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A weekly digest of blues news
 
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MAY 1–JUNE 4, 2020
FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER
A NOTE TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS
My current plan–after the next newsletter on JUNE 4–is to go on hiatus for the whole summer and hopefully resume biweekly publication after Labor Day (tentatively, FRI, SEPT 11). I will be back sooner IF life returns to normal before September. I am sure you will be fine left to your own devices.

STAY SAFE AND SANE–AND STAY HOME!
–Karen Murphy, Editorial Director
!$#%@^!
I am sure most of you know already that the Chicago Blues Festival–and most other summer festivals throughout the U.S. (Summerfest in Milwaukee, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Ann Arbor Blues Festival, the North Atlantic Blues Festival, etc.) have been cancelled for this year. There is NO DOUBT that it is the right thing to do, but right now I am still wallowing in misery so you will have to look elsewhere for any words of wisdom or positivity. At this particular second, the Beale Street Music Festival, which is part of Memphis in May has not been cancelled (yet) for 2020, it has just been moved to Oct. 16-18, 2020. And–at least right now–the Biscuit (King Biscuit Blues Festival) in Helena, AR, is still on for Oct. 7–10.

According to a Johnny Iguana post I saw on Facebook, the 2021 Chicago Blues Fest will have the same lineup announced for 2020, which is also what is happening for another fest I thought I might attend this summer: The Northwoods Blues Festival in Chippewa Falls, WI. They really had a killer lineup planned for this summer so I am really looking forward to both fests in 2021.

In the meantime, get your live music fix by going online and finding your favorite musicians. Most of them are performing live on a regular basis to try to make a little money during this national nightmare.

Here are a few helpful resources where you can find live music and also sources of financial help.

The DCASE page for Cultural Affairs and Special Events
A long list of Chicago's city-sponsored events, noting current status

Send me a note if you have something to add:
editor@chicagobluesnews.com
REST IN PEACE
MORE SAD GOODBYES

The sadness just doesn't end. Since the last newsletter, we have lost a lot of folks in the blues community or adjacent to it. In Chicago, we said goodbye to:

Roosevelt E. Johnson, a Chicago bass player who played with a number of bands, including Low-reen and the Maxwell St. Market Blues Band. I don't have exact dates, but Roosevelt died in mid-April.
There is a group online to connect family and friends

Sir Walter Scott (1948–4.16.20)
Chicago blues guitarist
Learn a little about Walter

OTHERS WHO LEFT US
Bill Withers (7.4.38–3.30.20)
The Rolling Stone article

John Prine (10.10.45–4.7.20)
The Rolling Stone article
If you are so inclined, Fiona Whelan Prine (John's wife) has asked that donations be made to one of these organizations in John's memory:

thistlefarms.org

roomintheinn.org

nashvillerescuemission.org

Big George Brock (5.16.32–4.10.20)
One of the last of the great Mississippi Delta bluesmen, who is said to have had 42 children
LEARN MORE

Lee Gates (12.20.37–4.15.20)
Milwaukee guitarist, singer and songwriter who was a cousin of Albert Collins
LEARN MORE

Doug Rice (12.28.47–3.9.20)
A South Bend (IN) blues musician
Learn More

Hal Willner (4.6.56–4.7.20)
Longtime Saturday Night Live staffer and music producer
The CNN Article

George "Duke" Albiez (10.1.50–3.17.20)
Owner of Duke's Bistro, a blues and jazz club in South Bend, IN LEARN MORE

Ben Elliott (1953–4.5.20)
Engineer and record producer who recorded Levon Helm and Hubert Sumlin, among many others LEARN MORE

Neil Lasher (1947-4.5.20)
Music industry executive and longtime MusiCares supporter LEARN MORE

Knox  Phillips (1945–4.15.20)
The son of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips and a tireless champion of Memphis music LEARN MORE

Marcus "MG" Gibbons (10.28.78–4.1.20)
Milwaukee area drummer

WELL, I THOUGHT HE WAS FABULOUS...
In the last newsletter, I inadvertently changed the late Leroy Perryman' Jr.'s stage name to Fabulous L-Roy. In reality, he used the name Fantastic L'Roy when he performed with his band, Fantastic L’Roy & the Bulletproof Band on Monday nights at Linda’s Place in Chicago.
There is a wonderful article about Mr. Perryman online. 
(To find it on this page, you must put his name in the search box near the top of the page.)

