Louis X. Erlanger, the founder of Pickin’ The Blues, is an American blues and rock and roll guitarist best known for his work with the band Mink DeVille. Erlanger recorded three albums with the band: Cabretta (1977), Return to Magenta (1978), and Le Chat Bleu (1980). He also appeared on Live at CBGB’s (1976), an album of bands that pioneered punk rock at the venerable nightclub CBGB in the mid-1970s. Despite being part of the punk scene, Erlanger’s playing was steeped in the blues, and in fact, before joining Mink DeVille he had backed up one of his favorite blues artists, John Lee Hooker. After leaving Mink DeVille, Erlanger returned to the blues and worked with R. L. Burnside, Otis Rush, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Big Jay McNeeley, and many others. His Seattle-based group The Slamhound Hunters had a regional hit on the West Coast and toured Europe.
Erlanger produced two R.L. Burnside albums: Acoustic Stories (1997) and Well, Well, Well… (2001). Acoustic Stories was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award in 1998. Erlanger co-produced Down In The Delta with Muddy Waters Blues Band alumnus Paul Oscher, for which Oscher won an Acoustic Artist of the Year award and an Acoustic Album of the Year award at the 2006 Blues Music Awards.
Erlanger also co-produced Paul Oscher’s “Bet On The Blues” and “Cool Cat” releases, as well as recordings by Ruth Brown bandleader and jazz organist Bobby Forrester, jazz guitarist William Ash, and Canadian Juno award winning singer Danny Brooks. Erlanger appears on the Robert Palmer-produced Fat Possum Records album by CeDell Davis entitled Feel Like Doin’ Something Wrong (1994).
Erlanger currently performs as Sunny Lowdown and has released three recordings under that name: “The Blues Volume Low”, “Down Loaded”, which was nominated for a 2018 Blues Blast Music Award as Acoustic Blues CD of The Year, and his latest release, “Shady Deal”.