JACOB H. CARRUTHERS FOR INNER CITY STUDIES
Osee Anderson, a Chicago native, is a multi-talented figure on the international music scene. As second guitarist for the Lonnie Brooks Blues Band, Osee has toured the U.S., Canada and Europe impressing audiences and critics with his scorching, innovative musical contributions to any group. Osee's 1986-1989, three year stint with Lonnie Brooks produced aggressive contributions as lead and rhythm guitarist on two of Brook's Alligator Record albums: Wound Up Tight and Bayou Lightning Strikes. Osee left Brooks shortly after opening for Robert Cray, which prompted Blues News' Mike Hogan to write: "By The end of the set, Osee Anderson was picking so fast he could thread a running sewing machine.
It's not very often the leader of a band will allow a musician who plays the same instrument, the opportunity to upstage him. Lonnie gave Osee the chance and did he ever pounce on it, the band kicked butt and took no prisoners. For me...the headliner was on first." Once on his own, Osee formed Osee Anderson and The Hit Squad the weekend before his first gig at The Motor City Blues Festival (Detroit, Michigan) in August of 1989. Osee and his Hit Squad performed between blues greats Koko Taylor and Lonnie Mack.
In September of 1989 Osee moved to California and formed the first Californian Hit Squad. They played all over Southern California; including backing Otis Rush at the 1990 Long Beach Blues Fest. While in California, Osee taught at "G.I.T." Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood. And Willie Dixon sat Osee down and taught him the business of music he'd experienced over the years. Osee appeared at the Benson and Hedges Guitar Workshop at Musicians Institute with Bernie Pearl hosting.
Other musicians appearing were Guitar Shorty, Joe Louis Walker, Tony Matthews, Lowell Fulston, Phil Upchurch, Terry DeRonen. The focus of this workshop was to feature the styles of different guitar players. In March of 1991 Osee headed into the studio to record Old School, Nu School which was released in February of 1992. Osee and the Hit Squad then embarked on an extensive tour from San Diego to Vancouver Island, Winnipeg to Las Vegas.
Good as he is live, Osee's eclectic talents are even better displayed on his self produced debut CD Old School, Nu School on Integrity records. Composed mostly of his own compositions and dedicated to his main mentor Willie Dixon, Anderson displays his mastery of up-tempo Chicago blues, smooth R&B instrumentals and back porch country blues. He even throws in an old New Orleans swing number, "Rampart Street Strut" to bring things to a close. Osee who began his professional career at age thirteen, has performed with R&B vocalist Ruby Andrews, The Staple Singers, Ann Peebles, The Emotions, Jerry Butler, Al Green, Billy Paul, The Chi-Lites, ScreaminÕ Jay Hawkins, Mille Jackson, James Cotton, Big Jay McNeely, Big Time Sarah, Billy Branch, Sandra Hall, Raful Neal and family, Albert Collins, Phil Guy, Pinetop Perkins, Lefty Dizz, Lonnie Brooks, John Mayall, the Father of Rock & Roll Ð Johhnie Johnson, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. Producing music provides another arena for Osee to exercise his talents. He served as Staff Producer and Arranger for Gerim Records, located at 2120 South Michigan Ave., Chicago (former home of Chess Records).
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