LEAVE A TRIBUTE HERE
TRYING TO THINK POSITIVELY
FIRST...A FEW GREAT REASONS TO SMILE 
HOORAY! Katherine Davis, Larry Taylor and Dee Alexander (borderline blues) are three of the Chicago artists who have been given Esteemed Artist Awards  in 2020.  According to the city's website, "The awards are special new $10,000 grants awarded to highly-qualified artists for expenses associated with an artist’s practice, such as studio rental, supplies, travel or equipment. They are part of the Chicago Cultural Grant's Individual Artists Program (IAP). In celebration of 2020 as the Year of Chicago Music, half of the Esteemed Artist Awards are going to local musicians." LEARN MORE
Read the Hyde Park Herald article about Katherine Davis

DCASE Online

A HELPING HAND. Do312 is offering $1 million in free advertising to entertainers and small businesses to help them through the pandemic. According to Do312, "The grants are meant to help people and small businesses who are doing something creative to make it through the pandemic, like bartenders who have created delivery services, artists hosting shows online and restaurants selling groceries to make ends meet."

APPLY ONLINE 
If accepted, the applicant’s fundraiser, event or service will be advertised on Do312’s website, social media pages and newsletter. Do312 hopes to help 400-500 Chicagoans and businesses through the program, which is currently set to run through May 31.

TWO YEARS OF CHICAGO MUSIC. Due to the cancellation of several major music festivals, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has extended the 2020 Year of Chicago Music into 2021. The Year of Chicago Music will continue right through to the end of 2021, to amplify the excitement and momentum building across the local industry.

DCASE has partnered with Do312 to launch a new listing of 2020 Year of Chicago Music Virtual Concerts to highlight the local music venues and musicians sharing "Music in the Key of Chicago." If you're hosting a virtual concert or music event, send information and an image to yearofchicagomusic@do312.com.

HAVE A VIRTUAL WATCH PARTY. The Blues Foundation's Blues Music Awards (BMAs) will be hosted on Sunday, May 3 at 5pm EST (4pm CST), by  our own Shemekia Copeland–from her living room. The show will be live-streamed on Facebook and broadcast on its YouTube channel. Nominees will contribute performances recorded in their homes, and special guests will appear throughout the program. Get your party hats on.

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW....Kate and Nick Moss will be celebrating their wedding anniversary on May 4. I know they have been married a LONG time, but not exactly sure how long. Send some love–and maybe a few tacos. I am sure they accept cash, too!
Kate & Nick Moss photo © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy

THE SOUND OF LIVE MUSIC. Not that this would make me move to Berwyn or anything, but I am LOVING the way the new owner of FitzGerald's is keeping the music going with the Stay-At-Home Concert Series. The venue has been driving a musician around on the back of a pickup truck for a "rolling performance" in Berwyn and Oak Park neighborhoods. 

Here's the catch: To prevent gathering, the exact location will remain secret. If you live nearby, between Madison (N), 22nd (S), Austin (E), and Harlem (W) fill out THE FITZGERALDS STAY AT HOME CONCERT LOCATION REQUEST FORM to request that The FitzGerald's Stay At Home Concert visit your block between 4pm and 530pm. They are likely to visit the blocks that send in the most requests. Encourage your neighbors to fill out the form–but remember: Stay on your own property and maintain a safe distance.
UPCOMING SHOWS
May 9 Lil' Ed
May 23 Toronzo Cannon

FitzGerald's is also sponsoring Live From Where They Live shows. FIND OUT MORE

ONE MORE THING: It would be totally wonderful if the other blues clubs followed FitzGerald's lead and brought the music into their neighborhoods. If not, maybe FitzGerald's could roll a little farther east.

IT'S NO JOKE. Although Bobby Rush, who is now 86 years old, was never officially diagnosed as having COVID-19, he had many of the telltale symptoms back in February (weakness, a cough and a high fever). The GREAT NEWS is that he recently was given a clean bill of health and now is warning people to take this pandemic seriously. READ THE AP STORY
Bobby Rush photo © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy


MORE NEWS
YOU SHOULD KNOW

OUT OF TOUCH. Just when I thought I was pretty knowledgeable when it comes to the blues, the Independent Music Awards throws me for a loop, with winners that I have never heard of in both blues categories :
SONG CATEGORY: Brick Fields won for Soul of a Woman
ALBUM CATEGORY: Hamish Anderson for Out of My Head

Of course, I looked them both up and here's what I learned:
Hamish Anderson is a 29-year-old Australian blues rock (emphasis on rock) guitarist who has released two albums.
BIG TRIVIA: He was the last person to open a show for B.B. King before BB died–which happened to be Oct. 3, 2014 at the House of Blues in Chicago.

Brick Fields is a Eureka Springs (AR) band that seems to sometimes call themselves Brick Fields Blues Therapy and has represented the Ozark Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Not sure I would call them more than blues-ish most of the time, but I will agree that Rachel Fields has a great voice.
Here's an interview with her.

MY CONCLUSION: Neither band is really for me (although I would lean more to Brick Fields), but one or both could be for you. Go have a listen.
Hamish Anderson
The Brick Fields song that won the award

SUBMIT SOMEBODY. Submissions are open until Friday, May 15, for the 13th Annual Blues Blast Music Awards. Recordings released from May 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020 are eligible. 
GET MORE INFO/SUBMISSION FORMS

GOT TO MOVE. Sean McDonough, the talent buyer for Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights, has moved on to be the associate talent buyer for SummerFest in Milwaukee. Guess he will start working in 2021 when its time to buy talent again.

BACK TO THE CROSSROADS. Paramount has bought the Love In Vain pitch about Robert Johnson. The movie is described as "an unconventional biopic centering around" Johnson. Unconventional is an interesting choice of words.
LEARN MORE

CAN SOMEBODY LEND THEM
A BUNCH OF DIMES?

There are so many GoFundMe campaigns right now that it is hard to keep up, but a couple in particular caught my eye.

SAD NEWS. There is a GoFundMe campaign for Judy Roberts, a much-beloved Chicago (and now Arizona) musician (borderline blues) who has been diagnosed with amyloidosis, a serious condition similar to blood cancer. 

A TALE OF THREE CITIES. This is a story about two bookstores and a revered juke joint: The Blue Front Cafe in Betonia, MS, which is owned by Jimmy "Duck" Holmes and is the oldest (barely) surviving juke joint in Mississippi; the City Lights bookstore in San Francisco; and The Book Cellar in Chicago's Lincoln Square. All three have current GoFundMe campaigns online, but the donations they have received are dramatically different:
City Lights Bookstore  (San Francisco)
GOAL: $300,000
DONATIONS TO DATE: $490,642

The Book Cellar (Chicago)
GOAL: $50,000
DONATIONS TO DATE: $48, 357

Blue Front Cafe (Betonia, MS)
GOAL: $5000
DONATIONS TO DATE: $860

Am I the only one that is confused by this? I love bookstores–and have been to both of these–and am thrilled that apparently other people love them, too. But, in what world does it make sense that a revered juke joint run by a musician considered a legend cannot raise even $1000 when City Lights raises almost half a million? Consider this: If every subscriber of chicagoBLUESnews plus a few other serious blues fans gave just $10, the Blue Front Cafe would be way over its modest goal. Let's do it!
Watch for the next chicagoBLUESnews:  
JUNE 5–WHO KNOWS WHEN 2020
TICKET GIVEAWAYS

I am not feeling too optimistic these days, BUT both shows that we had two free tickets for have been rescheduled for the fall so....the FREE TICKETS giveaways are back on–at least for now:

