Matthew Skoller

One of the hardest working harmonica-based blues groups in Chicago, The Matthew Skoller Band rocks with a fierceness not felt since the likes of blues harp icons Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson II. Skoller and his band of veteran musicians are at the forefront of a new generation who’ve come up schooled in Chicago’s world-renowned and highly competitive blues scene.

As with many blues performers of his generation, Skoller’s been influenced as much by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix and the Allman Brothers as by the legends of blues. Skoller’s take on the blues tradition is about letting his own voice come through — his culture, his experience.

Skoller moved to Chicago in January 1987. His already mature harmonica playing led a number of musicians to take him under their wings. He paid his dues backing up a “who’s who” of creative and passionate musicians, including the legendary Jimmy Rogers, Big Time Sarah, and Deitra Farr.

Despite his success working with others, Skoller heard the crying of an inner voice and since 1992 has led his own band. Like a tornado, he’s blown through the Chicago blues scene.

In October 1996, the band was a prizewinner at the International Blues Talent Competition held by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. That same year, Hohner Harmonicas installed Skoller as an endorsee.

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