Blues Legend Lil’ Jimmy Reed and His Band Take to the Stage

Blues Legend Lil’ Jimmy Reed and His Band Take to the Stage


Leon Atkins, aka Lil’ Jimmy Reed, is set to perform at The Atkinson for the first time with his band this autumn.

A tall charismatic figure, Lil’ Jimmy is one of the last of a generation of classic blues artists that influenced everyone from The Rolling Stones to The Beatles. His music embodies a raw Louisiana blues tradition that has its roots in the bayous of the Deep South.

Born in the late nineteen-thirties in a shot-gun shack in Hardwood, LA, a small cotton town on a bend in the Mississippi river, Leon grew up near a nightclub where blues stars Slim Harpo and Lightnin’ Slim were frequent visitors. By day he picked cotton and every night he absorbed the sounds of the blues wafting across the street. At six he had his own guitar, made from a cigar box, and by the time he was a teenager he was proficient on both guitar and harmonica, playing local clubs around Baton Rouge. His big break came when the legendary Jimmy Reed failed to make a date at an upscale blues club in Little Rock, Arkansas and Leon got to take his place in the band. He gave a show stopping performance, the crowd loved him, and when, soon after, Jimmy passed away, Leon became Lil’ Jimmy Reed.

Lil’ Jimmy took a break from music to serve his country in the military, but he’s now back playing better than ever. On his return Lil’ Jimmy shared the stage with B.B. King and Bobby Blue Bland, and was awarded the Alabama Blues Treasure Award. He has also been named Blues Harmonica Player of the Year by the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame and was recently inducted into the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame.

Lil’ Jimmy’s European tours in 2013 – 2015 were hugely successful and he has received wild applause and standing ovations as he strolls through the crowds playing and singing his unique brand of down-home blues. His first CD “School’s Out” was rated “Superb” by CD Review.

In Lil’ Jimmy’s band, Bob Hall is an award-winning pianist widely regarded as the UK’s finest blues and boogie woogie exponent, having founded several famous British blues bands and played with many world-class bluesmen – John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry and Little Walter, to name just a few. His partner, diminutive dynamo Hilary Blythe, is an outstanding blues and gospel singer and rock steady bassist.

You can hear his stinging guitar work, gritty vocals and haunting harmonica on Thursday 1 September at 8pm.

“The feedback has been fantastic” Executive Manager Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival

“You put on a hell of a show” Harvest Blues Festival Director (Monaghan, Eire)

Tickets for the The Lil’ Jimmy Reed Band are £16 / £14 concessions plus booking fee*. To book your tickets please call Box Office on 01704 533333 or go online at

Other rock/blues dates for your diary include Big Blues Festival featuring Dr Feelgood, Dan Burnett, Rosco Levee, Lisa Mills, The Connie Lush Band and Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders (7-8 October), Joanne Shaw Taylor (22 October), The Ian Siegal Band: The Twenty Five Tour (10 November) & Martin Turner: Ex-Wishbone Ash (24 November). Just search Blues online for the full programme.

*Booking fee is £1 per ticket for all purchases made online or by phone and a 2% credit card fee is charged for counter sales. There are times when our phone lines become very busy, you can purchase tickets for any of our shows online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



For press images or further information, please contact Emma Lloyd at or call 0151 934 2129


Lil Jimmy Reed Band

Thursday 1 September


£16 (£14 concessions)


Please be advised that there is a £1 per ticket booking fee for telephone and online sales and

a 2% fee for credit cards at the Box Office




About The Atkinson

The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful new home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. Significant investment has been made in refurbishing the stunning 19th century buildings, to create a really welcoming multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.


The Atkinson offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer. Wile the day away visiting the new shop, that sells gifts and contemporary crafts from regional makers and then relax in the Bakery, choosing from a selection of artisan bread sandwiches, cakes and sharing platters. You can even take little bit of The Atkinson home with you from the delicatessen. Wander through the major exhibitions and see performances from some of the UK’s foremost musicians, actors, performers and companies, films, family activities and much more.


The new Museum is now open. Sefton Between Land & Sea tells the story of Southport and Sefton as well as the area’s dramatic maritime history. While Discover Ancient Egypt – the new Egyptology Gallery is the home of the  Goodison Egyptology Collection, a remarkable collection of archaeology that has not been seen for over 40 years.

Posted on 16 August 2016 under General news

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