Michael Coleman & the Backbreakers

Although guitarist Michael Coleman's swirling attack might repel some blues purists, his frequent homages to the blues Kings (B.B., Albert, and Freddie) and bluesified covers of pop songs make him a perfect introduction to modern Chicago blues styles. He is one of the fourth-generation blues artists, who reference Jimi and the Stones as much as the Mississippi traditionalists, combining over 40 years of music into a crowd-pleasing, although somewhat less vital, brand of blues heard frequently on the northside today. Coleman has developed a strong following, but hasn't yet shown the breakthrough potential that has carried some of his contemporaries to national and international status. A great starting point for an exploration of Chicago blues.

Mentors: B.B. King, Albert King, Jimi Hendrix

Proteges: none yet

Recommended recordings: none yet, see him regularly at Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S.