This will be the last newsletter until the SEPT 2– OCT 6 edition because my boss (aka me) told me I deserved some time off.
Frolic safely––and often. See you in September.–Karen
FIRST, THE FESTIVALS!
We are back in full swing with Chicago Blues Festival and Blues on the Fox back to back, just like in the olden days before everything went completely to hell.
CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL
JUNE 9–12 2022 THE GOOD
The fest happened––and it was four days!
There were tributes every day to LIVING local legends.
Chicago's great blues women were all over the house in a BIG way.
The Mississippi stage.
There was only ONE obvious place to get food–a Vienna hot dog stand.
Only three stages.
The Rosa's Lounge Stage. Everyone loves the music Tony brings to his stage, but a raised stage (and more seats) would have been nice...and one that was centered on the street instead of shoved into the curb. Honestly, a tent like the Mississippi stage would be really nice, but I know I am in fantasyland here...along with the people who keep whining about the fest going back to Grant Park. Neither is gonna happen.
Festivals in the neighborhoods. This is one of those good/bad ideas––and IMO it is bad when they areconcurrent with the fest downtown. It's great as a general idea, but since it still is impossible to be in two places at one time, I could not go to either the Austin or Bronzeville mini-fests if I wanted to see anything in Millennium Park. @#$%!
MAYBE NEXT YEAR?
More food options. Why not food trucks...lots of them?
Don't have the neighborhood fests compete with Millennium Park. ONE IDEA:The neighborhood festivals could be on Thursday and Friday and the main fest in Millennium Park on Saturday and Sunday.
A Sunday Morning "Brunch." It would fill the void left by Bob Koester's "brunch" (OK, there were donuts and coffee) during blues fest at the Jazz Record Mart. Of course, he did it to bring people into the store to buy stuff, but the music was always wonderful and the ambience was...interesting.
These photos represent what I wanted to see and hear, not what I would have photographed if someone else was calling the shots. They obviously do not cover all the great music that was at the fest. And, there are also no side shots (well, almost none) because my sidekick was the one who liked to herd cats. I don't do that.
BLUES ON THE FOX
JUNE 16–17 2022
Compared to Chicago's Blues Fest, it is a mini-fest, but with a really good lineup this year: Shemekia Copeland and Kenny Wayne Shepherd on Friday and Melody Angel, Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues, Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers and Buddy Guy on Saturday. To be perfectly honest, the reason I was lured out of my comfort zone, though, was to see Mindi Abair since she is not often in the area. Not that I don't like the others, but except Kenny Wayne, they all are easy to see in Chicago. Even Shemekia, who moved out of Chicago, seems to be here a lot.
And then there was the Afterparty Saturday night, hosted by Wayne Baker Brooks at The Venue, a great space to hear music in downtown Aurora. Both Greg Guy and Billy Branch stopped by to turn up the heat even more for the small, but enthusiastic crowd.
Due to an unfortunate issue,
I have no photos of Kenny Wayne Shepherd...assume he was great
(the crowd LOVED him).
DOCUMENTING THE BLUES. Swedish photographer Hans Ekestang published a beautiful book in 2018––Great feelings and meetings––of mostly B&W images that showcases his more than 50 years photographing blues and R&B greats (think Muddy, the three Kings, Albert Collins, Little Richard, Tina Turner, James Brown and so many more) all over the world, including Chicago. He published his first photo––of B.B. King––in 1971. You can buy the book AND see an exhibition of his work through Sept. 4 at the Swedish American Museum (5211 N. Clark St.; 773.728.8111). Interestingly, there is a photo of Mary Lane in the exhibit that Ekestang probably took standing next to me at the 2017 Chicago Blues Festival. IMPORTANT NOTE: The museum still requires ALL VISITORS to wear masks.
ON A MISSION FROM GOD. The Joliet Area Historical Museum is hosting the inaugural Blues Brothers Con AUG 19–20 at the Old Joliet Prison (1125 N. Collins Street). Dan Aykroyd will be back as Elwood Blues and Jim Belushi will be his Brother Zee (the late John Belushi's role in the original Blues Brothers movie) for a 90-minute special performance on Friday night, Aug. 19. During the two-day fest, there will also be performances by Toronzo Cannon and Curtis Salgado,Mondo Cortez & The Chicago Blues Angels and Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials plus a ecumenical Gospel music service. The fest will conclude with a free public screening on Saturday night of theBlues Brothers movie. Two-day general admission tickets are $60. GET MORE INFO
SOUTH SIDE BLUES. I know that I keep saying this, but Lee's Unleaded is getting closer and closer to an opening date. It is really happening. I got that info from the man who would know: Warren Berger, the guy who took ownership of the long-shuttered club in 2018. Stay tuned.
