R.I.P. TONY COLTER. Tony Colter, SIriusXM Bluesville and Watercolors DJ, passed away Friday, May 3, after suffering a stroke on April 11. He was 66. No funeral arrangements had been announced at press time.
IT'S MAHINDRA TIME. The Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, India, is India's largest blues festival. The 2019 fest was held in February, but The Mahindra Blues Weekend at Buddy Guy’s Legends is an international extension of the festival. This weekend, all the shows at Legends will stream live, for free, at BuddyGuy.TV. In between bands, Legends will be showing video clips from the Mahindra Blues Festival, bringing awareness of the festival and Indian blues bands to Chicago. Here's the schedule: FRI, MAY 10
Noon | Fruteland Jackson
530-8pm | Harmonica Hinds
9pm | Haven Star
1030pm | Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues
SAT, MAY 11
Noon | Mike Wheeler
6-8pm | Diamond Jim Greene
930pm | Darren Jay
111pm | Biscuit Miller
KUDOS TO OUR FRIEND. WDCB DJ Leslie Keros, who used to host a few blues shows on WDCB and now hosts the station's DCB Jazz, is moving on up and, beginning July 5, will join the Chicago-based Jazz Network, a programming service of WFMT Radio Network. She replaces Neil Tesser, whose contract with the network has expired. Keros will continue to also host her WDCB show. LEARN MORE
ANOTHER GOODBYE. The Barrelhouse Flat in Lincoln Park (2624 N. Lincoln), where Erwin Helfer used to have a weekly gig, is closing June 2. There was no reason given for the closing. You can still catch Helfer every Tuesday at the Hungry Brain (2319 W. Belmont).
FESTIVAL TIME.The second annual Joliet Blues festival will be held Aug. 10 from 4-10pm at Joliet’s Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park, which is located on the west side of the Des Plaines River. Guy King is the headliner this year. Other acts on the bill: Morry Sochat and The Special 20s, Joel Paterson and Oscar Wilson, andDonna Herula and Tony Nardiello. Proceeds from the event go to the Will-Joliet Bicentennial Park Corporation, a 501c3 that supports the theater and its programs.
YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN. I hate to admit that I never got to Maxwell Street in its heyday (please cry for me), but it's true. Sadly, I am fairly certain it was a moment in Chicago history that will never be repeated. Now there's a new book from the University of Chicago Press called, Maxwell Street: Writing and Thinking Place by Tim Cresswell that takes another look at this point in history. Cresswell attempts, in his own unique way, to help us understand what "place" is and why Maxwell Street is such an important part of Chicago history. The current version of the Maxwell Street Market on Desplaines Ave. pales in comparison to the original must have been. READ RICK KOGAN'S CHICAGO TRIBUNE STORY
THERAPY MIGHT HELP. You should get used to the idea that Woodstock 50 has probably crashed and burned. However, if you seem to be stuck back in 1969, the folks at Rhino Records want your money. This summer they are releasing Woodstock–Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive. It contains 38 CDs with 432 Tracks (267 previously unreleased). It appears to cover every note played at the fest...even those that probably shouldn't have been. To listen to it all, it will take 36 hours of your life you will never get back and it costs $799.98, which is about 44 times the cost of a three-day ticket to the actual fest. If you are seriously thinking of buying this, you have too much disposable income and should probably support your favorite blues newsletter instead. It's a thought. LEARN MORE
MAY 1, 2019 @ Buddy Guy's Legends Little Walter Tribute
It seemed like about a million musicians came out to honor the legacy of the greatest harp player to every play the blues–and each one was more fun than the next. This annual event is a fundraiser for the Little Walter Foundation and it gets better every year. We took so many photos that we are still labeling them..but you'll get the idea that you shoulda been there.
THURS, JUN 6 @ City Winery DEADLINE TO ENTER:MON, MAY 20 @ Midnight
PRE-BLUES FEST BASH
Featuring Corky Siegel, Chamber Blues, Lynne Jordan, Toronzo Cannon and some special surprises
Start your blues fest weekend in fine style with some of Chicago's best.
HOW TO ENTER
EMAIL SUBJECT: Get the Blues Fest Party Started BODY OF EMAIL: Your name, email address & phone ENTER RIGHT NOW Remember that only Chicago Blues News subscribers can enter...but you can do it once each day during the contest.
Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues | Roots and Branches–The Songs of Little Walter RELEASE DATE: July 5 (Alligator)
A total of 15 songs either written or made famous by Little Walter. This is what Billy Branch has to say: "We are proud to present an album with elements of soul, funk and even a little bit of gospel. Our goal was to competently and respectfully produce a Little Walter-themed recording with a different twist, while preserving the integrity of Little Walter’s innovative style.” Joining Branch are Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi (piano), Giles Corey (guitar), Marvin Little (bass) and Andrew “Blaze” Thomas (drummer). At the end of the album, Little Walter’s daughter, Marion Diaz, shares a few anecdotes of life with her legendary father.
Jimmie Vaughan | Baby, Please Come Home RELEASE DATE: May 17 (Last Music Company)
This recording is available in three versions: CD, Digital and Limited Edition Aztec Gold Vinyl. You know who Vaughan is so either you are a fan (count me in) or you are not. This recording is Vaughan's first studio album since 2011, and it includes songs from some of his heroes, including Chuck Willis, T-Bone Walker, Etta James, Fats Domino,Gatemouth Brown and Jimmy Reed. There also is a long list of sideman on this CD, including Greg Piccolo, Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff and Mike Flanigan.
The Duke Robillard Band | Ear Worms RELEASE DATE: May 10 (Stony Plain)
The CD has 13 tracks from one of the founders and frontman for Roomful of Blues. There's one original song followed by renditions of songs Robillard was attracted to when he was growing up. Special guests include Chris Cote, Sunny Crownover, Mark Cutler, Julie Grant, Dave Howard and Klem Klimek.
Kingfish Ingram | Kingfish RELEASE DATE: May 17 (Alligator)
He turned 20 on stage at Buddy Guy's Legends this year and he is taking the blues world by storm with his live performances. The debut CD features a little help from heavyweight friends: Buddy Guy (a cameo on Fresh Out); Keb' Mo' (featured on one track and playing on five more) and one appearance by Billy Branch. And you did know that Charley Pride was his cousin, right?
So many choices, so little time. 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.