Blues legend Hubert Sumlin passed away a few weeks back at the age of 80. He played with Howlin' Wolf in Chicago for 20 years and is considered one of the most influential blues guitarists. Sumlin was listed as #43 in the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time. Sumlin was also an influence on a generation of guitar players including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughan and others. He went on to record and play for another 35 years releasing has award-winning album "About Them Shoes " in 2004.
I saw Sumlin play a couple of years ago at the National Guitar Workshop in Austin, Texas alongside Muddy Waters' guitarist "steady rollin'" Bob Margolin. In a somewhat ramblin story, Sumlin described getting fired by Howlin' Wolf for his reliance on using a pick. This motivated Sumlin to learn to play in the finger picking style that would make him famous and rejoin Howlin' Wolf a short time later.
Sumlin was also featured in Kenny Wayne's Shepherd's "10 Days Out" video/CD along side other blues greats Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Jerry "Boogie" McCain, David "Honeboy" Edwards, Willie "Big eyes" Smith, Pinetop Perkins, Etta Baker and BB King.