DIGGING DEEP. Digging Our Roots: Chicago Blues is the blues segment of a largerseries of jazz listening sessions that is a prelude to a year-long celebration of the Jazz Institute’s 50th anniversary. For this session, WDCB DJ Leslie Keros and harp player/band leader/educator Billy Branch will discuss Chicago blues and feature the music of Junior Wells, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. THE DEETS
Thursday, May 23 | 530—7pm
Bronzeville Stage, Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington
MEET BUDDY GUY. In case you have not seen it already, the March 11 New Yorker article on Buddy Guy by Editor David Remnick is an absolutely wonderful read. It even includes a side article that highlights some of Remnick's favorite Buddy Guy recordings, plus those of Buddy's faves. What a thrill to read an article that proves to me that good writing has not been completely killed by Twitter and texting.
MASTER CLASS. Slide guitar wiz Donna Herula will be teaching two seven-week acoustic slide guitar classes (1 and 2) on Sundays beginning March 10 at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Acoustic Slide Guitar 1 (Noon) View a video about the class and register
LEND A HAND. There will be a Blues Jam on Sunday, March 10 (2-6pm) at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall (1920 S. 37th St., Milwaukee) to raise money to help drummer Jimi Schutte, whose recent health issues have led to financial problems. Schutte has played literally with almost everyone who is anyone in the blues community (Luther Allison, Jimmy Dawkins, Sunnyland Slim, Lonnie Brooks, Bob Stroger, Billy Flynn–and on and on and on). You can read his bio online. Currently scheduled to play: Greg Koch, Reverend Raven, Benny Rickun, The Blues Disciples, Robert Allen Jr. and Jonny T-Bird–but certainly more musicians will show up to play. DONATE IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND
TOO LATE, MATE. If you thought you would go see Robert Cray at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn tomorrow night, make other plans if you don't already have a ticket. The show is sold out.
GO CAMPING. Both adults and kids can go blues camping this summer. Here's the info you need: FOR KIDS Fernando Jones' Blues Camp
JULY 7-12, 2019 | Chicago
A free music camp for Blues Kids (you must audition online)
Beginner, intermediate and advanced players welcome and kids don't have to live in Chicago to attend. GET STARTED
FOR ADULTS Chicago Blues Camp
It's the third year for this a five-day immersive learning and performance camp for musicians 18+. The 2019 session will be held June 2–7, the week before the Chicago Blues Festival. GET MORE INFO
TOO MANY GOODBYES
It has been a particularly tough beginning to a year that I hoped would bring much more joy. So far, it's just been too many #$%@&! tears.
GOODBYE, MIKE. Michael Mettalia, a harp player who led the band Mike Mettalia & the Midnight Shift, died Friday, March 1, the result of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 56. MEMORIAL SERVICE
Friday, March 8 @ 11am
Varcoe-Thomas Funeral Home
344 N. Main Street, Doylestown, PA
The family will receive their friends from 10-11am at the funeral home prior to the service. READ THE OBITUARY
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS
The family would appreciate memorial gifts to:
ALS Therapy Development Institute
300 Technology Square, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02139 www.als.net SIDE NOTE: Mike recorded a CD with his friend, Rockin' Johnny Burgin, called Chicago: The Blues Legends Today! that was released last April. The CD also included tracks by Mary Lane, Little Jerry Jones and Milwaukee Slim.
R.I.P. MIKE CHILARDI.Local Chicago drummer known as Wildman Mike died Feb. 5 after a long bout with cancer. He was 68 and had been a member of the band, Aaron Hermann and the Blues Cruisers. Services were held. READ HIS OBITUARY
R.I.P. SIDNEY QUALLS. Soul blues singer Sidney Joe Qualls, who was often compared to Al Green, has passed. There is no other information available at this time. LEARN MORE ABOUT SIDNEY HAVE A LISTEN
GOODBYE, MR. SIMS
William (Bill) Sims, Jr., an internationally respected blues musician, died Feb. 2 at age 69 at his home in Queens, NY. He founded and led many bands during his lifetime, most notably the Heritage Blues Orchestra. The band's debut album, And Still I Rise, received a Grammy nomination in 2012 for Best Blues Album. READ HIS OBITUARY
Walter Trout | Survivor Blues (Provogue) RELEASE DATE: Jan. 25
Walter Trout didn't want to do a "blues greatest hits" recording with yet another version of Got My Mojo Workin' (thank you, Walter!) so he dug deep into the blues well and found 12 songs blues fanatics like you and I should already know, but the blues newbies might learn something and stop asking for Sweet Home Chicago every time they go to a club. Band members: Michael Leasure (drums), Johnny Griparic (bass) and Skip Edwards (keys). Sugaray Rayford joined Trout on Luther Johnson's Women Don't Lie.
Eric Gales | The Bookends RELEASE DATE: Feb. 8 (Provogue/Mascot Label Group)
This latest recording from Eric Gales features collaborations with B. Slade (no clue here), Doyle Bramhall II and Beth Hart. It finds the guitar prodigy (he released his debut album in 1991 at the age of 16 and had 15 studio albums before this one) pushing himself to develop as a vocalist. His impressive career unfortunately went off the rails in 2009 for the usual reasons. Thankfully, he has now been two years sober, a fact he proudly shares in his live performances.