Joe Louis Walker
AUG 28
@ Hey Nonny, Arlington Heights
SUBJECT LINE: Everyone Wants a Piece of Joe Louis Walker
ENTER NOW


Taj Mahal Quartet
SEPT 28 9pm show
@ City Winery
SUBJECT LINE: Taj Has the Leavin' Trunk Blues
ENTER NOW

REMEMBER THESE RULES

You can enter ONCE a day.
BODY OF THE EMAIL: Just your name, phone and email address
DON'T GO OUT!
The ONLINE CALENDAR is just fantasyland right now in case you need to remember how life used to be. I have been adding rescheduled dates to the calendar, but for the most part, ain't nothin' goin' on EXCEPT online in places like Facebook Live.

Continue to take care of your health, listen to blues online and support the musicians who are doing live streaming shows. A quick spin on Facebook will find a lot of options in addition the information on our website.


NOTE: I have been adding rescheduled shows to the calendar when they show up. Cross your fingers AND your toes.
 
SHOP IN PLACE CHICAGO
Help support Chicago's Hometown Entrepreneurs

SHOP NOW 🛍
Linsey Alexander | Live at Rosa's
RELEASE DATE: May 15
If you live in Chicago, you know what Linsey is puttin' down. If you are somewhere else, you should get familiar.

Liz Mandeville | Playing with Fire
RELEASE DATE: 3.7.20

Victor Wainwright and the Train | Memphis Loud
RELEASE DATE: TBA
You can buy a signed pre-order CD copy from Wainwright's website

David Bromberg Band | Big Road
RELEASE DATE: 4.17.20
CD + DVD combo featuring 12 new tracks, five hi-def performance videos and a mini-documentary about the album's creation
Have a Listen to the title track

Allman Brothers | Trouble No More: 50th Anniversary Collection
RELEASE DATE: 2.28.20
The collection includes five CDs, an 88-page booklet, and unreleased band photos
TRIVIA: The band's first jam together and the last song they performed together was Muddy Waters' song, Trouble No More.

Other new releases
Popa Chubby | It's a Mighty Hard Road
Albert Castiglia | Wild & Free
Franck Goldwasser | Sweet Little Black Spider

Coming Soon
A new CD from Gerald McClendon 
DIVERSIONS
WATCH A FEW VIDEOS
You See Me Laughin': The Last of the Hill Country Bluesmen
I LOVE this 2002 documentary about the great Mississippi Hill Country musicians.

Blues Alive
Featuring Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Ruth Brown and many more

And This is Free
There's an interesting story behind this groundbreaking 1964 documentary by news photographer Mike Shea
Buy both the DVD and CD

Ain't Nobody's Fault But Mine
Bonnie Raitt and Carolyn Wonderland

@ Blues Heaven in Denmark
Buddy Guy with 13-year-old Toby Lee

Mary Had a Little Lamb
Buddy Guy in 1969 with Jack Bruce and Buddy Miles

Kenny Brown
After watching You See Me Laughin', I had to look up Kenny Brown–and I really liked what I heard.

Martin Lang and Friends
Just another bluesy night in Sweet Home

And here's a song from one of Martin's friends
Furlough

ABSOLUTELY LIVE
JORMA KAUKONEN
MAY 2 @ 8pm EST
5th solo Quarantine Concert from Fur Peace Ranch

Jorma will perform, tell stories and talk about his songs, often playing them on the very guitar he wrote the song on.  

CHRIS SMITHERS
Mar 22 Parlor Room Sessions (1 hour)

MAY 17 Parlor Room Sessions @ 8pm EST
This is an ALL-REQUEST CONCERT

Post your requests on his social media sites:
Facebook
www.facebook.com/ChrisSmitherMusic/
Twitter:  @ChrisSmither_    
twitter.com/chrissmither
Instagram:  @chrissmithermusic  
www.instagram.com/chrissmithermusic/

READ A LITTLE
4.27.20 Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago’s blues musicians, clubs hit hard by pandemic: ‘There’s gonna be a lot of songs to come from this’

Blues Fest usually brings a bump in revenue to clubs like Kingston Mines and artists like Donald Kinsey. Now that it’s been canceled, Chicago’s music scene is struggling.

