Born in the delta where he sharecropped, later moving north he was a heavyweight boxer and the owner of St. Louis’ Club Caravan. In recent years he has developed a following based on his somewhat raw, downhome style. Cathead has just issued his most recent recording, Live at Seventy Five, that was captured in performance at the Ground Zero Blues Club. Backed by his regular band of Riley Coatie Sr and Bill Abel on guitar, Barry Bays on bass, and Riley Coatie jr. on drums, he belts out his folks and blasts some harp. Nothing too refined or subtle as the guitarists lay out their riffs, and Brock blasts some simple, effective harp. He has an affection for Howlin’ Wolf’s material as shown on Forty-Four Blues while M For Mississippi is a rocker with his simple harp riffs that sounds like only the drummer is accompanying him. Little Walter’s Everything Is Gonna Be Alright benefits from his passionate singing although Brock does not display a level of fluency on the harp to support the claims of some that he is heavyweight blues harpist, but on a slow blues Bring the Blues Back Home, his vocals prove to be very formidable.
Cathead has issued a DVD of Brock, Hard Times, that includes both performances by Brock as well as interview segments that is very entertaining and illuminating and I found the music in the DVD stronger than his CDs, which may benefit by the fact that the documentary character of the DVD breaks up the performances. It is one of the better DVDs I have seen recently.
Brock’s CDs and DVDs are available at amazon, cdbaby.com and better retailers. The Cathead website is www.cathead.biz.