DR. MAC ARNOLD
Mac Arnold must have known at an early age that his music career would read like a “Who’s who” of Blues/R&B Legends. His high school band “J Floyd & The Shamrocks” were often joined by none other than Macon, Georgia native, James Brown on piano. After deciding to pursue a professional music career, he joined the Charles Miller group until 1965 when he made the move to Chicago to work with recording artist/saxophonist A. C. Reed.
In late 1966, at age 24, came the opportunity of a lifetime to join the Muddy Waters Band and help shape the electric blues sound that inspired the rock and roll movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Regular guests of the band included Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and Elvin Bishop. The Muddy Waters Band (as a unit) shared the stage with the likes of Howlin’ Wolfe, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Junior Wells, Big Joe Williams, and Big Mama Thornton just to name a few. During this time, Mac played on John Lee Hooker’s “live “album, Live at the Café Au Go-Go, as well as Otis Spann’s classic recording “The Blues is Where It’s At”.
After more than a year with Muddy Waters, Mac formed the Soul Invaders which backed up many artists, including The Temptations and B. B. King. In the early 70’s, he moved Los Angeles to work at ABC Television and LAFF RECORDS (Redd Foxx). This led to working on the set of Soul Train from 1971 to 1975 and then working with Bill Withers (“Lean On Me”) before moving back to South Carolina in the 80”s.
Mac now resides in Pelzer, SC, where at the age of ten he got his first taste of the blues when he learned to play his brother Leroy’s home-made guitar. Going back to his roots. Mac is serving up a mess of Blues with his own band, “Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues”. The band consists of Austin Brashier on guitar and vocals, Max Hightower on keyboards, harmonica, guitar, and vocals and Mac Arnold on vocals, bass and Gas Can Guitars.
Max was born and raised in the Upstate of South Carolina. At age 12, he bought his first Blues cassette tape Muddy Mississippi Live by Muddy Waters. The new and mysterious sound of the music had such an immediate impact on him that in no time he was banging around on his Grandmother’s Silvertone guitar. However, it was the Harmonica that became his instrument of choice. He found that there was something almost spiritual about having an instrument that close to his voice, giving every breath meaning. That little 10 hole harp led him down the path of composing his own songs, playing the piano, bass, guitar, singing, teaching and producing. As one of the founding members of Plate Full O’ Blues, he now tours the USA, Canada and Europe. He has even shared the stage with some of the very legends that fueled his passion for the music, like Hubert Sumlin, Willie Smith, Bob Margolin, Eddie Shaw and Leon Everette to name a few .
It could be said that Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues all started with harmonica player and multi-instrumentalist Max Hightower. When he’d first heard the 1969 “Muddy ‘Mississippi’ Waters Live” album at the age of 12 — playing it from sundown to sunrise, with the batteries and tape dragging — he didn’t realize it would play such a pivotal role in his life. He also didn’t know it would resurface some 11 years later in rural South Carolina, when he’d first met a former member of the blues legend’s Chicago band,
Austin Brashier, Guitar slinger and vocalist has been exposed to music his whole life being from a very musical family. But it was the exposure of guitar monsters like Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and Albert King that sent him spiraling through the tunnel of Blues. Not wasting any time, he took his band on the road after high school, released a CD, and had the privilege of opening for or playing with many Blues greats such as B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Tinsley Ellis, Derek Trucks, and Nappy Brown. When he was not on the road, Austin was backing up many Blues artists traveling through town such as Eddie Kirkland, Phil Guy and the list goes on.
Now with Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues and getting to work alongside artists such as Bob Margolin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Eddie Shaw, and Hubert Sumlin to name a few, he looks forward to the next musical adventure.