Ponderosa Stomp main man Billy Boy Arnold turns 83 today. Mr Arnold started playing with Bo Diddly in 1951 when Diddly was still working out them hambone beats that would eventually make him famous. Back then Maxwell Street was the epicenter of the Windy City blues scene and men that would one day stride the earth as legends were playing for a plate of fried catfish and a few belts of whiskey.

Billy Boy Arnold was honing his chops in the 1940s with cats like Sonny Boy Williamson before he’d even become a teenager. 70 years later he’s still under full steam as witnessed by his incendiary live set earlier this year headlining the Chicago Blues Festival with fellow masters Willie Clayton, Sugar Blue and Mavis Staples.

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