Respected musician and writer JULIAN PIPER sadly and unexpectedly passed away on 14th September, he will be greatly missed throughout the blues world.


Julian Piper lived in Exeter and developed an early interest in the blues and when all his friends were mainlining on the Beatles, he was thrilling to the sounds of Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Lightnin’ Hopkins etc and wrestling with a cigar box guitar.

image of blues guitarist julian piper with bb king

Julian Piper with B.B. King

He formed Junkyard Angels in 1975 and they toured the UK and Europe and appeared on the Paul Jones Radio 2 show nine times. Julian spent time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he played/recorded with Tabby Thomas, Silas Hogan, Kenny Ray Neal, Chris Thomas King, Lazy Lester etc.

He subsequently broadcasted the series Blues From The Bayou on BBC Radio 3 and also produced a book of the same name. He wrote for various blues magazines and interviewed many major blues artists including B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Cray and many others.

image of julian piper with lurrie bell at 100 club london

Julian Piper with Lurrie Bell at London’s 100 Club

In recent years he visited the USA and performed in Rosa’s, Chicago, Ground Zero in Clarksdale, Mississippi and at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival where he played lead guitar for Tabby Thomas.

Junkyard Angels have been playing gigs recently in the South West area and I had been working with Julian on an interview for Blues Matters so please keep an eye out for the article as we will be featuring him in an upcoming edition.

Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and bandmates.

Obituary by Dave Drury.