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A weekly digest of blues news
 
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DEC 20–JAN 2 2020
ONLINE CALENDAR  |  FESTIVALS
FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER
HOLI-DAZE

LET'S DECK THE HALLS AND FA-LA-LA A LITTLE
If it is December in Chicago, then it's time to head to the beautiful AON Ballroom at the end of Navy Pier to get a little holiday cheer, compliments of Alligator Records and Toronzo Cannon, Lil' Ed Williams, Matthew Skoller and Lynne Jordan. Even those who lean more toward a bah-humbug attitude or don't dare say the C-word will have too much fun.
FRI, DEC 20 @ 7pm
AON Ballroom, Navy Pier
FREE!

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S EVE

There are a LOT of options to choose from when it comes to revelry on New Year's Eve so just check the ONLINE CALENDAR if you must hit the streets to drink in public. As for DEC 24–25, a lot of the clubs are closed so you can bond with your loved ones, but there also is always the option to treat those days as Jon Stewart always suggested: as Jews Go to the Movies Day. Of course, you know how you need to celebrate, so be safe and do it in your own style.

ONE LOW-KEY IDEA
Evanston, that perennially low-key burb, is hosting FirstNight Evanston again this year on New Year's Eve. They describe it as a "family-friendly community celebration of the arts." The event will be held at the First Methodist Church (516 Church St., Evanston) and there are many festive events. The only ones I care about are Corky Siegel (10pm-midnight in the sanctuary) and Gerald McClendon and the Soul Keepers Band (8:30-11:30pm in the gym).
FACEBOOK: FirstNightEvanston
THE WEB: firstnightevanston.org

If you forgot about the recordings we had in the last newsletter (and our holiday gift guide) ...we kept them in this issue, too (scroll way down).
THINKING OUT LOUD 

TAKIN' THE CHILL OFF. The inaugural Hey Nonny Winter Blues Summit will be held JAN 31–FEB 2 featuring a long lineup of Chicago's blues royalty on four stages, all within the same block in downtown Arlington Heights near Hey Nonny.
Here's the lineup so far:
Jimmy Johnson/Syl Johnson & the Bigtime Friends, Kinsey Report, Toronzo Cannon, Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, Big James & the Chicago Playboys, John Primer and the Real Deal Blues Band, Rick King's Royal Hustle, Chicago Wind featuring Deitra Farr, Corey Dennison Band, Marty Sammon, Bob Stroger Band, Mike Wheeler Band, Joanna Connor Band, Smiley Tillmon Band plus Gerry Hundt's One Man Band, Brother John Kattke, Ariyo, Billy Flynn, Erwin Helfer and more to be announced. And if that was not enough, there will be a Sidemen Panel discussion with a few of our favorite sidemen–Bob Stroger, Rico McFarland, Donald Kinsey, Marty Sammon and Billy Flynn– followed by a showing of the great documentary, Sidemen: Long Road to Glory. Both three-day and one-day passes are available now and they have a hotel deal if you want to stay nearby. There also will be brunch performances on both Saturday and Sunday. Nice to have a mini-fest to kick off the Year of Chicago Music.
DON'T WORRY. The events appear to end early on Sunday, so if you need/want/are forced to watch the Super Bowl, you can be in your favorite bar or easy chair in plenty of time for the first must-see commercial.
LEARN MORE/GET TICKETS

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. A big congrats to Billy Branch, who is one of the 2020 inductees into the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame. Other inductees for 2020 include Syl Johnson, Bettye Lavette, Victoria Spivey, George "Harmonica" Smith and Eddie Boyd. In addition, landmark recordings by B.B. King (Three O'Clock Blues), Howlin' Wolf (Howlin' Wolf: The Chess Box), Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (That's All Right Mama), Bertha "Chippie"  Hill (Trouble in Mind), Willie Brown (Future Blues) and Ruth Brown (Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean).  The 2020 Induction Ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 6,  at the Halloran Centre at the Orpheum (225 S. Main St., Memphis) in conjunction with Blues Music Awards Week. A big HOORAY that three of the inductees are alive to appreciate being honored.
BILLY BRANCH PHOTO © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy

HONORING BUDDY AGAIN. PBS Television will be airing an Austin City Limits  (ACL) show on Saturday, Dec. 28, that features an all-star concert to honor Buddy Guy for his induction into the Austin CIty Limits Hall of Fame. The show was filmed at ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin, Texas in October. Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett will also be honored with Guy. Additional guests include Shemekia Copeland and Kingfish Ingram plus Jackson Browne, Jimmie Vaughan, Bruce Hornsby, Sarah Jarosz and Willis Alan Ramsey. The program's host is Robert Earl Keen. As usual, you must check your local listings for air times, but at my press time that was an exercise in extreme futility. Hopefully, the times will be added to the PBS website before the show airs.
BUDDY GUY PHOTO © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy

THOSE FORWARD-THINKING GRAMMY PEOPLE. Now that Sister Rosetta Tharpe has been in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for almost two years (inducted in 2018), The Recording Academy®  is finally ready to give her a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. Kinda entertaining that they also will finally acknowledge Iggy Pop. Other lifetime achievement awards will be given to ChicagoRoberta FlackIsaac HayesJohn Prine and Public Enemy. A special award presentation ceremony and concert will be held April 18, 2020, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. 

LEND A HAND. Ian Walsh is a Chicago street musician and music instructor who entertains locals and tourists with his busking band, Chicago Traffic Jam. Apparently his equipment was stolen recently and there is a GoFundMe page that is almost to its goal (they need less than $400) that was set up to help him replace what was lost. Help if you can.
LEARN MORE

SUPPORT MZZ REESE...The Benefit for West Side blues singer Mzz Reese is this Saturday (DEC 21) at 8pm at The Water Hole (1400 S. Western). There is a long list of musicians scheduled to play with Mzz Reese's Pieces and the MC is the Legendary Godfather. Cover charge is $10.

READ SOMETHING FUN. How Music Works by David Byrne has been called “endlessly fascinating, insightful, and intelligent.” The book, a look at the art of music and its importance to the human experience,  was called “brilliantly original” in the New York Times Book Review.

THE DEVIL'S MUSIC. Adam Gussow (one half of the Mississippi-based band,The Blues Doctors, and a professor at the University of Mississippi) will be signing his latest book, Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition, on SAT, MAR 21, at Rosa's Lounge, and also performing that night with his blues partner in crime, Alan Gross, who is also a professor at the University of Mississippi. The book was published in September 2017 by the University of North Carolina Press. Gussow is an impressive harp player who has written two other books about the blues: Mister Satan's Apprentice: A Blues Memoir (1998) and Seems Like Murder Here: Southern Violence and the Blues Tradition (2002).
Watch for the next chicagoBLUESnews:  
JAN 3–16, 2020
TICKET GIVEAWAYS
JUST FOLLOW THE RULES
You MUST be a subscriber of Chicago Blues News to enter (enter ONCE A DAY until the deadline).

THE EMAIL SUBJECT LINE
Use the EXACT subject line indicated​

BODY OF EMAIL
ONLY your name, phone number and email address.

Drawings will be the DAY AFTER the entry deadlines. 
Winners will have 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.
Please do not enter if you know you cannot attend.
WIN TWO TICKETS
2020 BUDDY IN RESIDENCE
Yes, it's true! We have two tickets to giveaway for each of the THURSDAY Buddy in Residence shows! Talk about starting out 2020 right!
NOTE: You can only win tickets to ONE of the FOUR shows.


