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A weekly digest of blues news
 
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FEB 7–FEB 20, 2020
ONLINE CALENDAR  |  FESTIVALS
FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER
THINKING OUT LOUD 
ARE YOU READY FOR BLUES FEST WEEKEND? WXRT DJ Tom Marker announced the headliners for Blues Fest on his Blues Breakers show earlier this week. Please no whining until at least the whole schedule is released. The fest will be held JUNE 5–7.
THE HEADLINERS
Friday, June 5
4:30–5:30pm  Marquise Knox
5:45–6:45pm Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling
7:00–7:40pm Jimmy Johnson and Billy Branch
7:50–9pm Shemekia Copeland

Saturday, June 6
4:30–5:30pm Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra
                      featuring Sugaray Rayford and Terrie Odabi

5:45–6:45pm Kingfish
7:00–7:40pm Steve Bell and John Primer
7:50–9pm Candi Staton

Sunday, June 7
4:30–5:30pm Catherine Russell
5:45–6:45pm Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials
7:00–7:40pm Erwin Helfer and Katherine Davis
7:45–9pm PM: Eric Gales

THE 2020 IBC. First a big congrats to our hometown heroes, Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames, who represented Chicago well and made it to the "Elite 8" finals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Watch the band's performance on WGN's Midday Fix the week before they headed down to Memphis.
The 2020 winners? 
1st Place Band: The Horojo Trio (Ottawa Blues Society)
2nd Place Band: The Jose Ramirez Band (DC Blues Society)
3rd Place Band: The Pitbull of Blues Band (Southwest Florida Blues Society)

1st Place Solo/Duo: Hector Anchondo (Blues Society of Omaha)
2nd Place Solo/Dup: Felix Slim (Long Island Blues Society)
Gibson Guitarist: JW-Jones (Ottawa Blues Society)
Best Self-Produced CD: Sweet Thing (Moonshine Society, River City Blues Society of Virginia)

AND THEN THERE'S THE GRAMMYS. Gary Clark Jr. Won Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for This Land and also Best Contemporary Blues Album for This Land. Keb' Mo' won Best Americana Album for Oklahoma, and Delbert McClinton won for Best Traditional Blues Album for Tall, Dark & Handsome. My lips are zipped, but you know what I am thinking.
 
TIME TO RENOVATE. B.L.U.E.S. (2519 N  Halsted) will be closed SUN–THURS for the month of February for a little sprucing up. The bar will be open every FRI and SAT during the month. Rico McFarland is playing this weekend.

A HELPING HAND. Singer Mary Lane and her husband Jeff LaBon (who is her bass player) need to move into an accessible apartment so Rosa's Lounge will be holding a Benefit Show on SUN, FEB 16, to raise a little money for those two important members of the Chicago blues community. Of course, the stars (think Billy Branch, John Primer, Lurrie Bell, Jarekus Singleton and many more) will line up to play. Tickets are $35.
BUY TICKETS NOW

HUMP DAY. Lil' Ed Williams and bass player Mike Scharf are now performing weekly on Wednesdays (through the end of February) at the Taylor Street Tap (1358 W. Taylor). The fun begins at 9pm.

READING MATERIAL. The Joint Was Jumpin': A Promoters Story is Peter Andrews' first-person account (an e-book only) of Ann Arbor’s reign as the Midwestern musical capital during the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. You know...that time when Ann Arbor hosted that Blues Festival we all shoulda gone to (and I guess some of us did).
FIND OUT MORE

SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC. Beginning this week, Adams Street Brewery (oldies know it as the bar at The Berghoff at 17 W. Adams) will offer live music Wednesdays–Sundays from 5-8pm in the bar area. No idea who is playing other than I do know that Michael Charles will be there FEB 7 and 15 cuz I saw him on WGN. Hopefully, the venue will enhance their calendar to be a little more specific than "Live Music." Some of us actually care what band is playing.

DEADLINE REMINDER. The city of Chicago is creating a Chicago Band Roster, which is a searchable database of high-quality musical performers to help "increase meaningful performance opportunities for Chicagoland musicians." The deadline to apply is FRI, FEB 14 at 5pm. The roster is being created as part of the Year of Chicago Music initiative, which now has a brand: Music in the Key of Chicago.
MORE INFO
See the JAN 29 UNEXPECTED EDITION of the newsletter.

