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Photo: Mike Minehan

Blues Guitarist, California

American Academy Distinguished Visitor - Class of Fall 2003

Alvin Youngblood Hart is one of the world’s foremost practitioners of country blues, and a faithful torchbearer for the 1960s and 1970s guitar rock. He was born in Oakland, California, in 1963, and spent part of his youth in Carroll County, Mississippi, where he was influenced by the the Mississippi country blues performed by his relatives.


Hart’s debut album, Big Mama’s Door, was released in 1996. In 2003, his album Down in the Alley was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. In 2005, Hart received a Grammy Award for his contribution to Beautiful Dreamer – The Songs of Stephen Foster. Hart was featured in the 2003 Wim Wenders film The Soul of a Man, which was featured in Martin Scorsese’s film series The Blues. He was also featured in the documentary Last of the Mississippi Jukes.


In 2010, Hart teamed up with friends Jimbo Mathus and Luther Dickinson to form The South Memphis String Band. Their first album, Home Sweet Home, was nominated for “Best Acoustic Album” at the 2011 Blues Foundation Music Awards. The group released a second album, Old Times There, in the spring of 2012.

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