Jerry Portnoy - Scratch My Back - Classic Blues Videos
with Otis Grand at the Blues Cazorla Festival in 2005
Blues harp legend Jerry Portnoy performs "Scratch My Back" at the Blues Cazorla Festival in Spain in 2005. Features Otis Grand on guitar.
Jerry Portnoy (born November 25, 1943, Chicago, Illinois) is an American harmonica blues musician, who has toured with Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton.
Portnoy grew up in Chicago's Maxwell Street neighborhood where his family owned a store. His exposure to the blues began there with Little Walter and other Chicago Blues masters.
Portnoy began his professional musical career as part of Muddy Waters' backing band in the early 1970s. Portnoy replaced George "Mojo" Buford in 1974, and he stayed with the band for six years. During his tenure with Waters, he appeared on the albums, I'm Ready, Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live, and King Bee. In 1980, Portnoy, bassist Calvin Jones, pianist Pinetop Perkins, and drummer Willie Smith, all left Waters to form The Legendary Blues Band.
Throughout the early 1980s, Portnoy played with the Legendary Blues Band, recording Life of Ease and Red Hot & Blue. In 1986, he left the band and briefly retired. By the end of 1987, he had returned to the scene, founding the Broadcasters with Ronnie Earl, but two years later, he and Earl had a falling out, causing Portnoy to leave the group. Portnoy formed his own band, the Streamliners in 1989. Two years later, the band released their debut album, Poison Kisses.
Jerry Portnoy in Paris, France November 7th, 1976
Between 1991 and 1993, Portnoy was part of Eric Clapton's All-Star Blues Band. After leaving Clapton's band in 1993, he played a number of concerts, releasing his second album, Home Run Hitter, in 1995. Blues Harmonica Masterclass appeared six years later.
He made a special guest appearance on Bo Diddley's 1996 album, A Man Amongst Men, playing harmonica on the track "I Can't Stand It".
Wikipedia contributors. "Jerry Portnoy." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 Dec. 2010. Web. 19 Mar. 2011.