Blues legend Mac Arnold in Monroe, Wis., June 7

Online Staff Report

MONROE, Wis. — Legendary blues singer and musician Mac Arnold, along with his Plate Full O’ Blues band, will serve up a heap of blues and soul music to satisfy the musical appetite of the most avid blues enthusiasts at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 7, at the Monroe Arts Center (MAC), 1315 11th St., Monroe, Wis.

With notorious energy and excitement, Mac Arnold strums out rhythm and lead on his signature gasoline-can guitars and belts each song with “one of the most original voices in blues music.”

Mac Arnold must have known at an early age that his music career would read like a “Who’s Who” of blues/R&B legends. His high school band, J Floyd & The Shamrocks, were often joined by none other than Georgia native James Brown on piano. After deciding to pursue a professional music career, Mac joined the Charles Miller group, until 1965, when he made the move to Chicago to work with recording artist/saxophonist A.C. Reed.

Mac is one of the last surviving members of the Muddy Waters era. In 1966, Arnold was invited to join the Muddy Waters Band and help shape the electric blues sound that inspired the rock and roll movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Regular guests of the band included Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. The Muddy Waters Band shared the stage with the likes of Howlin’ Wolfe, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Junior Wells, Big Joe Williams and Big Mama Thornton just to name a few. During this time, Mac played on John Lee Hooker’s “live” album, Live at the Café Au Go-Go, as well as Otis Spann’s classic recording The Blues is Where It’s At.

After more than a year with Muddy Waters, Mac formed the Soul Invaders, which backed up many artists, including The Temptations and B. B. King. In the early 1970s, he moved to Los Angeles to work at ABC Television and Laff Records (Redd Foxx). He also played bass on the Sanford & Son television show when he wasn’t playing bass for Otis Redding and B.B. King. This led to working with his friend, Don Cornelius, on the set of Soul Train from 1971 to 1975, and then working with musician and vocalist Bill Withers (“Lean On Me”).

After retiring from show business in the 1980s, Mac moved back to South Carolina to become an organic farmer. Some 15 years later, Mac was lured back to the music scene and now performs across the U.S. and Europe with his own band, Plate Full O’ Blues. With a “plate full” of CDs to his name, Mac is building a new foundation in blues, soul and funk, and discovering he has an ever-growing fan base of blues enthusiasts worldwide.

Reserved seat tickets for Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues are $25, $20 and $10 for students 18 years of age and younger. Tickets may be purchased in person at the box office at 1315 11th St., by calling the Monroe Arts Center at (608) 325-5700 or 888-596-1249, or online at

Posted June 4, 2014

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