The giveaway for the Bobby Rush show is over, but it's not too late to enter to win tickets for one of these three shows.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING...
THURS, JAN 9 | Jamiah Rogers
DEADLINE TO ENTER
Friday, Dec. 20 @ midnight

ENTER NOW

THURS, JAN 16 | Larry McCray
DEADLINE TO ENTER
Friday, Dec. 27 @ midnight

ENTER NOW

THURS, JAN 23 | Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials
DEADLINE TO ENTER
Friday, Jan. 3 @ midnight

ENTER NOW

BUDDY GUY PHOTO © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy

GET IN THE MOOD

Here are photos from 2019:
JAN 3 with Bobby Rush

JAN 18 with Kingfish

JAN 24 with Corey Dennison


PHOTO: Kingfish (r) with Buddy Guy  © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy
THANK YOU, SAM!
Chicago Blues News is not the only one who has freebies for you. Guitarist Samantha Fish has a sweepstakes going on right now where the prizes are:
* an autographed cigar box guitar (one winner)
* an autographed vinyl recording (nine winners)

The sweepstakes began in late November and ends at 9am CST on Jan. 24, 2020.
FIND OUT MORE

SAMANTHA FISH PHOTO © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy
GET OUT
Here's a few ideas to go hear live music. If you think these are your only options to hear live blues in Chicago, you need to get out more often.

GET THE ENTIRE LIST:  ONLINE CALENDAR
FRI, DEC 20
Bettye LaVette

Old Town School of Folk Music

Nick Moss Band
Smoke Daddy

SAT, DEC 21
Brandon Santini, Chicago Blues Angels
Legends

The Cash Box Kings
The Venue, Aurora

SUN, DEC 22
B.L.U.E.S. CHRISTMAS PARTY
Vance Kelly & The Backstreet Blues Band

BLUES
All proceeds go to the staff so be very merry!

MON, DEC 23
MONDAY BLUES
Ivy Ford

Untitled

TUES, DEC 24
WED, DEC 25
THURS, DEC 26
Shemekia Copeland, Kevin Burt
City Winery

FRI, DEC 27
Mud Morganfield
SPACE, Evanston

SAT, DEC 28
BLUES AND BREWS BRUNCH
Cyrus Hayes

River Roast (11am)

SUN, DEC 29
BIRTHDAY BASH
Biscuit Miller

Beer Geeks
Highland,  IN

MON, DEC 30
Rico McFarland, Corey Dennison
Kingston Mines

TUESDAY DEC 31
NEW YEAR'S EVE
Check the ONLINE CALENDAR

You have a LOT of options

WED, JAN 1
WELCOME TO 2020!

THURS, JAN 2
Smilin' Bobby
Phyllis' Musical Inn
Know about a show I don't? Tell Me About It...please.
ONE MORE THING: Always call before you go if you have your heart set on a particular show...things can change.
'TIS THE SEASON
Holiday gift guide 

A FEW RECORDINGS TO SET THE MOOD
Putamayo PresentsBlues Christmas
RELEASE DATE:  11.29.19 (Putamayo)
10 classics from stars such as Kenny Neal, Anson Funderburgh, Paul Oscher and more

Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers | All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues
RELEASE DATE:  10.26.18 (Pretty Good for a Girl)
Four originals and five Christmas classics

Joel Paterson Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar
RELEASE DATE:  10.26.18 ( Bloodshot Records)
14 tracks from one of Chicago's best

JD McPherson | Socks
RELEASE DATE:  11.2.18 (New West Records)
11 originals from the blues-ish McPherson and friends

Various Artists | Christmas Blues
RELEASE DATE:  12.28.1999 (Stony Plain Music)
14 songs from a variety of artists, including Duke Robillard, Maria Muldaur and Billy Boy Arnold

Various ArtistsDig That Crazy Santa Claus – Classic Christmas Cuts, 1953-56
RELEASE DATE:  10.20.17 (Contrast Records)
26 tracks  from mid-century blues and rhythm&blues performers

Various Artists | Blues Christmas
RELEASE DATE:  10.20.17 (Cleopatra) 
18 songs from everyone from Leslie West, Steve Cropper and Foghat to Popa Chubby, Joe Louis Walker and Larry McCray

Alligator Records also has released two Christmas CDs:
Genuine Houserockin' Christmas (16 tracks released in 2000) and The Alligator Records Christmas Collection (14 tracks released in 1992).