THE BIRTHDAY BOY. This year Buddy Guy is not celebrating his JULY 30 birthday at Legends. If you want to celebrate his 86th with him on his actual birthday, you will have to go to Cincinnati, where he will be headlining a show at the Taft Theatre that also has John Hiatt & the Goners featuring Sonny Landreth. This is how most grandpas celebrate their 86th birthdays, right?
THE CLOCK IS TICKING. TheWomen of the Blues: A Coast-To-Coast Collection will be available for viewing until July 23 at Epiphany Center for the Arts (201 S. Ashland). Pearl's Rollin' With the Blues: A Night with Felicia P. Fields runs through July 24 at the Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Theatre in Glencoe. The show celebrates some of our greatest blues performers, including Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton and Howlin' Wolf. If you have never seen Felicia Fields in action, get ready!
CONGRATS! The Mighty Ms. Erica, who performed during the Chicago Blues Festival on the Rosa's Lounge stage, has won the Paramount Music Association's (PMA) 2022 Blues Challenge in Wisconsin, narrowly beating out The Stephen Hull Experience. Erica will be representing the PMA at the 2023 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST.Vegetables Buddies, a restaurant, bar and live music venue in South Bend, IN, is closing after a blowout weekend July 15-16. They have hosted blues in the past, but it doesn't look like it for the last weekend. Here's their Facebook post:
Come join us for what will be a very special night for friends and music as we say goodbye and also support a great cause. It's only fitting that Innerstate Transit will kick things off @ 7p, performing to 8:30p. Following Innerstate, the rest of the evening will be a tribute to Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and the mighty Led Zeppelin w/ a rotating cast of musicians throughout the night.
Suggested donation is $10 - proceeds going to The Humane Society.
Following another event on July 16, VB's will close it's doors.
Doors at 5:00
CELEBRATION OF LIFE. If here is anyone I missed who wants to attend the celebration in August for my late husband, Michael, please send me a note as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the details.
REST IN PEACE
Jim Schwall 12.1242–6.19.22
Jim Schwall was a lot of things––multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and photographer––but for those of us of a certain age who grew up in Chicago, he was the co-founder, with Corky Siegel, of the great Siegel-Schwall Blues Band. Schwall, who was born in Evanston, IL, was 79 when he died at his home in Tucson, AZ. In retirement, he wrote a memoir, My So-called Career(s), that, at the time of his death, had not been published. READ HIS OBIT
Graná Louise 1953–6.12.22
Graná Louise is one of the many blues divas who made her mark in Chicago, but probably never fully received the attention she deserved. Louise lived for awhile in France but, in more recent years, had moved back to Ohio, where she was born. She's featured on Delmark's 50th Anniversary Collection, Wild About That Thing, but had only two recordings in her own name: Generations (2002, Crystal Blue Records) and Gettin' Kinda Rough! (2011, Delmark). I am sad to say that I never got to see her live, but thankful that there are many videos online.
Leads at Water Hole Jam 8.29.18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQes11cYddo
________ John E. Meredith Jr., band leader/bass player for the 1st Impression Band, also died recently. The band had a regular gig at The Water Hole.
Even in Chicago, you don't often get all this talent on one stage. And three of the performers are celebrating birthdays: JW Williams (June 23), Laretha Weathersby (July 5) and Jeff "Hyper Harp" Grossberg (July 13). ADDED BONUS: The talented Breezy Rodio will be playing a FREE show during the Golden Hour (5-8pm) in the beautiful outdoor courtyard where there are 1/2 priced bottles of wine and other specials. FRI, JULY 8
Epiphany Center for the Arts
201 S. Ashland GET TICKETS
PLAN YOUR FUN JAMMIN'. The BLUES JAMS hosted by Low-reen & The Maxwell St. Market Blues Band are back on at The Water Hole on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. Although the time has been listed at 8pm-midnight, there could be a time change going forward. Call or check Low-reen's Live Blues before you head out.
SUN, JULY 10 Muddy Waters Blues Jam and
Tribute to JB Ritchie (–4pm);
Mike Wheeler Band (430pm)
TUES, JULY 12 Doug Deming
& The JewelTones
Austin Community Tavern
MON, JUL 18
BLUE MONDAY Joel Paterson and Oscar Wilson
THURS, JUL 21 John Watkins Band
Blues Heaven Foundation
A FEW FESTIVALS Do you notice a theme here?
