Born on the island of Trinidad, Mervyn “Harmonica” Hinds arrived in Chicago by way of New Orleans and Canada, where he attended Carleton University and developed his interest in the blues. He spent much of the 1970s as a member of the house band at Theresa Needham’s legendary basement lounge, alongside Junior Wells, Sammy Lawhorn, Nate Applewhite, John Primer, and others.
A big opportunity came in 1977 when he was chosen to travel to the Berlin Jazz Festival as a member of “The New Generation of Chicago Blues,” along with Billy Branch, Freddie Dixon, Lurrie Bell, Bombay Carter, Larry Taylor, and others. While his career may not have soared as a result of this exposure, he has been a constant, if quieter, presence on the scene, performing and recording over the years with such local artists as Koko Taylor, Eddie Taylor Jr., Moose Walker, and Mud Morgan eld.
He has long been in regular rotation at Buddy Guy’s Legends, per- forming solo, as a duo (with Eddie Taylor, Jr.), and occasionally with his own band. In 2012 the Wolf label of Austria released I’d Give You Anything If I Could, which is compiled from tracks taken from Hinds’ earlier self-released CDs. This will be his eighth appearance on the stages of the Chicago Blues Fest.