals with the Gospel Combs family. It wasn’t long before he ventured into Oakland and San Francisco.

During the 60’s Henry was the bassist with Freddy and the Stone Souls. Lead by Freddy Stewart, Sly Stones Brother, this band would re-configure and back The Delegates, Roger Collins, Little Ronnie and the Chromatics and Fillmore Slim as Sly’s and house band at Little Bo Peep’s in San Francisco. Henry would go on to join Berkeley based, funk-soul band “Loading Zone” and record with the “Zones” lead singer Linda Tillery when the group disbanded. By the end of the 60’s Henry was performing with Tony Bartlett’s show band “Heavens Expressway” in gambling casinos throughout Nevada.

By the 70’s Henry’s attention had turned to song writing and composing. This being the case, he undertook music composition studies with the late Ed Kelly and also enrolled in creative writing courses at Laney College in Oakland, California. Before he could complete his studies, Henry would join the King Brother’s band and tour with Freddy King. Returning home, Henry performed with Snooky Flowers house band at the El Cid night-club on San Francisco’s Broadway strip. It was while on Broadway that Henry met a budding and talented vocalist, Bianca Thornton a.k.a. Lady Bianca. Henry would stop performing publicly to devote the remainder of the decade attending to the development of Lady Bianca.

By the 80’s, Henry’s urge to perform resurfaced. He picked and tuned-up his bass and as if he had never rested, was soon a member of Mark Naftalins’ Blue Monday Party Band. The band would appear at numerous festivals and make several videos including Percy Mayfield “Poet Laureate of the Blues”, “John Lee Hooker/ Charlie Musselwhite”, and “Lowell Fulson/ Percy Mayfield” Blue Monday Party., a recording and video with Clifton Chenier at the San Francisco Blues Festival kept Henry calendar full. Henry would make his first international tour with the San Francisco Blues Festival and have several of his composition recorded on the Encore Label by J.J. Malone and Troyce Key. Upon returning from Europe Henry would tour with Cool Papa, Chris Cain, John Lee Hooker and Beverly Stovall and provide back-up for John Lee in “Survivors” blues documentary.

In 1984 Henry would host the Blues Celebrity Night at Your Place in Oakland, California. For most of that year local blues luminaries such as Dottie Ivory, “Mississippi” Johnny Waters, Haskell “Cool Papa” Sadler, Curtis Lawson and “Little” Joe Blue would headline this production.

In December of 1985, Henry would be contacted by Joe Louis Walker regarding a band being put together to back Earl King and Johnny Adams. July 1985 found Henry touring Japan, Canada the U.S. and with the Crescent City duo. Between tours, Henry found time to make him-self available to Koncepts Kultural Gallery for its Blues Explosion program. This program sent blues artist into schools throughout Oakland to lecture, demonstrate and teach blues and blues songwriting. Henry volunteered for this duty annually as well as appearing and recording with Walker as his “Rock solid bass player” through 1990 and Walker’s rise to prominence. That year Henry parted company with the Walker organization and moved to Canada. There he recoded with bluegrass artist Doug Cox, preformed as a street musician, taught guitar and bass by day, while writing and producing biographical material on him-self at night.

In late 1991, Henry returned to the Bay Area. Enjoying the challenge of being a street minstrel, Henry joined forces with the legendary “Big Bones” on the streets and in the subway stations of San Francisco while finishing the recording project started in Canada. In 1992 Walker contacted Henry asking him to rejoin his ef


Your wrong 4 That!

Written By: Jammel Oden, Henry Oden

You’re wrong 4 that!
Jammel Oden, Henry Oden

Why you want to cuss me, call me out of my name
Got the whole neighborhood thing I am too blame
You’re wrong for that, your wrong for that, you’re wrong for that
I’d never treat you like that.

I try to be serious when playing your game.
You know it’s a pity and a cry’n shame
You’re wrong for that, your wrong for that, you’re wrong for that, I’d never treat you like that.

I tell you I love you, your response seems fake
You got me feeling like I’m a big mistake
I give you roses and you throw them away
I ask you how you’re feeling and you tell me to go away
You’re wrong for that, your wrong for that, you’re wrong for that, I’d never treat you like that.

I give you roses and you throw them away
I ask you how you’re feeling, you had nothing to say
I took you out for dinner and you wouldn’t even eat
You got me feeling like the bottom of your feet
You’re wrong for that, your wrong for that, you’re wrong for that, I’d never treat you like that.

I tell you I love you, your response seems fake
You got me feeling like I’m a big mistake
You’re wrong for that, your wrong for that, you’re wrong for that, I’d never treat you like that.



Jimmy McCraklin/ Mint/Instant /The Best of Jimmy McCraklin /1967

Sweet Linda Devine/ Columbia/
Linda Tillery/ 1968

Crusin for a Brusin/ Tokoma/ Mike Bloomfield/ 1981

S.F. Blues Festival / Encore /S.F. Blues Festival/ 1982

Clifton Chenier /Arhoolie/ King of the Zydeco/

Joe Louis Walker/ Hightone/ Cold Is The Night/ 1986

Otis Grand/Special Delivery /Always Hot /1988

Joe Louis Walker/ Ace /Alone/1988

Henry Oden /C.P. Time /Eclectic Blue/1990

Joe Louis Walker/ Hightone/ The Gift/1991

Percy Mayfield/ Winner/Percy Mayfield

Percy Mayfield/ Intermedia/ Please Send Someone to Love/ 1993

Joe Louis Walker/Hightone/ Live At Slims I & 2/ 1993

B.B. King/MCA/ Playing With My Friend/1993

Joe Louis Walker/ Verve/ JLW /1993

Bay Area Blues/ Taxim/ More Bay Area Blues/ 1995

Doug Cox / Malahat Music/ Canadian Border Line/ 1995

Various Artist/ Blue Gold/1996

Post Modern Blues / Volume 17, Blues Masters/ 1998

Various Artist/ Vee Jay/ Chicago Black Music/ 2002

Joe Louis Walker/ Hightone/ Heritage of the Blues/ 2003

Various Artist/ Hightone/ Hightone History/ 2006

Henry Oden/ C.P. Time/ Henry Oden/2006

Nathan Maxwell/ Hoo Doo Music/ Happiness in Time/ 2006

Sonny Rhodes/Blue Witch/ House Rockin and Blues Shoutin!/ 2007

Lady Bianca /Magic-“O”/Through a Woman’s Eyes/ 2007

Rick Baskin /Indie/ Baskin in the Blues/ 2007

Set List

(I have the appropriate song LIST for any and all occasions.)

Shade Tree Mechanic
Your Wrong 4 That
I Love You That Way
Stressful Situation
That’s Her
I'm Tired
Walking through the Park
Rock On
Thin Line, Across the Line
Unchain My Heart
Big Boss Man
Take Out some Insurance
On Me
Going Down Slow,
Who is He?
Black Night
Mess'n with the Kid
Stoop Down
Shade Tree Mechanic,
Baby Please,
Stormy Monday Blues,
Reconsider Baby
Tramp, Black Night
Hit the Road Jack,
Baby Please Don't Go
Big Chief
Hey Good Looking,
Big Boss Man
Stranger In My Own Home town,
Bow Wow
Thanks for the Offer
Natural Ball
Let's Have a Party