Blue LightningBlue Lightning

traditional delta & hill country blues

(featuring Mad Dog Friedman & Louisiana Sam Gillis)

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Click on the image to download our full-sized promo photo.

Click on the photo to download our full-sized promo photo.

Mad Dog Friedman & Louisiana Sam Gillis at the Colorado Blues Challenge Finals in 2017.

(Photo by Michael Mark)

Blue Lightning’s on a mission to create in-the-moment, rural blues. The traditions and spontaneous energy of Southern country blues masters, like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Big Joe Williams and Sonny Terry, come alive in their music. Original song writing and arrangements keep it fresh. Blue Lightning is made up of Sam Gillis, hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana, on Dobro and acoustic guitar and Mad Dog Friedman, originally from the St. Louis area, on blues harp. Representing two generations of Colorado blues men, Sam Gillis & Mad Dog Friedman, seamlessly combine the new and the old with a passion that is all their own.

"This duet kicks it so hard I juss wanna lay down and die!" — master jazz Sufi poet, Wayne Gilbert

1st Strike

a new live CD from Louisiana Sam Gillis & Mad Dog Friedman

This album bristles with spontaneity. A couple of the songs featured here were being played for the first time by either Louisiana Sam or Mad Dog as they were being recorded live. One was actually composed on the spot from a phrase from the audience, and the arrangements of all the songs were unique to the moment. From the heart-felt rendition of Robert Johnson's delta blues classic, "Come On in My Kitchen," to the playful creativity of the original spontaneous composition, "It's Raining on My Chickens," 1st Strike is deep Southern country blues at it's best -- live, raw and aching for deliverance. Availble on iTunes, Spodify and BandCamp.

The original version of "Holding the Bag Blues" recorded as we made up it on the spot at our first gig and is now available for free download.

Please see Mad Dog's & Louisiana Sam's websites for more tunes & videos: &

(Video by Julie Blair Gillis.  Recorded May 7, 2017, at the Colorado Blues Challenge Finals.)

Please click on this image for a full-sized aniamtion.

(Please click on this image for a full-sized animation.

Photos by Tarry Underwoood.)

for bookings please contact Mad Dog Friedman

at maddog AT poetscoop DOT org

or 303-926-9626

Graphic & Web Design by M. D. Friedman