John Primer | The Soul of a Blues Man RELEASE DATE: Feb. 1 (Blue House Productions)
This is the great John Primer with his wonderful band, the Real Deal Blues Band (plus guitarist Billy Flynn and sax player Charles Kimble), digging into his beginnings as a soul singer back in the 1970s with The Brotherhood Band (yes, before Muddy and Magic Slim). Primer's great band features Steve Bell (harp), Lenny Media (drums), Chuckaluck (bass) and Ronnie Hicks (keys). The 12 tracks include three new songs and nine classics from the likes of Johnny Taylor, Bobby "Blue" Bland and Clarence Carter.
Bob Corritore | Do the Hip-Shake Baby RELEASE DATE: May 3 (Vizz Tone)
The 13 tracks on this recording include a huge list (30+) stellar musicians joining Bob Corritore (Sugaray Rayford, Henry Gray, Oscar Wilson, Willie Buck, Anson Funderburgh, Bob Stroger, etc. etc. etc.). The tracks–fun-loving blues at its finest–were recorded between 2016 and 2018.
Rosie Flores | Simple Case of The Blues RELEASE DATE: Feb 15 (The Last Music Company)
This San Antonio native has a career that has spanned more than four decades and began with her punk rock band, the Screaming Sirens, in the 1970s. Dubbed the Chick with the Pick, she has also dabbled in country, alt-country, rock and rockabilly. On this new recording produced by Charlie Sexton and Kenny Vaughan, she leaps into soul, jump blues, swing and gospel. “I got infatuated with the blues in high school,” says Flores. “It was the first music I ever played.” Glad she found her way back. TRIVIA: Flores won a Peabody Award in 2007 for her narration of the rockabilly documentary, Whole Lotta Shakin'.
Nick Schnebelen | Crazy All By Myself (Vizz Tone) RELEASE DATE: March 1 (Vizz Tone)
Nick Schnebelen is brother of Danielle Nicole and a founding member of the popular Kansas City-based blues rock group, Trampled Under Foot, that included Danielle and another brother). This album, produced by Grammy and Blues Music Award winner Tony Braunagel (Taj Mahal, Robert Cray), features members of Taj Mahal's Phantom Blues Band. For me, that's really all I need to know. ONE MORE THING: Schnebelen was at Legends last Friday and youknowwho joined him on stage.
Rockin’ Johnny and Quique Gomez | Dos Hombres Wanted RELEASE DATE: Feb. 22 (Vizz Tone)
In the winter of 2018, these two old friends from different parts of the globe (U.S. West Coast and Madrid) got together to record 12 original tunes and two blues classics. Burgin has a long list of recordings as a band leader and sideman, including a few on Chicago's legendary Delmark label. Gomez, a versatile jazz-influenced blues singer and harp player, also is known to channel Frank Sinatra with a Spanish Big Band.
John Mayall | Nobody Told Me RELEASE DATE: Feb 22 (Forty Below)
The latest studio album from the legendary godfather of British blues includes an impressive (and diverse) list of guest guitarists: Todd Rundgren, Little Steven Van Zandt (E Street Band), Alex Lifeson (Rush), Joe Bonamassa, Larry McCray and Carolyn Wonderland. Did you know that Mayall’s regular horn section is also part of the house band on Conan O’Brien’s show? SIDE NOTE: Mayall has two dates scheduled in Chicago: an already sold out July 31 show at SPACE in Evanston and a show that, at press time, had very limited seating left at City Winery on Aug. 1.
Tommy Castro and the Painkillers | Killin’ It Live! RELEASE DATE: March 1 (Alligator)
Hard to believe that this is the first live CD for this wildly popular band that has a touring schedule that makes me want to go right back to bed. Castro is popular with fans for a simple reason: He is charming and super-friendly, and always delivers blustery blues sprinkled with gritty R&B and hard-charging roadhouse rock. SIDE NOTE: We have two tickets to give away for Castro's APRIL 4 show at City Winery in Chicago (see below)! If you don't win, go anyway. You won't regret it.
Harpdog Brown | For Love & Money RELEASE DATE: April 26 (Dog House Records)
Chicago blues heads down to New Orleans thanks to Canadian (British Columbian) harp player Harpdog Brown, who mixes the sounds of Louis Jordan and Louis Armstrong with Sonny Boy Williamson and the greats of both Chess and Sun Records. The 13 tracks offer a mix of originals and covers that are, as producer Steve Dawson says, "heavy on piano and horns." The band includes William Joseph Abbott (clarinet and alto sax), Skye Lambourne (trombone), Dave Webb (piano and Hammond B3), Robert (Bob) Vail Grant (drums), Jerry Cook (baritone and tenor sax), Jeremy Holmes (bass), and producer Steve Dawson (guitar). CHECK OUT WHAT YOU MISSED LAST YEAR
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers SPECIAL GUEST: Kevin Burt
Tommy Castro is touring right now in support of his new live album, Killin' It, which was recorded at shows in Texas, New York, Michigan and California, with, Castro says, the "best band we have ever had." Everyone who has ever seen Castro live becomes a fan. It is a special treat that his opening act for this show is the wonderful Kevin Burt, who swept the 34th International Blues Challenge awards in 2018, winning all three awards he was nominated for: First Place Solo/Duo, Best Solo/Duo Guitarist, and the Lee Oskar Award for Best Harmonica Player. LEARN MORE ABOUT TOMMY CASTRO EMAIL SUBJECT: Kill My Pain, Tommy! BODY OF EMAIL: Your name, email address & phone DEADLINE TO ENTER:SUN, MAR 25 @ Midnight ENTER RIGHT NOW
YOU (SHOULD) KNOW THE SIMPLE RULES NOTE: ONLY subscribers of Chicago Blues News can enter the contest. You can enter ONCE A DAY until the deadline. The drawing is a random drawing of all the entries. Winners will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen.