Donald Kinsey, Chicago Blues Fest guitarist and singer, in intensive care after car crash

Donald Kinsey was hospitalized but “improving,” after crash in Gary last week, his brother said.

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Donald Kinsey playing at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2022.

Donald Kinsey at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2022.


Blues guitarist and singer Donald Kinsey was in intensive care in a Gary, Indiana, hospital after a car crash last week, a family member said Thursday.

“He’s still in ICU, but he’s slowly improving,” said Kinsey’s brother, Ken Kinsey, who was at the hospital Thursday afternoon. “So we hope there is something to go right today and go right in his favor.”

The details of the crash June 9 weren’t immediately available. Ken Kinsey declined to discuss them, other than to say the accident happened in Gary, where the Blues singer lives.

Donald Kinsey played June 8 at the Chicago Blues Festival in Millennium Park as part of the Centennial Tribute to Albert King, the legendary blues guitarist who would have been 100 years old this year. He died in 1992. Kinsey also played at Blues Fest in 2022.

During his career, Donald Kinsey has played with reggae greats Bob Marley and Peter Tosh as well as Mick Jagger and Albert King. Kinsey is perhaps best known for the Kinsey Report, the band he formed with his brothers, Ken and Ralph, in 1984. They recorded several albums through the years, including two with Chicago-based Alligator Records.

The brothers’ father was Lester “Big Daddy” Kinsey, a legendary blues man born in Mississippi.

In a Facebook post from Wednesday, Ken Kinsey wrote: “Our family is asking for you to send your prayers and spiritual healing energy for our brother Donald Kinsey. He was in an auto accident this past Friday and has been hospitalized since. We ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this time. We will update you as conditions change.”

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