Visor: Lead Singer
Words by Aaron Weisbrod
Inetta Visor has blessed MISSISSIPPI HEAT with her
voice since 2001. Her powerful, Etta James-like
voice on Footprints On The Ceiling, Glad You're
Mine, and One Eye Open with the Heat is a testament
to this blessing.
Inetta was born February 4,1955 on the South Side
of Chicago. She graduated from Simeon Vocational
High School in 1972, and studied electronics at
the Omega Institute, and worked as a radio engineer
for then Chicago Alderman Roman Pucinski from 1975
Ever since a child, Inetta had always had a passion
for singing. It was a rare moment when she was found
not singing or humming a song to herself. Her favorites
at the time were Rock 'N Roll tunes by such bands
as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. One day she
decided to try out for an audition she heard announced
by a WVON radio DJ for Rock 'N Roll choir DUBBER
Apparently Inetta was a natural, and she was selected
to sing with this choir. She sang her first professional
gig with them in 1971, and continued to hone her
singing skills on and off the stage whenever she
could, as she continued to work as a radio engineer
to pay the bills. In 1979 she began to sing with
a Rhythm and Blues choir TWT (THE WHOLE TRUTH) founded
by a former Dubber Ruckie member.
With TWT Inetta sang throughout the week at various
clubs with this 12-piece or more band. Even though
some nights she only came back with very little
(as low as $15.00!), she gathered great experience
In 1984, Inetta left TWT and put together her own
choir (SISTERS WITH VOICES). Not soon after putting
out an ad for her choir, she received a phone call
from a man named Marc Pulido interested in her services.
Pulido told her he was with a band by the name of
SKYLINE, and many of their gigs were on the North
Side of Chicago. He offered them to work with him.
Every one in Inetta's group (but herself) refused
to participate due to the racial implications of
playing on the North Side. Inetta optimistically
took this offer and sang back-up until this band
disbanded in 1986 (due to difficulties in obtaining
a record deal).
Inetta eventually began working at a South Side
daycare center, after she left her radio engineer
job in 1983. Her goal was to eventually work as
a recording engineer, to better pay the bills. But
at that time it was difficult for a female to get
this type of position. However, out of the blue
she got a phone call in 1993 from her former band
member acquaintance Marc Pulido. After seven years
he had not forgotten her voice. Pulido was now with
a band named TAINTED BLUE. She joined that band
as a back-up singer, and a few months later was
their lead singer. Pulido eventually left TAINTED
BLUE to found his own group World Class Noise, a
12 piece group, which Inetta did back-up vocals
for as well (she is on 6 of their CDs). She sang
with TAINTED BLUE until they broke up in 1997.
Inetta then took work with the Illinois Student
Assistance Program (State of Illinois) in 1989 for
more stability as she continued to press her musical
career. In 2000 she was recommended by longtime
acquaintance Theresa Davis to well-established (since
1991) Chicago Blues band MISSISSIPPI HEAT, who already
had several CDs out, their most recent being Handyman
(2000) winning Best Blues CD of the Year by Real
Blues Magazine. Theresa Davis, who had sung for
the Emotions, had recommended Inetta, as she herself
did not see blues as her musical form, and therefore
did not see the Heat as an ideal match for her.
MISSISSIPPI HEAT at this point were looking for
a replacement for their then singer Katherine Davis
leaving the band to promote her new Jazz CD. Inetta
auditioned for them at Koko Taylor's club on Wabash.
As it turned out Katherine Davis stayed a while
longer than anticipated.
In 2001 Inetta decided to give Michel Lacocque (Pierre's
brother and band manager) a call to offer her services
to MISSISSIPPI HEAT once again. Just as she was
about to pick up the phone, while looking at the
business card, she received a call from no one other
than Michel himself! The rest is history.
Since she joined the band, they have recorded three
albums and a DVD with Inetta, all of which have
received awards. Inetta also won the Best Blues
Singer competition at the House Of Blues (Chicago)
on July 10, 2003.