Biography

Guitarist, Brian Lupo, was born on the northwest side of Chicago on November 18, 1976. A graduate of Notre Dame High School, Lupo (who had always been a fan of rock and roll – especially, The Allman Brothers Band) was a late bloomer when it came to playing blues guitar. In fact, he did not pick up the instrument until 1996 (at the age of 20). Still, once he picked up that first Fender Stratocaster, he would rarely be seen without it again. He spent the next 5 years wood-shedding intensely and honing his unique sound. He immersed himself in the classic recordings of artists such as Muddy Waters and B.B. King. When he finally did come up for air, he found himself a much sought after sideman for some of the most popular singers on Chicago’s hard-scrabble west side. 

In 2002, he accepted a regular weekly gig with the indomitable Willie D. & The All Stars – performing every Friday and Sunday night at The 290 Sport & Juice Bar. It was during this period that Lupo cut his teeth in a live setting and learned how to play within the context of an ensemble. Over the course of the next 3 years, he played behind Willie D. and a parade of the west side’s finest blues and soul vocalists. One of those vocalists, Nora Jean Wallace, hired Lupo to play behind her on various festival dates across both the U.S. And Canada. His guitar playing which is heavily influenced by Albert Collins, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, and Albert King can be heard on Nora Jean’s first two recordings.

In 2006, Lupo, became disillusioned with the Chicago music scene, and pulled up roots to re-locate in Las Vegas, NV. It was there, in the desert, that he would almost inconceivably reinvent himself (and support his young family) as a professional poker player! Finally, in 2014, family obligations brought Lupo back to his Chicago roots and the blues music he so deeply loved. Brian Lupo and his band currently perform in and around Chicago at top blues clubs including Rosa’s Lounge and the Harlem Ave Lounge.

Pat Smillie

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