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A weekly digest of blues news
 
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JAN 4–10, 2019  
ONLINE CALENDAR  |  FESTIVALS
FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER
LOOKING BACK AT 2018

I was more than ready to kiss 2018 goodbye for so many reasons. Looking at all the shows we photographed (there were close to 70!) in 2018, I realized that the blues helped me ignore some pretty awful stuff. We loved them all, but here are our faves. 

OUR 15 FAVORITE INDIVIDUAL SHOWS
1.18.18 @ Legends | Buddy Guy in Residence plus Southern Avenue
1.21.18 @ 210Live | Nick Moss Blues Band with Little Charlie Baty
2.16.18 @ Kingston Mines | Frank Bang and the Cook County Kings
3,17.18 @ Legends | Sugaray Rayford
4.4.18 @ The Uptown, Westmont | HarpDog Brown and the Travelin' Blues Show
4.15.18 @ SPACE, Evanston | The Cash Box Kings and The Jimmys
5.20.18 @ City Winery | BLUES-ISH: The Squirrel Nut Zippers
6.6.18 @ Delmark Records | Rehearsal for Blues Fest
7.3.18 @ Legends | Buddy Guy's Birthday Bash with Mr. Sipp and the Nu Blu Band
7.5.18 @ City Winery | Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers
8.10.18 @ Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet | TajMo: The Taj Mahal Keb' Mo' Band
8.11.18 @ Noble Fest | Willie Buck and the Wright Sound Blues Band
10.27.19 @ Hey Nonny, Arlington Heights | CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
11.12.18 @ Cafe Logan | Second Monday Blues with Jimmy Johnson and Billy Branch
12.19.18 @ Navy Pier | A Blues Christmas
BEST OF THE BEST: Southern Avenue (opening for Buddy Guy in January)

TRIBUTE/FUNDRAISER SHOWS
We went to five shows that brought the blues community together–either to celebrate the life of a legendary musician who passed or to lend a hand to help a struggling member of the community. It is a heartwarming thing to watch in an age when it is so easy to be cynical about the humanity of our fellow citizens.
1.10.18 | Celebration of Life: Arthur "Sambo" Irby
4.18.18 @ The Water Hole | Celebration of Life: Michael "Sleepy" Riley
5.25.18 @ The Logan Center | Tribute to Eddie Shaw: Brass in the Blues
6.27.18 @Legends | Little Walter Foundation Fundraiser
11.20.18 @ House of Blues | Blues for Jameson
BEST OF THE BEST: Blues for Jameson
Although the love in the room was clear at every one of these shows, the Blues for Jameson fundraiser was the show of the year. 

FESTIVALS
We went to five festivals in 2018–and they were all too much fun. You can guess that Chicago Blues Fest will always be hands down our favorite weekend of the year, but we were equally happy at the other three fests. The North Atlantic Festival is in a stunning location on the coast of Maine and Paul Benjamin does an incredible job booking top notch acts. Ann Arbor Blues Fest was revived a few years ago in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest blues fests ever held and the Windy City Blues Society, which lost its stage this year at the Chicago Blues Festival, held its own two-day Windy City Blues Fest in Lyons in September that featured a solid lineup of bands over the two days.

Chicago Blues Festival | Millennium Park
STANDOUT PERFORMANCES: Lurrie Bell & Eddie Taylor Jr. with the Bell Dynasty; Tribute to Delmark and Bob Koester & Those Who Came Before
6.8 | 6.9 | 6.10

Ann Arbor Blues Festival | Ann Arbor
STANDOUT  PERFORMANCES: John Sinclair and the Blues Scholars with special guest Don Was; Benny Turner
8.17–8.18

North Atlantic Blues Festival | Rockland, Maine
STANDOUT PERFORMANCES: Kat Riggins; Welch Ledbetter Connection
7.14–7.15

Windy City Blues Festival | Lyons, IL
STANDOUT PERFORMANCE: Deak Harp and Quicksand
9.22–23


Logan Center Blues Festival | University of Chicago
STANDOUT PERFORMANCE: Leann Faine
10.19–10.21

Thanks for the memories
We said goodbye to more than 50 members of the blues community this past year, including three "Eddies" in Chicago–Eddy Clearwater, Eddie Shaw and Eddie C. Campbell–and one of the the giants of the Chicago blues sound, Otis Rush. 
Our 2018 In Memoriam page
THINKING OUT LOUD 

ANOTHER JAM IN THE BURBS. There's a new (or just new to me) blues jam on Friday nights at J. Martin's Tap in Steger, which for me sounds like it borders the edge of the earth. For those who live in Chicago's southern suburbs, it appears to be located between Chicago Heights and Crete (aka the edge of the earth). The jam is hosted by Bob E. Lee and runs 8pm–midnight. Get out there and jam–or listen to those that do.

