Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Richard REVEREND RAVEN first heard the blues of Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker and Pee Wee Crayton coming from his mother's stereo. His older cousin later brought home the records of Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Magic Sam, Slim Harpo, Buddy Guy and Otis Rush. After seeing Freddy King at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago, he started going to Maxwell Street on Sunday afternoons to see Johnny Dollar, Lefty Dizz and Jimmie Lee Robinson play in the alleys and on the street corners.
After seeing Freddy King at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago, he started going to Maxwell Street on Sunday afternoons to see Johnny Dollar, Lefty Dizz and Jimmie Lee Robinson play in the alleys and on the street corners.
After playing in bands for 5 years and doing a 15 year stint in U.S. Navy, where he acquired the Reverend tag, Chief Raven hung up his anchors to give music another go. and he moved to Milwaukee where he began a long friendship and collaboration with Madison Slim, long time harmonica player for Jimmy Rogers. Since 1990 he has opened for B.B King, Gatemouth Brown, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor Band, Junior Wells, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Elvin Bishop, Sugar Blue, Lonnie Brooks, William Clarke, Lefty Dizz and numerous others at festivals and at Buddy Guy's Legends. Locally he has performed with Billy Flynn, Perry Weber, Piano Willie, Stokes, Jon Paris, Clyde Stubblefied, Bryan Lee and the Lamont Cranston band.
The 1970s were spent going to the clubs and taverns on the south side of Chicago and Chicago Heights to see and hear raw urban blues. He has become a regular on the Midwest blues circuit, playing Buddy Guy's Legends, The Slippery Noodle, Memphis Smoke, Fat Fish Blue, Blues on Grand, The Zoo Bar, Whiskey Junction and most of the Midwest blues festivals. Rev has won the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award (WAMI) for best blues artist in 1999, 200, 2003, 2004 and 2006.