ONE MORE REMINDER. An informal memorial gathering will be held THURS, FEB 13 before the Thursday night jam at the Wooden Nickel (444 Lakeview, Highwood) to remember Brett Champlin, who died Jan. 22. The formal memorial service will be held SAT, FEB 15. Details in the UNEXPECTED EDITION.

DO WE NEED ANOTHER HALL OF FAME? The Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 down in the hinterlands (aka Joliet) is currently taking votes for its first Hall of Fame members. Of course, you have to be a Charter Member of the museum to have a say, but just for kicks I thought you might want to know that performers nominated this year include Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Chuck Berry? Yes, I know he recorded for Chess, but doesn't St. Louis claim him as one of their favorite sons? In case you care, the Induction Ceremony is Sunday, March 29.
FIND OUT MORE

AND FINALLY PHOTOS AND MORE PHOTOS. As you will see below, I have been editing a lot of photos this week. I am too loony to actually go through what I posted  this week to weed out the ones that maybe should not have made the cut...enjoy anyway. We've got a zillion photos from the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise plus more than enough from the North Mississippi Allstars/Southern Avenue show at Thalia Hall and the inaugural Winter Blues Summit that was held just this past week in Arlington Heights. 
SEE OUT AND ABOUT SECTION

ONE MORE THING. I know there are a lot of new CDs floating around (including that new Delmark release Jimmy Johnson will be celebrating at SPACE on THURS, FEB 20, and Shoji Naito's Westmont to Chicago, his Tribute to Eddy Clearwater), but they will have to wait until next week when I have fully recovered from the photographic aftermath of the blues cruise. Not complaining...it was worth every lost second of sleep.

Watch for the next chicagoBLUESnews:  
FEB 21–MAR 5
TICKET GIVEAWAYS
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You MUST be a subscriber of Chicago Blues News to enter (enter ONCE A DAY until the deadline).

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Please do not enter if you know you cannot attend.
FREE TICKETS
TUESDAY, MARCH 10 @ City Winery
DEADLINE TO ENTER

MON, FEB 24 @ midnight

Ana Popovic
Bruce Springsteen has said that Ana Popovic is “one helluva a guitar-player,” which may explain why she has been nominated for six Blues Music Awards. If you have seen her show, you know why Springsteen is impressed. 

ENTER NOW
SUBJECT LINE: Ana Popovic Likes It on Top
GET OUT
Here's a few ideas to go hear live music (one or two a day). If you think these are your only options to hear live blues in Chicago, though, you need to get out more often.

GET THE ENTIRE LIST:  ONLINE CALENDAR
FRI, FEB 7
ROSA'S 36TH ANNIVERSARY
Alvin Youngblood Hart

Rosa's Lounge

ZYDECO: C.J. Chenier
& The Red Hot Louisiana Band

FitzGerald's, Berwyn

SAT, FEB 8
Willie Buck Blues Band
Johnny's Blitz Sports Bar
Westmont

SUN, FEB 9
Mike Zito's Big Band
Chuck Berry Tribute

SPACE, Evanston

BLUES PRO JAM SERIES
featuring Gerry Hundt
Reggie's Music Joint (7pm)

MON, FEB 10
SECOND MONDAY BLUES
JW Williams with Billy Branch

Logan Center for the Arts
University of Chicago (7pm)

TUES, FEB 11
Nick Moss
Shaw's Crab House

WED, FEB 12
Kirk Manley & Shoji Naito
Smoke Daddy

THURS, FEB 13
Altered Five Blues Band
Legends
FRI, FEB 14
Danielle Nicole, Each Day
Martyrs'

Kathleen Does Etta James
with Mary Lane

Legends

SAT, FEB 15
Nora Jean Bruso,
Shawn Holt & the Teardrops

Kingston Mines

SUN, FEB 16
BENEFIT FOR MARY LANE
Rosa's Lounge

Marcia Ball, Sonny Landreth
FitzGerald's, Berwyn

MON, FEB 17
THE MONDAY BLUES
John Primer with Steve Bell

Untitled

TUES, FEB 18
Lindsay Beaver
FitzGerald's, Berwyn

WED, FEB 19
Lil' Ed Williams and Mike Scharf
Taylor St. Tap

THURS, FEB 20
RECORD RELEASE PARTY
Jimmy Johnson
SPACE, Evanston 
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.
WANT MORE CHOICES?  ONLINE CALENDAR
OUT AND ABOUT
FEB 1 2020
Winter Blues Summit
It was maybe an overly ambitious beginning for this inaugural winter blues fest–three days, 20+ performances, two brunches and a movie screening. I could only make it for the Saturday events, which included a long day of performances in four connected locations and a movie screening of Sidemen with a panel discussion. Of course, all the bands–which included Toronzo Cannon, Jimmy Johnson, Mike Wheeler, Joanna Connor, John Primer and Dave Herrero and Anne Harris and much more–were great.
 