If you get the chills from music,
you may have a unique brain

Listen to what a USC researcher says about people who could have an enhanced ability to experience intense emotions
LEARN MORE

Johnny Iguana: Celebrity traveler
Johnny Iguana, keyboard player for The Claudettes and a few other bands around town, is featured in one of my favorite columns in the Chicago Tribune. (At the rate they are shedding long-time staff members, there are not many of those columns left.)

EXERCISE YOUR BRAIN
Open U Blues Course
This six-hour course is (allegedly) a perfect introduction to blues music, covering the nature of typical blues lyrics, as well as the historical context of the genre. Students will also learn the blues scale and gain an understanding of the 12-bar blues structure – and no musical knowledge is necessary prior to signing up to the course. 
THE BEST PART: It's FREE.
LEARN MORE

HERE'S THE WHOLE OPEN U CATALOG

LEARN SLIDE (Maybe)
5-minute blues guitar lesson:
Learn to play sliding diad chords


JUST STARE AT THE WALL
You could say you were meditating....
PLAN TENTATIVELY AHEAD
SAT, OCT 3
Brian Lupo CD Release Party
This release party originally had been scheduled for May 30
The Wire, Berwyn

WED, JUNE 10
Chicago Blues Legends Jam
Martyrs'
OUT AND ABOUT VIRTUALLY
PHOTOS (clockwise from top left): Big A, Jesse Cotton Stone, LaLa Craig, Reverend Peyton and Mississippi Marshall. 
ALL PHOTOS © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy


APR 18 2020 @ Clarksdale, MS
Juke Joint Festival

I tuned into the Juke Joint Festival for two main reasons:
  • I keep being told that I really should go to the fest at least one time (and I thought this might be the year) and
  • despite my general aversion to Facebook, there it was, taunting me with great music.
It was an amazing feat–attempting 10 hours of live music on Facebook Live. And just when I thought I was just fine sitting staring at a computer screen for hours on end, I just couldn't resist getting a few shots. The music was great...my photos, not so much.
Don't judge me. 
MAY 3
Frank Sennish
 
(superfan)
Freddie Roulette

MAY 4
Dave Dickerson
Tyrone Davis


MAY 7
Lazer Lloyd

MAY 8
Joe Bonamassa
Carlos Showers
Red Young


MAY 9
Bob Margolin

MAY 10
Maurice John Vaughn
Greg Piccolo


MAY 12
Guy Davis
Donald Kinsey


MAY 13
Ana Popovic

MAY 14
Grady Gaines

MAY 15
Ole Harv Stauffer

MAY 17
Taj Mahal

MAY 18
Tierinii Jackson
  (Southern Avenue)
MAY 19
Jimmy Thackery

MAY 21
Dave Specter

MAY 23
Dick Shurman
 
Record producer/historian
Michael Cloeren
 
Festival producer

MAY 25
Robert Lechtanski

MAY 27
Howard "Tony" Anthony

MAY 28
Melissa Cook
  Superfan

MAY 29
Gerry Hundt
Ron Levy


MAY 30
Rick Holmstrom

JUNE 1
Rich Delgrosso

JUNE 2
Luca Kiella Chiellini

JUNE 3
Tikyra Khamiir Jackson
  (Southern Avenue)

JUNE 4
Tinsley Ellis
Ronnie Hicks

 
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. 

