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Bluesheart / Bio

Bluesheart’s beginning was born in the blues revival of the 60’s and 70’s with strong southern rock accents. Sharing a common appetite for the blues, Bob, Rob, and Bill have forged, what can only be described as the heart of rockin’ southern blues. Influenced by Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker, and the Rolling Stones, Bluesheart paints a driving landscape of love, loss, triumph and life.
Bob’s first instrument was a clarinet, which he played in his middle school band. In the 8th grade, he began taking private lessons on the drums and played those in his high school band. Through the years he has played the flute, piano, guitar, bass, and tympani but he always migrates back to the drums.

In high school Bob moved to Jacksonville where he met and played with some great Jacksonville musicians. He played in several garage bands in high school, and had his first professional gig in 1967 with The Crypt, with whom he had his first recording experience.

Among Bob’s friends were Ronnie Van Zant, Leon Wilkeson and Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynyrd and he played with Dickey Betts, Barry Oakley and Butch Trucks in a band called The Second Coming. In 1969 he went to Japan to play in a band called After the Rain with lead singer Danny Evans. He also played with several USO Tours with legends Brenda Lee and Lou Rawls.

In 1971 Bob returned to Jacksonville to play with The Coronados with Zac Zigler, Mitch Williams and lead singer Bill Ray. They played music clubs and venues in Florida and beyond and in 1978 he moved to Georgia, where he has played in Orchestra Atlanta and Cantemos, and with several bands including Class Reunion and Wild At Heart. In 2004, Bob, along with Dave Benson and Rob Lanford, started Bluesheart, and today they have evolved into a powerful southern blues and rock trio with Bob and Rob, and Bill Daniel on bass.

Through the years Bob maintained his friendship with Billy Powell of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and when Billy passed away in January 2009, Bob was priviledged to give the eulogy at his funeral. Billy Powell’s Kawai grand piano graces Bob’s living room, and that is where he writes the music of Bluesheart.
Bill began playing guitar in the mid 70’s in Jacksonville, Florida. By then, Lynyrd Skynyrd was in the air and in the water, and Bill’s first band, “Trans-Jam” played their first gig at the Methodist Church across the street from the Southside Women’s Club where Skynyrd had their first gig!

At 18, Bill was playing rhythm and blues clubs in Jacksonville and in Christian bands across the south, opening for Myron Lefevre and Broken Heart, Jerome Olds, and the best of the blends between blues, R&B and gospel. He even had a brief jazz period, but eventually put down the guitar to raise a family.

In 2010, when Bluesheart lost their longtime bass player, Rob and Bob asked him to play for them. Bluesheart has not been the same since!
Rob’s musical career began at age 7 growing up in Georgia, listening to his father play guitar as a Methodist minister and gospel musician. As a teenager Rob learned the riffs of the bands of the 50’s and 60’s, and began developing a style of his own. His own guitar licks were a unique blend of classic blues, gospel, and rock forged by his own creativity and energy.

By the age of 14, Rob had his first public appearance with the guitar, had played with the Herbie Gilmore Band and had formed the Lonesome Blues Band. His musical journey includes performing as a duo with Tony Harris in various venues and radio spots, a classical debut with flautist, Alan Horn, lead guitar of the Crazy Greeter Band out of Tulsa, Oklahoma and various solo gigs around Georgia.

In 2003, after decades of playing lead guitar for The Shelter Band with his lifetime friend, Vernon Eaves, Rob joined Wild at Heart with other local musicians, Tom Elliott, Dave Benson, John Merk, Herzen Andone and Bob Winstead. A year later, Rob, Dave and Bob began Bluesheart, and soon added Vernon on bass. Not long after, Rob suggested the band include another music partner, David Leinweber, on piano. Bluesheart performed as a 5-piece band for several years, cutting “Heart of the Blues” in 2007 featuring Rob’s “Spoon in the Puddin” and then later as a 4-member act, before finding their groove as the blues trio of today.

Throughout the band’s history, Rob and Bob have been writing songs about their experiences in life, slowly replacing their repertoire of covers with original tunes. With his own combination of driving lead, smooth slide and haunting harmonica, Rob contributes a melody to accompany the powerful rhythm section of the guys who call themselves Bluesheart.

General Info

Band Members
Bob Winstead, Drums | Bill Daniel, Bass | Rob Lanford, Guitar
Artist Name
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Contact Info

Atlanta, GA
Sandy Mabry • sandysheart2heartmusic@gmail.com