Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Fort Worth-based guitarist, singer and songwriter U.P. Wilson plays a startlingly refreshing style of deep Southern soul-blues that is gospel inflected and rural, yet urban. His very rhythmic guitar playing is showcased on three albums for JSP Records, and it appears that after years of being known as a regional performer around Texas, Wilson is ready to take his show on the road. Wilson has recorded three albums for the London-based JSP Records -- Boogie Boy: Return of the Texas Tornado in 1994, This Is U.P. Wilson (1995), and Whirlwind, a 1996 release. Wilson also has two early-'90s recordings for the small Texas labels Red Lightnin' and Double Trouble.
Raised in West Dallas, Wilson learned his craft in the rough and tumble beer joints around the South and West Sides of the city, taking his cues from the likes of ZuZu Bollin, Cat Man Fleming, Frankie Lee Sims, Mercy Baby and Nappy "Chin" Evans. Wilson moved from Dallas to Fort Worth and formed a band called the Boogie Chillun with drummer and vocalist Robert Ealey. Later, he worked with Cornell Dupree before Dupree left to become a favorite session guitarist.
By the late 1970s, Wilson and Ealey were frequenting a Fort Worth club called the New Bluebird, where they were attracting ever-growing legions of true Texas blues fans. Wilson began recording locally in 1987 and touring again around Texas. Since the mid-'90s release of his JSP albums, Wilson and his band have toured regionally around the South, pleasing audiences with his inventiveness, clever songwriting, great arrangements and sheer originality. He returned in 1999 with On My Way.