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Interview with Abb Locke

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Interview with Abb Locke

Abb Locke is a legendary Saxophone player from Chicago. He currently plays with Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames. I sat down and talked with Abb when the band played at Da Bar in Morrison IL.

Billy Rose: So Abb tell me a little about you.

Abb Locke: My name is Abb Locke. I’m from Cotton Plant Arkansas. I left Cotton Plant and went to Memphis. I started High School in Memphis. Got me a job, and got me a saxophone. I studied the saxophone and got in the school band and I played around Memphis. Then I went to Cairo and ended up in Chicago.

Billy Rose: What year was that? When you came to Chicago.

Abb Locke: That would have been…let’s see..1962.

Billy Rose: So who did you play with first in Chicago?

Abb Locke: The first guitar player I played with was Earl Hooker. Yep, Earl Hooker…a fine guitar player. Next I played with the Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush…a lot of people. That’s how I made my livin’ in Chicago, by playing my saxophone.

Billy Rose: How did you get hooked up with Earl Hooker?

Abb Locke: I was walking down 47th Street and I heard music so I went in the joint and they was playin’ in there. They let me play with one with them and that’s how I started with Earl.

Billy Rose: How did you meet Howlin’ Wolf?

Abb Locke: He was in the club where I played and I met him. He liked the way I played so he hired me.

Billy Rose: When you were back in Memphis did you ever think you would be playing with Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters?

Abb Locke: Oh no. Ya know, I never knew who I’d be playing with.

Billy Rose: Did you do any recording with those Chicago legends?

Abb Locke: Oh yeah. Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf…all of ‘em.

Billy Rose: Did you like the studio?

Abb Locke: I liked the money…you know it wasn’t too good then, but I liked the money.

At this point Abb had to get ready to go back up on stage. I sincerely appreciate the time the legendary sax player Abb Locke took to sit and talk with me. Abb is a very nice guy and a very talented musician. If you ever get a chance to meet Abb Locke you buy one of his CD’s “Big City Blues”. It’s a great piece of smooth soul style blues.