LONG LIVE THE KING. Great news for John Mayall fans. The 85-year-old godfather of the British Blues has apparently recovered from a serious illness and has scheduled a full European tour (40+ dates) beginning in February. He also has a new studio album, Nobody Told Me, coming out Feb. 22 that features a long list of famous guests: Todd Rundgren, Little Steven Van Zandt (E Street Band), Alex Lifeson (Rush), Joe Bonamassa, Larry McCray and Carolyn Wonderland. Wonderland will be joining the band on tour and is the first female guitarist in Mayall's band!

BRAIN TEASER
Who is that handsome young man in the photo at right with legendary singer Nancy Wilson, who died in December at the age of 81?

The photo was taken years ago when Nancy Wilson came to Marshall Field's on State St. to shop and this young security guard was assigned to guard her while she was in the store. He didn't realize until he was much older why it was such a BIG deal that Ms. Wilson was in the store.

Now the former security guard is one of the hardest working bluesmen in Chicago, who still holds a second job with the CTA.
Yes, you know who I'm talkin' about!
Joe Morganfield with Eddy Clearwater in 2017 © Chicago Blues News/Michael Murphy

Remembering Eddy Clearwater
The Chief would have turned 84 years young on JAN 10th of this year. To honor his memory, an all-star cast of Chicago blues players will gather at SPACE in Evanston on SAT, JAN 12 @ 8pm, because that's what Eddy did for the last 10 years to celebrate his day.

Special guests will include Billy Branch and Georgia bluesman Sammy Blue performing 16 of Eddy's original songs and favorites from B.B. King, Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, and more.
HERE'S OUR FAVORITE EDDY CLEARWATER PHOTOS

OUT AND ABOUT
We were out and about a lot in December, at least in the last weeks of the year. But, seriously. Who needs to shop when there is blues to be heard? Certainly not me.

DEC 13 @ B.L.U.E.S
Lurrie Bell's Birthday Bash
Smilin' Bobby brought his son and grandson with him to celebrate with Lurrie, who turned 60 this year.

DEC 19 @ Navy Pier
A Blues Christmas
with Toronzo Cannon, Lil' Ed, Matthew Skoller and Lynne Jordan

This show put an exclamation point on 2018–and got us in a holiday mood. It was the 2nd year for this fun Blues Christmas show at Navy Pier. For next year, it would be nice to extend the show a bit (two hours?) and maybe add a couple of new players to the mix. Just a thought.

DEC 19 @ The Water Hole
Blues Jam with Low-reen and the Maxwell St. Market Blues Band
We added 14 new photos to the 2018 Water Hole Jam Gallery

DEC 21 @ Bassline
The Queens of Rhythm and Blues
Tracee Adams got together a group of blues divas that got the crowd in a sexy holiday mood.

DEC 22 @ Harlem Ave. Lounge, Berwyn
Studebaker John and the Hawks

It was supposed to be the Maxwell St. Kings, but it was fine seeing the Hawks. How can you go wrong with John plus Kenny Pickens on bass and Earl Howell on drums? (You can't)

DEC 31 @ Motor Row Brewing
Tracee Adams and the Sons of Chicago
Going out on New Year's Eve is not something I normally do, but this was one party I couldn't resist. And the fact it was minutes from home was a huge plus that got me off the couch and up past midnight.
GALLERY COMING NEXT WEEK


PHOTO: (left) Gary Feracota (Sons of Chicago) and Tracee Adams, (top right) Brenda Taylor and (bottom right) Myra Washington
© Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy
TICKET GIVEAWAY
WIN TWO TICKETS! 
Thanks to the generous folks at Legends, once again we've got free tickets to four of the January 2019 Buddy in Residence shows: JAN 17, JAN 20, JAN 24 and JAN 27. Don't forget to read the rules below before you enter so your entry does not get thrown out.

THE RULES
  • You MUST be a Chicago Blues News subscriber to enter 
  • You can enter for each show ONCE A DAY until the deadline.
     
  • THE EMAIL SUBJECT LINE
    In the ENTER NOW links below, the subject line is already filled in. DO NOT CHANGE IT. The format is simple. But if, for some reason, you must type it in yourself, follow this style:
    EXAMPLE: JAN 17 | Buddy Guy and Erin Coburn
     
  • BODY OF EMAIL
    YOU MUST INCLUDE your name, phone number and email address (and nothing else)
IMPORTANT NOTE
Going to one of Buddy's January shows is an experience everyone should have–but it is not for those without patience. Guaranteeing that you will get a seat means arriving LONG BEFORE Buddy ever hits the stage so bring a book or something to entertain yourself.

MORE RULES FROM THE LEGENDS WEBSITE
  • You must be over 21 
  • Opening bands are subject to change. For security reasons, Legends does not permit anyone with suitcases, large bags or backpacks in the club. People with luggage may be denied entry without a refund.
  • Table seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. After tables are full, it is STANDING ROOM ONLY. Tables can fill up as early as 2-4PM for Thurs/Fri Buddy shows. Tables fill up within the first 15-20 mins of doors opening for Sat/Sun Buddy shows. Please be aware of this before purchase and plan accordingly.
If these rules are too difficult for you to follow, don't enter.
WHICH SHOW IS FOR YOU?
THE CLOCK IS TICKING
ON THIS SHOW!

