Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page


Mike Finnigan (organ,piano,and vocal) Mike started playing professionally in 1964 in Kansas. He then moved to Wichita and travelled the country with The Serfs. It was during a trip to New York City that Mike recorded with Jimi Hendrix, a session that resulted in 'Electric Ladyland.' In 1972, Michael formed Finnigan and Wood. In 1975, Mike put down roots in Los Angeles where he pursued more group and solo recordings while at the same time touring and recording with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Dave Mason, Etta James, Dr John and Carlos Santana. Mike won a W.C. Handy Award for his work with Taj Mahal.


Johnny Lee Schell (guitar and vocal) After working with Buddy Holly producer Norman Petty in nearby Clovis. New Mexico, Johnny Lee left his home in Farwell, Texas and headed out on the road with his band, Baby. Johnny arrived in Los Angeles in the late seventies, soon touring with Bonnie Raitt and The Bump Band. Johnny has also toured with Taj Mahal, Ron Wood and John Fogerty. Johnny currently spends his time running Ultra Tone Studios where he has scored several films as well as music consulted and recorded the score for the ABC sitcom,'According to Jim.' Johnny hangs out daily with Rooster, The Wonder Dog.



Joe Sublett (saxophone) Grammy and W.C. Handy Award winner, Joe Sublett started his career as part of the 1970's Austin blues scene playing tenor sax with Paul Ray and The Cobras alongside a twenty-one year old Stevie Ray Vaughan.. He has since played on records by The Rolling Stones, Taj Mahal, Stevie Ray Vaughan., Los Lonely Boys, Keb' Mo' Mo, Bono, Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Macy Gray, The Black Crowes, Buddy Guy, The Crickets, Bette Midler and more. Joe has composed music for films, written horn arrangements for recording sessions and has travelled the world as a touring musician.



Darrell Leonard (trumpet) Darrell Leonard is a Grammy and W.C Handy Award winning trumpet player, composer, arranger, and producer. He has worked as trumpet player and or arranger on recordings by Taj Mahal, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan., Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Keb' Mo'' Mo, Freddie King, The Rolling Stones, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Los Lonely Boys, Jet, and Jimmy Smith among many others. He has worked as a player, orchestrator, and composer on numerous motion pictures, television, and theatre productions. Darrell has performed at most of the major jazz and blues festivals in Europe and North America.


Tony Braunagel (drummer) Tony started playing in Houston, Texas in the mid-sixties eventually making his way to England where he worked as studio drummer for Island Records. In the early eighties Tony moved to Los Angeles where he found work touring and recording with the likes of Eric Burdon, Rickie Lee Jones, Bette Midler and Bonnie Raitt. In 2000 after several years of touring with Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band, Tony produced the Grammy Award winning " Shoutin' in Key' and has recently produced Eric Burdon's new CD"Soul of Man". Tony is also a W. C. Handy winner.


  Larry Fulcher (bass and vocal) Larry was born in Houston, Texas and soon began his musical career singing in church at the tender age of five. At age thirteen, Larry moved to Southern California and began playing in bands at fifteen. Larry went on to record with Smokey Robinson and The Crusaders and during the eighties toured and recorded (keyboards and guitar)with many reggae artists, including The Wailers,Third World and Andrew Tosh. He was also a featured vocalist on the Emmy Award winning ABC-TV series, 'I'll Fly Away' and won a Grammy and W.C.Handy Award for his work with Taj Mahal.



Denny Freeman (guitarist) Denny started his career in Dallas, Texas playing in blues and rock and roll bands. In 1974, Denny, along with vocalist Paul Ray, founded The Cobras, a band in which he shared lead guitar duties with Stevie Ray Vaughan.. After eight years touring the country with The Cobras, Denny went on to tour and record with Angela Straehli, Jimmy Vaughan, and Taj Mahal. Denny released three solo albums and since finishing his tenure with Taj Mahal has toured extensively in Southern California and Texas with his own band. Denny is currently on tour with Bob Dylan He is a Grammy and W.C. Handy Award winner.