Bernard made his first appearance on record at age 13, when he played on a live LP his Father recorded in Peoria,IL. “When we moved to Peoria, Dad came home preparing to do his live album in Peoria, I hooked up the amplifier and guitar in the basement and started playing his first record, Love Me Momma, note for note. He freaked out and said tonight you’re gonna record with me. That was my first recording, I played “You don’t Love Me No More” and “Sweet Home Chicago”.
Luther Allison bought Bernard his first guitar a Fender Stratocaster and he told him to first get an education. At eighteen years old Bernard joined his father on stage at the 1983 Chicago Blues Festival. Then one week after he graduated from high school, Bernard got a call from KOKO Taylor asking him to be her lead guitar player.
Bernard joined Koko Taylor’s Blues Machine for three years. “Koko and Pops Taylor taught me the do’s and don’t’s of the road, Bein” really careful and watching people. They were like my Mom and Pops, I was able to see different cultures it was a great education. We backed Willie Dixon and Koko was the only group I played with besides my father’s band.”
The 1980’s became Bernards classroom as both a learner and teacher. Relationships in the 80’s with Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan expanded Bernards guitar foundation. For a year and a half Bernard lived and played in London and Ontario. Then in 1989 Bernard flew to Europe to record with his father and where Bernard was asked to lead the band. Bernard like his father adopted permanent residence in France. A recording of the furious collaboration between Luther and Bernard at the 1989 Chicago Blues Festival can be heard on the Luther Allison Album “Let’s Try it Again” on Ruf Records.
One year later, Bernard released his first solo album in 1990 with the significant title The Next Generation. Allison followed that in 1993 with Hang On, then Funkifino, No Mercy. Bernard’s other titles during the 1990’s included Born With The Blues, Keepin’ The Blues Alive, and Times Are Changing. In the new millennium, Bernard’s recordings include Across The Water, Storms Of Life, Kentucky Fried Blues, the highly personal Higher Power, and Energized, a live recording and DVD from a 2005 show.