About UsBert Wills began playing guitar in 1965 in the Texas Gulf Coast area and was performing in the bars, ice houses, dancehalls, brothels and gambling rooms that proliferated in Galveston County during the 60’s.
Bert is mentioned numerous times throughout the Johnnie Johnson (Chuck Berry’s piano player) biography . Bert was in a group that worked with Johnnie prior to him being inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Bert also performed on the only duo recording with Johnnie on the album that also featured Keith Richards and Eric Clapton. In the 70’s Bert had the country swing band “Bert Wills and the Country Cadillacs” that backed up all of the major country touring acts such as Willie Nelson, George Jones, etc. that came through the Winchester Club in Houston during that era.
In the early 80’s Bert put together a (3) saxophone-driven blues band, “Bert Wills and the Crying Shames” that dominated the Houston/Galveston/Texas Gulf Coast region during the wild bar party period that also spawned Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and others. Many legendary shows took place at Fitzgerald’s and Rockefellers in Houston as well as Antone’s in Austin. Two albums were released during this era.
In the 90’s Bert released his first all original CD “Mr Politician” and the band size was reduced to 4-pieces in order to tour more easily. Midwest, West coast tours and a 2-week Paris engagement were undertaken in support. Three more all original CD’s “Special Session”, “Pavones Sunset”, and “Tell Me Why” followed. Pavones Sunset used various surf tunes that Bert had penned as soundtrack material for several surf movies put out by Herbie Fletcher. Bert self-released the solo CD “Old School” in 2009.
Some medical difficulties were dealt with and Bert took several years off from performing live.
Bert is currently working with his long-term sideman Clint Boyd and they are performing as a duo based out of New Orleans. This is a unique show that combines Bert’s high-level guitar and vocal skills along with a variety of instruments that Clint Boyd plays (saxophones, clarinet, tuba, bass, chromatic and bass harmonicas). This instrumentation makes good use of Bert’s high level of arranging skills while showing why Bert Wills is frequently listed as one of the major influences of many guitarists in Houston.