THURS, JAN 17 
Buddy Guy w/Erin Coburn

DEADLINE TO ENTER: FRI, JAN 4 @ midnight
ENTER NOW

TICKING JUST A LITTLE SLOWER ON THIS ONE, TOO!
SUN, JAN 20
Buddy Guy w/Brother John Kattke

DEADLINE TO ENTER: SUN, JAN 6 @ midnight
ENTER NOW
THURS, JAN 24
Buddy Guy w/Corey Dennison

DEADLINE TO ENTER: SAT, JAN 12 @ midnight
ENTER NOW

SUN, JAN 27
Buddy Guy w/Haven Star

DEADLINE TO ENTER: MON, JAN 14 @ midnight
ENTER NOW
GET OUT
So many choices, so little time. Know about a show I don't? Tell Me About It...please.

ONLINE CALENDAR  |  FESTIVALS
 
FRI, JAN 4
BUDDY GUY IN RESIDENCE
+ John Primer

Legends

Elmore James Jr.
and the Broomdusters

The Water Hole

Michael Ledbetter
BLUES

Mud Morganfield
SPACE, Evanston

SAT, JAN 5
BUDDY GUY IN RESIDENCE
+ Carlos Johnson

Legends

Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames
Spectrum Bar & Grill

Wayne Baker Brooks,
Lil' Red and the Rooster

SPACE, Evanston

SUN, JAN 6
BUDDY GUY IN RESIDENCE
+ Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues

Legends

Nellie "Tiger" Travis
Blue Chicago
MON, JAN 7
Nigel Mack, Breezy Rodio

House of Blues

TUES, JAN 8
BLUESDAY TUESDAY
with Tom Marker plus
The Kinsey Report

FitzGerald's, Berwyn

Cash Box Kings
Legends

Tail Dragger & The All-Stars
The Water Hole

WED, JAN 9
Devil in a Woodpile

Lagunitas Tap Room (530pm)

Corey Dennison, Giles Corey
Kingston Mines

THURS, JAN 10
BUDDY GUY IN RESIDENCE
+ Mike Wheeler Band

Legends

Erwin Helfer
Barrelhouse Flats

BLUES JAM
hosted by Lil' Ed Williams

Rosa's Lounge
 
PLAN AHEAD
MON, JAN 14
SECOND MONDAY BLUES

with Mary Lane and Billy Branch
The Logan Center Cafe
University of Chicago

FRI, FEB 8
Cedric Burnside

SPACE, Evanston
FRI, FEB 15
LOVIN' THE BLUES
Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials plus
Dave Weld &  the Imperial Flames

Joliet Area Historical Museum
Joliet
Birthdays will run THURSDAY – WEDNESDAY, even though the newsletter DATE is FRI – THURS (somehow this makes sense)
CELEBRATE
JAN 3
Harlan Terson

JAN 4
Harmonica Hinds

JAN 6
Derek Trucks
Kim Wilson
Franck Goldwasser

(Sometimes known as Paris Slim, current member of the Mannish Boys)
 
REMEMBRANCES
JAN 8
Tampa Red
(Uncertain, but this is the date on his death certificate)
Elvis Presley

JAN 9
Katie Webster

BELATED WISHES
Wow...I missed a few birthdays in my haste to do nothing at the end of the year. I am sure you all celebrated despite my ignorance. There are a few more, I think, but could not verify so I won't include them. If I missed you, please let me know.
DEC 15
Nick Moss

DEC 16
Sugar Blue
Robben Ford

Aaron Moreland

DEC 17
Paul Rodgers
(BLUES-ISH: Free, Bad Company)

DEC 22
Indiara (Sfair) Horst

DEC 23
Jorma Kaukonen (Hot Tuna)

DEC 24
Doyle Bramhall II
 
DEC 25
Dustin Arbuckle
Barry Goldberg

DEC 27
Bob Stroger

DEC 28
Frank Raven (Lucky 3 Blues Band)

JAN 1
Kerry Clark (Bass, Larry McCray)
Melvin Smith (Chicago bass player)

JAN 2
Scott Tipping
SUBSCRIBE TO CHICAGO BLUES NEWS NOW
You are receiving this blues newsletter because you love the blues and asked to be on the mailing list. If you are no longer interested, you can unsubscribe at any time. Chicago Blues News is written and distributed by Editorial Director Karen Murphy every Thursday, with the exception of previously announced vacation plans. Its content cannot be reproduced in any form without written permission in advance. The weekly deadline to submit information for possible inclusion in the newsletter is Wednesday at Noon.
Copyright © 2019 Chicago Blues News, All rights reserved.
 

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