Raful Neal

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Raful Neal (June 6, 1936 September 1, 2004) was an American, Louisiana blues singer, harmonicist and songwriter.
Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and reared by his aunt and uncle on a tenant farm in Chamberlin, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States, Neal took up the blues harp at age 14, tutored by a local player named Ike Brown and influenced by Little Walter. Neal's first band, the Clouds, also included the guitarist, Buddy Guy. Neal debuted on vinyl in 1958 with a single for Don Robey's Houston, Texas based Peacock Records. But "Sunny Side of Love" was not successful.

Neal's debut album, Louisiana Legend, first emerged on King Snake Records and was picked up by Alligator Records in 1990. I Been Mistreated, Neal's follow-up, was released on Ichiban Records the following year. Neal toured around the world and in 1997 he contributed harp to a couple of tracks on Tab Benoit's Live: Swampland Jam record. Neal's next long-player, Old Friends, appeared in 1998. After a long bout with cancer, Neal died in Baton Rouge, in September 2004.

Nine of his ten children are also blues musicians, and several performed with him on his later releases on the Alligator label.

Raful Neal

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