Hairy Larry Presents Will Riley

Hairy Larry Presents Will Riley
From The Archives Of Something Blue February 12, 2023


Thanks Marty, today we’re going to hear an original song that has blues, jazz, and gospel influences.

I met Will Riley at my juke house in Old Town Nettleton. He said he wanted to come and play so we scheduled him in. He became a regular performer playing mostly original songs. One night, on his last set, Bix Smith set in and I knew that I wanted to record what I was hearing.

So we scheduled some sessions during our off hours and recorded the songs featured on the Will Riley album, “My Baby’s Got Me By The Blues”. Eleven originals, each one better than the others. Fantastic work writing, playing, and recording.

I picked “Been Down To The Water” to play today because it’s a gospel song played to a blues change featuring jazz guitar. A little bit of all the ingredients that make up Arkansas Roots.

Will Riley is Billy Lee Riley’s nephew. He lived in Jonesboro when we recorded the album and now lives in Walnut Ridge. Bix Smith was from Imboden but he also lived in Jonesboro. Besides being a great jazz guitarist Bix was also a fine artist and he did the artwork for the album cover.

Also playing on the song was my son, Uldis Heyl, on bass and John “Street” Sifford on drums. Both of them were also living in Jonesboro when we had the recording sessions that produced this tremendous music.

I’ll post a link to the whole album on the Something Blue website at

So now, recorded in 1995, here’s Will Riley singing his own song, “Been Down To The Water”.


And that’s Will Riley with the blues, for you, singing his original song, “Been Down To The Water”. Don’t miss Something Blue, Saturday night at 10:00, to hear Steve Lawson, Bob Reynolds, Trafic de Blues, Fortadelis, and Jacques Pioch.

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