His soulful interpretation of the music is rooted in his hard, often painful life, while living in Belfast, a city that exists as an equally suitable home of the blues. As the 90s dawned, so did the some small rays of hope, and with it an end to troubles in Northern Ireland. Fortunately, Rab was able to turn his harsh experiences into a magic potion of hope through the blues. As his music matured and deepened, he never stopped writing, playing continually perfecting his tone. and developing his style for his re-emergence in the world of music.
The tough streets of Belfast would help mould and ultimately redefine his vital style. A musician's journey of rediscovery starts with the rediscovery of himself and in 1998 Rab traveled to the home of the blues, Memphis Tennessee, where he performed at the famed Beale Street Music Festival. Rab earned immediate respect as a world class player from blues enthusiasts and musicians, including sidemen of Chuck Berry and the late great Muddy Waters. His performance in Memphis by all accounts was in of the most intense ever witnessed at the festival. This proved to be the catalyst for Rab to resume the career that he thought he had lost forever. Rab's story began another chapter with the turn of the new millennium in 2000 when he returned to Memphis to compete in the Blues Foundations, world famous International Blues Challenge.
Rab took a trophy back to Belfast and left his name on the tongues of everyone that witnessed the blistering performance. The success in Memphis resulted in invitations to major blues festivals and a record contract with Eagle-Rock / Blue Storm Records. This led to Rab's release of Belfast Blues which received rave reviews in Canada and the US Real Blues Magazine voted Belfast Blues " record of the year" Blues Revue Magazine quotes "Rab McCullough is a great blues guitarist and vocalist who deserves much more attention". In 2001, Cream lyricist / producer Pete Brown approached Rab, and asked him to be part of an all star British Blues line up including such greats as John Mayall, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Peter Green and Dick Heck-stall Smith. Rab recorded 5 tracks on the record Blues and Beyond.
In 2002, the record was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award. Rab McCullough continues to move forward to the next chapter of his life after the signing of a record contract with Dixie Frog Records. He is set the release the album Belfast Breakdown to the world in July 0f 2003. His collaboration with artists such as Hubert Sumlin (Howlin' Wolf).
Nickie Scott (Van Morrison), Brian Mitchell (Bob Dylan) and Tony Beard (Jeff Beck) help make this record a masterpiece. It would have been a tragedy for this legendary player to be lost but it would have paled next to losing his family. Rab McCullough chose the noble role of a father, and his reward, and ours is the re-emergence of a great talent with his family intact. Rab McCullough is a vital new force on the scene. His irresistible combination of Irish and American blues is helping to redefine contemporary blues music.
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