Here's all the birthdays we missed last time because I forgot I wasn't doing another newsletter in April:
FEB 4
Jason Ricci

APR 3
Vino Louden

APR 17
Kate Moss
Dan Carelli
Byther Smith


APR 19
Mike Flynn

APR 20
Brian James

APR 21
Jamiah Rogers
Chris Edwards
APR 23
Alex Dixon
Thomas A. Susala


APR 24
Miss Honey Piazza

APR 25
William Homans

APR 26
Benjamin “Pistol Pete” Newell
Ralph Kinsey


APR 30
Wayne Baker Brooks
Jimmy Lee Robinson
BIRTHDAY REMEMBRANCES
And here's all the birthday remembrances from the last newsletter through to the next one.
APR 17
Theresa Needham
Jimmy "T99" Nelson
Clifford Gibson
 
APR 18
Little Brother Montgomery
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
 
APR 19
Alexis Korner
 
APR 20
Little Willy Foster 
Johnny Fuller
 
APR 21
Clara Ward
Eddie King 
 
APR 22
George "Harmonica" Smith
Bull Moose Jackson
 
APR 23
Charles “Cow Cow” Davenport
 
APR 25
Albert King
Earl Bostic
 
APR 26
J.B. Hutto
Johnny Shines
Ma  Rainey
 
APR 27
Michael Ledbetter
Hop Wilson
 
APR 28
Phil Guy
 
APR 29
Otis Rush
Frankie Lee
Big Jay McNeely
Lefty Dizz 
 
APR 30
Mabel Scott
Rev.  Gary Davis
Homesick James
Frankie Lee Sims
 
MAY 1
Little Walter
Ada Brown
Big Maybelle Smith
Lacy Gibson 
 
MAY 2
Connie Mack Booker
 
MAY 3
James Brown
 
MAY 5
Blind Willie McTell
Johnnie Taylor
 
MAY 6
Eddie C. Campbell
MAY 7
Amos “Bumble Bee Slim” Easton

MAY 8
Robert Johnson
 
MAY 9
Henry Ford Thompson
Dave Prater
 A.C. Reed  

MAY 10
Ted Bogan
Larry Williams
 
MAY 11
Kansas Joe McCoy
 
MAY 12
Barbara Dane
 
MAY 13
 L.C. “Good Rockin” Robinson
 
MAY 14
Smokey Holman
John Lee

 
MAY 15
Johnny Williams
Larry Johnson
 
MAY 16
Cleveland Chenier
 
MAY 17
Tiny Powell
 
MAY 18
Ernest “Little Son Joe” Lawlers
Big Joe Turner
 
MAY 20
Jaybird Coleman
 
MAY 21
Little Willie Anderson
Lee “Shot” Williams
Billy Wright
 
MAY 23
Chico Chism
 
MAY 26
Mamie Smith
 
MAY 27
Brother John Sellers
Junior Parker
 
MAY 28
T-Bone Walker
 
MAY 30
King Ernest Baker
 
JUNE 1
Lafayette Leake
 
JUNE 2
Leonard "Baby Do " Caston
Othar Turner
 
JUNE 3
Memphis Minnie
Jimmy Rogers
Don't Start Me Talkin'
The judge asked me, "RL, did you shoot him in self defense? "
I said, "No, sir. I shot him in the leg and he jumped the fence."

—R.L. Burnside
You See Me Laughing documentary
A LIGHTBULB MOMENT
Since the lockdown, I have been going through the embarrassingly large piles of old newspapers and magazines I couldn't throw out without reading and found this great tidbit in the December 2017 AARP magazine:

That's My Jam
When I discovered  "I'm a Woman" by the singer Koko Taylor, I lost my mind.You should check her out.
—Ann Curry

Journalist and former Today show cohost

Thanks, Ann. The name does ring a bell. 

I wonder what body part she would lose if she also heard these blues ladies:
Irma Thomas singing this song.
Or Bessie Smith
Or Bessie again
Or Bonnie Raitt with John Lee Hooker
Or Etta James
Or Ruth Brown
Or this one from Ruth Brown
Or Dana Gillespie
Or Sippie Wallace
Or Lou Ann Barton
Or Lil Green
Or Julia Lee
OK...I'll stop here, but I got a million of 'em.
WE DO ACCEPT ADVERTISING.
Contact Michael NOW!
BE WELL....STAY AT HOME NOW 
so we can get back out there before 2022!
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 © 2020 Chicago Blues News, All rights reserved.
 

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