SOME OBSERVATIONS
  • The price ($175 for a three-day pass) was a bit steep, but I assume it also included two brunches.
  • The lighting, which I know is not done to accommodate my needs, was not optimal for photography...especially in the Metropolitan Ballroom, where white lights were shining directly toward the audience.
  • Joanna Connor's Band was so loud my ears are still ringing, even though I put in earplugs for the first time ever. Seems like the acoustics in the ballroom are not optimal for loud music.
  • For a small fest, I want to see all the bands (and their whole performance)...and that was not possible based on the scheduling.
  • I assume that the big draw for many people was the chance to see Jimmy and Syl Johnson perform together–but that didn't happen since time ran out.
  • I was happiest seeing the bands that performed at the wonderful Hey Nonny space and the downstairs Big Shot piano bar, which was great, but might have felt even more fun late into the evening instead of early in the afternoon.
THE PHOTOS
JAN 19–26 2020
Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #34
There is no way to adequately explain the sheer joy or the subsequent exhaustion of being on a blues cruise. It's really a week of more fun that most people deserve to have (or maybe need more of in their lives).

This year, we decided to focus on the bands we love the most. So, you will see a LOT of photos of the Nick Moss Band, particularly Dennis Gruenling, who seemed to pop up everywhere, plus Victor Wainwright and the Train, Taj Mahal, Thornetta Davis and Anne Harris' latest project, Gumbo, Grits & Gravy with Guy Davis and Marcella Simien. Yes, Tab Benoit and Kenny Wayne Shepherd were on the boat, too, but we just never got there. There's always next time.

THE EVIDENCE
FEB 16 2020 @ Thalia Hall

North Mississippi Allstars
OPENING ACT: Southern Avenue
We have seen sooo many bands in the last few weeks that it is almost hard to remember any coherent thoughts about this show. Of course, it was a great show...these are two of my favorite bands–and they never disappoint. I only wish that Southern Avenue's set was a little longer. See them whenever and wherever you can.
THE PHOTOS
PLAN AHEAD
FRI, MAR 13
Toronzo Cannon
FitzGerald's, Berwyn

MAR 20
Robert Cray
North Shore Center
for the Performing Arts
Skokie
SUN, MAY 17
Sue Foley
SPACE, Evanston

JUNE 5–7
Chicago Blues Festival
Millennium Park
FEB 7
Katriva "Kat" Riggins

FEB 13
John Lee Henley
Sugaray Rayford


FEB 14
Maceo Parker
Toronzo Cannon


FEB 15
Gary Clark Jr.
FEB 16
James "Super Chikan" Johnson

FEB 17
Lou Ann Barton
Lee Ann Flynn 
  (Photographer)

FEB 18
Irma Thomas
Chris Alexander

DC Conley
  (Maxwell St Market Blues Band)
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. 
FEB 3
Brandon Santini
Belated remembrance
FEB 5
Little Arthur Duncan 
BIRTHDAY REMEMBRANCES
FEB 7
Earl King
King Curtis


FEB 8
Alonzo "Lonnie" Johnson
Floyd Dixon
Eddie "Guitar" Burns


FEB 9
Johnny Heartsman

FEB 10
Alton Jay "Rockin' Dopsie" Rubin
TV Slim


FEB 11
Josh White
Phillip Walker
Little Johnny Taylor
Otis Clay
FEB 12
Pink Anderson
Gene McDaniels
Big John Wrencher


FEB 14
John Henry Perry Bradford
"Magic Sam" Maghett
 Clarence "Blowfly" Reid


FEB 15
James "Kokomo" Arnold

FEB 16
Bill Doggett

FEB 17
Noble "Thin Man" Watts

FEB 19
Earl Bell
Sam Myers


FEB 20
Jimmy "Papa" Yancey
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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.
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