HEY LOCO FANS – Happy Birthday to electric blues bass guitarist Bob Stroger who was born December 27, 1930. He has worked with a who’s who list of blues musicians, including Eddie King, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Sunnyland Slim, Louisiana Red, Buster Benton, Homesick James, Mississippi Heat, Snooky Pryor, Odie Payne, Fred Below, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and Billy Davenport.
Stroger was born on a farm outside of Hayti, Missouri and In 1955 he relocated with his family to Chicago. His family settled in an apartment in back of Silvio’s nightclub. Stroger was inspired by the sights and sounds from the club. A self-taught guitarist, he formed a family-based band, and later after meeting with Eddie King he started his lengthy career playing blues.
He backed King for fifteen years then Stroger stopped playing for a couple of years. His interest was rekindled when he was recommended to Otis Rush, whom he backed in the late 1970s and 1980s. He toured Europe with Rush and played on two of his albums.
Stroger worked with Sunnyland Slim in the 1980s and 1990s, then joined Odie Payne for the series of American Blues Folk Festivals. Stroger played on releases by Mark Hummel, Golden “Big” Wheeler’.
In 2007, Stroger recorded Bob Is Back in Town in Chicago and the same year he backed Carey Bell on his final recorded work. Later he played on a pair of Willie “Big Eyes” Smith’s releases
In 2011, the Blues Foundation presented Stroger with a Blues Music Award in the category Best Blues Bassist. He was nominated in the same category in 2013. He won the Best Bassist Award again in 2013.