You can find all of these CDs (and a lot more) on Amazon or probably wherever you like to buy your music.
OUT AND ABOUT

FRI, NOV 22 @ B.L.U.E.S
DAY 1: Jimmy Johnson's Birthday Bash

Jimmy Johnson kicked off his birthday weekend with a great performance, plenty of guests that included Luke Pytel and Nate Manos, and a beautiful cake. From browsing the internet, I learned that a couple young guns stopped by on Saturday to help Jimmy celebrate. I know you know these guys: Jamiah Rogers and Kingfish.

THE PHOTOS
Another fun Sunday night at Reggie's with Jon McDonald backed by an all-star cast: Tom Holland (guitar), Bob Stroger (bass), Kenny Smith (drums), Dave Katzman (guitar) and Ronnie Hicks (keys). Many other musicians stopped by to play–and Tom Holland was celebrating his birthday, so much merriment (and other things) were in the air. Even though the cake had nine candles, I am pretty sure Holland is a little older than that...or maybe not. 

Watch for a January 2020 date...in the meantime, we've got
THE DECEMBER PHOTOS.
PLAN AHEAD

JAN 6
BLUE MONDAYS SERIES
Nick Moss

SPACE, Evanston

MON, JAN 13
LOGAN CENTER
SECOND MONDAY BLUES

Deitra Farr with Matthew Skoller


FEB 6
Robert Randolph
& The Family Band

City Winery
 

FEB 7
THE BLUES according
to John Primer (with Steve Bell)

Joliet Area Historical Museum

FEB 7
ROSA'S 36th ANNIVERSARY:
Alvin Youngblood Hart

Rosa's Lounge

FEB 14
Danielle Nicole, Each Day
Martyrs'

JUNE 5–7
Chicago Blues Festival
Millennium Park
DEC 20
Heather Tackett Falduto

DEC 21
Carla Thomas

DEC 22
Twist Turner
Judy Harrigan
(Superfan)
Liz Mandeville
Indiara Sfair


DEC 23
Jorma Kaukonen

DEC 24
Doyle Bramhall II

DEC 25
Barry Goldberg
Dustin Arbuckle
Joe Louis Walker
DEC 27
Tracy Nelson
Bob Stroger


DEC 28
Frank Raven

DEC 29
Steve Bell

DEC 30
Biscuit Miller

JAN 1
Kerry Clark
Cookie Taylor
Melvin Smith


JAN2
Scott Tipping
BELATED WISHES 
If I missed your birthday, more cake for you. Please let me know the date for next year so I can add you to the list. 
DEC 8
Kirk Clayton Manley

DEC 13
Elbio Rodríguez Barilari
(Delmark Records)
 
NOV 7
Whitey Johnson
(aka Gary Nicholson)

NOV 8
Greg Guy
(son of youknowwho)
BIRTHDAY REMEMBRANCES
DEC 19
Professor Longhair

DEC 20
"Cousin Joe"  Pleasant 

DEC 21
Peetie Wheatstraw
Harmonica Slim

DEC 22
Lil Green

DEC 23
Little Esther Phillips

DEC 24
Lee Dorsey

DEC 25
Cab Calloway
DEC 28
Roebuck “Pops” Staples
Johnny Otis
Peg Leg Sam


DEC 29
Matt “Guitar” Murphy

DEC 30
Bo Diddley

DEC 31
Odetta 

JAN 1
Frank Stokes
Johnny Young


JAN 2
Arthur Prysock
Little Smokey Smothers
WE DO ACCEPT ADVERTISING.
Contact Michael 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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