Mac Arnold

Mac Arnold must have known at an early age that his music career would read like a “Who’s who” of Blues/R&B Legends. His high school band “J Floyd & The Shamrocks” were often joined by none other than Macon, Georgia native, James Brown on piano. After deciding to pursue a professional music career, he joined the Charles Miller group until 1965 when he made the move to Chicago to work with recording artist/saxophonist A. C. Reed.



In late 1966, at age 24, came the opportunity of a lifetime to join the Muddy Waters Band and help shape the electric blues sound that inspired the rock and roll movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Regular guests of the band included Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and Elvin Bishop. The Muddy Waters Band (as a unit) shared the stage with the likes of Howlin’ Wolfe, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Junior Wells, Big Joe Williams, and Big Mama Thornton just to name a few. During this time, Mac played on John Lee Hooker’s “live “album, Live at the Café Au Go-Go, as well as Otis Spann’s classic recording “The Blues is Where It’s At”.


After more than a year with Muddy Waters, Mac formed the Soul Invaders which backed up many artists, including The Temptations and B. B. King. In the early 70’s, he moved Los Angeles to work at ABC Television and LAFF RECORDS (Redd Foxx). This led to working on the set of Soul Train from 1971 to 1975 and then working with Bill Withers (“Lean On Me”) before moving back to South Carolina in the 80’s.


Mac now resides in Pelzer, SC, where at the age of ten he got his first taste of the blues when he learned to play his brother Leroy’s home-made guitar. Going back to his roots, Mac is serving up a mess of Blues with his own band, “Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues” with Austin Brashier on guitar and vocals, Max Hightower on keyboards, harmonica, guitar, bass and vocals, and Mac Arnold on vocals, bass and Gas Can Guitars. Mac is also an organic farmer.





Styles/Genres: Blues
Available for: Specialty Act
Pricing: $2500 – $5000



Dear Mac Arnold, We were honored to have you headline at our Carl Sandburg Home 30th annual Memorial Day Folk Music Festival. Record Crowds attended in anticipation of your performance making the festival a big success. Your stage presence and connection with the audience energized the crowd, particularly when you walked out in the audience with your gas can guitar. Your Chicago-style blues fit right in with our celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Sandburg’s Chicago poems. Your willingness to support this public event on behalf of the National Park Service is much appreciated.

– H. Tyrone Brandyburg, Superintendent, US Dept. of the Interior, Carl Sandburg Home, NC, June 23, 2016

Recently, (February 21), the heart and soul of old-style Chicago blues came to the mountains of Western North Carolina when Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues played the legendary Peacock Playhouse in Hayesville.

The place was sold out and the excitement and anticipation of blues lovers from Clemson, SC to the Tennessee line and all places in between, was palpable. Mac and his band did not disappoint. They had the audience from the first chord and we hung on for the entire ride. We didn’t want to let go.

Some came because they knew of Mac’s incredible blues history, some came because they’d heard him before and wanted more, and some came because bona fide blues doesn’t come to the mountains much. The evening was magic…blues magic.

Thank you Greenville, South Carolina for sharing the treasure that is Mac Arnold and thank you Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues for giving us such a memorable evening.

– Beth Padgett, Peacock Playhouse, Letter to the Editor, The Greenville News, February 25, 2014

The show was fantastic. Some folks said it was the best show they have seen at the club. I’m not going to dispute that! We’d love to have Mac anytime we can get him. He, Vonda and the band are great people!
Gary Anton

– Gary Anton, Bradfordville Blues Club, Tallahassee, FL, January 18, 2014