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 Macon, Georgia native James Brown on piano. After deciding to pursue a professional music career, he joined the Charles Miller group until 1965 when he made the move to Chicago to work with recording artist/saxophonist A. C. Reed.
In late 1966, at age 24, came the opportunity of a lifetime to join the Muddy Waters Band and help shape the electric blues sound that inspired the rock and roll movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Regular guests of the band included Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and Elvin Bishop. The Muddy Waters Band (as a unit) 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 70’s, he moved Los Angeles to work at ABC Television and LAFF RECORDS (Redd Foxx). This led to working on the set of Soul Train from 1971 to 1975 and then working with Bill Withers (“Lean On Me”) before moving back to South Carolina in the 80’s.
Mac now resides in Pelzer, SC, where at the age of ten he got his first taste of the blues when he learned to play his brother Leroy’s home-made guitar. Going back to his roots, Mac is serving up a mess of Blues with his own band, “Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues”. The band consists of Danny Keylon on bass and vocals, Austin Brashier on guitar and vocals, Max Hightower on keyboards, harmonica, guitar, and vocals, Mike Whitt on drums, and Mac Arnold on vocals, bass and Gas Can Guitars. Mac is also an organic farmer.
The Blues Music Awards have taken notice of Mac Arnold over the past two years. Mac was on hand for the 31st annual Blues Music Awards held May 6, 2010 in Memphis. Mac accepted the award for Best Historical Album for his participation on the 1966 recording Muddy Waters – Authorized Bootleg: Live at the Fillmore Auditorium (Geffen Records) The recording was released in 2009.
For more information, visit Mac’s website at www.macarnold.com. The crew at Briggs Farm is thrilled to have Mac back on stage. If you’ve seen him here before, you know the fantastic crowd he attracts. If you’ve never seen him perform, you need to! So be sure to get your tickets for our 16th annual festival!