Master of zydeco

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Sherman Robertson, who plays Worthing on Friday, July 22, is considered a master of zydeco, hard-swinging Texas electric blues, R&B and swampy Louisiana blues.

Sherman was born in Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas. At the age of 13, he watched a performance on television by Hank Williams. Duly inspired and equipped with a cheap guitar bought by his father, he started playing the songs previously performed by Freddie King and Floyd London.

While still in high school Robertson was recruited by his music teacher Conrad Johnson to play in his group Connie’s Combo. As a teenager in the late 1960s, he spent six weeks on the road as lead guitarist with blues superstar Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and also backed Junior Parker. That gave Sherman the incentive to form his own band, Sherman Robertson and the Crosstown Blues Band with whom he recorded two albums on the Lunar II label.

During the 1970s, Sherman was content playing weekends while raising a family and holding down a regular job until Clifton Chenier, ‘the King Of Zydeco’, asked him to do some dates with his band. Those few dates turned into five years as Robertson toured Europe and the US with Chenier.

“I use that driving, road-cooking type zydeco groove and put blues on top of it,” says Sherman. “It’s basically rhythm and feel.”

Sherman performs at The Grand Victorian Hotel, Worthing, Friday, July 22 (01903 203489, tickets £15).