If you haven’t yet heard of Ladell McLin, you will.” -Real Blues Magazine
Music blazes through Ladell McLin’s veins. This guitar mastermind who has been described by critics as “a cross between Lenny Kravitz, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix”, is rocking the foundations of music world with a trademark style and edgy sound that are unmistakably his own.
Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, known as the birthplace of Chicago blues, Ladell spent his childhood immersed in music. As a child, his parents, singer Marsha McLin and jazz drummer, Lamont Braswell, inspired him to become a musician but his initiation into the blues came via his older brother, drummer Andre Cotton, who toured extensively backing Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon and Junior Wells. It was Andre who gave Ladell his first break at the age of sixteen, encouraging him to develop his prodigious talent on guitar by playing venues around Chicago; by nineteen he had already landed himself a coveted spot in the house band at Buddy Guy’s Legends -arguably one of the most renowned blues venues in the world. It was at there that Ladell honed his guitar chops, learning onstage from titans such as: Koko Taylor, Johnny "Guitar” Watson, John Primer and Buddy Guy himself. Two years later Ladell was invited to play the famous Chicago Blues Festival, where he shared the stage with blues greats, Fernando Jones, Derek Trucks, and Pine Top Perkins. Ladell eventually moved to New York City, where he is currently based, and began touring the world as James "Blood" Ulmer’s guitarist before pursuing a solo career.
In 2005 Ladell released his debut album, “Stand Out” which features famed guitarist Vernon Reid (Living Color) and singer David Johansen (New York Dolls). “Stand Out” is chock full of hard-hitting, rock-tinged riffs and guitar pyrotechnics which have garnered critical acclaim from international publications such as: The Village Voice, Rolling Stone Magazine, The New York Post, Relic, High Times and Real Blues Magazine. Since the album’s release, Ladell has captivated audiences in Holland, Germany, Finland, Slovakia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Canada, Ukraine, Netherlands, Cote D’Ivoire, Guadeloupe, Morocco, and Switzerland, where he played with Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks at the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival.
In 2009 Ladell caught the attention of French film director, Michel Viotte, who followed him on a cross country road trip tracing the blues from Chicago through the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans in the documentary film “Sur La Route du Blues” (On the Blues Route). The film portrays Ladell’s grounding in tradition -following in the footsteps of the great American bluesmen, while reaching out to embrace urban music. Of this Ladell says, “The blues is always changing. I grew up listening to hip hop and pop but my roots are in the blues, that’s where my home is, that’s where I come from and where I return to.
Ladell is currently recording his sophomore album “I Am King”, due out in 2013, which promises to break the mold. The album embraces African American roots music through the prism of the blues while embarking on groundbreaking forays into hip hop through collaborations with DMC (Run DMC), Swiss Chris (John Legend’s musical director) and many others. “I Am King” showcases Ladell’s intense passion and electricity as this fearless explorer blazes a new trail down the route of the blues.
“Get his autograph while you can because the sky’s the limit with this one.” -MF Magazine