Blues legend Muddy Waters once said that if blues had a baby, it would call it rock 'n' roll.
No one embraces that philosophy more than British musician Matt Schofield, who claims he was born to play blues but was raised on rock 'n' roll.
"American blues first took hold in the U.K. in the mid-'60s," Schofield said in a recent phone interview with the Herald. "It was a very cool time for it. My dad listened to it all the time, so naturally I did too."
By the time he hit high school, Schofield had learned to play the guitar. The blues would eventually capture his soul, but he began playing in rock bands.
"I loved listening to the music of Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters and B.B. King," Schofield said. "Here, I was this middle-class white kid learning to play guitar, and I loved playing blues, but I played it not so good in those days."
Schofield, 35, has since perfected his love of blues guitar, developing his distinctive style that has critics from the U.S. to the British Isles singing his praises.
He'll bring that sound to Walla Walla on Sept. 22 for a one-night gig at the Power House Theatre, 111 N. Sixth Ave. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $35 and are available at www.phtww.com or by calling 509-529-6500.
The Power House has scheduled a bus to shuttle Tri-City blues fans to Walla Walla for the show. The bus picks up riders at 6:15 p.m. at the Federal Building, 825 Jadwin Ave., Richland and will return after the show.
Cost is $55 each, and a show ticket is included. Seats on the bus are only for those 21 and older.
Schofield says blues in Britain inspired rock 'n' roll that produced The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Yardbirds and guitarists like Eric Clapton.
But what Schofield likes best when it comes to the blues is that it's a style of music that's about storytelling and lyrical prose in a fashion similar to how country music tells a story.
"Blues is the music of expression," he said. "Whether it's white man's country or original blues of the South, the roots of this music is in the same place, with the same sentiment. And it's so much better live than recorded."
Schofield will bring former Robert Cray drummer Kevin Hayes and keyboardist Jonny Henderson. Schofield and Henderson grew up together in England, though Schofield calls Toronto, Ontario, his home these days. Hayes is from San Francisco.
Schofield promises those who make the drive to Walla Walla for his show won't be disappointed.
"I like to think it's what the audience will feel from the music that makes it all worthwhile," he said. "At least that's my ultimate goal -- to entice the audience to move with the music."
After all, it's the blues. You can't help but feel the groove, he added.
* Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org