SUN, JUL 31 Women of the Blues
SAT, AUG 27 Crossroads Blues Fest featuring Women of the Blues
Lyran Park, Rockford
FRI–SAT, SEPT 16–17 Best Dam Blues Festival
FRI–SUN, SEPT 23–25 Berwyn Blues Festival
OBVIOUSLY... CHECK THE ONLINE CALENDAR chicagoBLUESnews Online Calendar
You will find a lot of options for some fun every day and every night––and while I am away, I will still be updating the calendar so you know where to get your blues fix.
Know about a gig I don't?Give me a heads-up.
Updates to the calendar are made regularly––not just once a month and includes shows in nearby states and festivals all over the map that just look fun to me.
BE FULLY VAXXED AND GO HEAR LIVE MUSIC!
I have been trying to catch Studebaker John and the Maxwell St. Kings for a long time––and finally made it. The show, in one of my favorite venues, was as wonderful as I expected it to be. This is the classic Chicago blues I love.
THE BAND Studebaker John, Guitar, harp and vocals Rick Kreher, Guitar Mike Azzi, Bass Earl Howell, Drums
Even though the two festivals were exhausting (but oh so much fun), I did drag myself out to a few more shows in June: Nick Moss at the Blues Heaven Foundation Garden was just another example of the great FREE music you can hear EVERY THURSDAY from 6-730pm throughout the summer at 2120 S. Michigan. CHECK THE SCHEDULE
Mississippi Heat and John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band were part of the under-publicized Make Music Chicago, a really great idea that puts the sounds of all kinds of music in the air throughout the city. Too bad it was the hottest day of the year. Plus, I learned that the always wonderful Sheryl Youngblood will be performing often with Mississippi Heat. She will also be keeping her own band(s).
The CD release party for Dave Weld & the Imperial Flames was EVERYTHING a CD release party should be: The band was on fire, Buddy Guy and his son Greg joined in, and the crowd danced exuberantly.
JUNE 16 Nick Moss
Blues Heaven Foundation Garden THE PHOTOS
JUNE 21 MAKE MUSIC CHICAGO Missississipi Heat,
John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band
Washington Square Park THE PHOTOS
JUNE 26 CD RELEASE PARTY Dave Weld & the Imperial Flames
Buddy Guy's Legends THE PHOTOS
Demetria Taylor Doin’ What I’m Supposed To Do RELEASE DATE: JULY 2022 (CDs)
This is the talented Ms. Taylor's second release on Delmark and it features Mike Wheeler and Deitra Farr. It is a perfect mix of traditional blues and modern R&B. Her first release, Bad Girl, was released on Delmark in 2011.
Rob "Wild Boar" Moore Used to be Wild RELEASE DATE: TBD
Rob Moore has assembled a stellar group of musicians including Heather Tackett Falduto on bass, Merle Perkins on drums and Vince Salerno on sax and harp for his second recording. Nine of the 10 tracks were written by Moore; the tenth is a cover of the B.B. King song, I Need You So Bad. NOTE: You can catch Rob Moore at Rewired Pizza on THURS, JULY 21 and WED, AUG 17
& The South Woodlawners Blood Red Moon RELEASE DATE: AUG 19 Pre-order
(Pro Sho Bidness/R.B.I. Media LLC)
In this latest release, Dale mixes blues with elements of jazz, R&B and West African rhythms. The recording features both some of his long-time South Woodlawners with the addition of The Dirty Jacks, a young rhythm section.
NOTE: This is a LIMITED EDITION of only 100 copies.
Walter Trout Ride RELEASE DATE: AUG 19 Pre-order
(Prologue/Mascot Label Group)
This is Trout's 30th solo release and gives his loyal fan base a deep look into his troubled past in the deeply personal 12 tracks. NOTE: Trout is doing two shows at SPACE in Evanston on Sept. 23.
Putumayo Blues Café RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2022
(Putumayo World Music)
There are 10 tracks on this recording, nine from well-known American blues musicians such as Lightnin' Hopkins, Junior Well & Buddy Guy, Lurrie Bell, and Otis Spain with James Cotton and Muddy Waters. The other track is from Arnaud Fradin & His Roots Combo from Nantes, France. A total of 5% of Putumayo’s proceeds from this album will be donated to the Music Maker Foundation in support of elderly blues musicians.
Howlin' Wolf Howlin' Wolf & His Gang
featuring Howlin' Wolf
at the 1815 Club RELEASE DATE: July 22, 2022
A rare live recording of Howlin' Wolf and the Wolf Gang in June 1975 at his club at 1815 W. Roosevelt Rd., one of the last concerts before he died in January 1976. The CD also includes studio recordings by Eddie Shaw, Detroit Jr. and Hubert Sumlin, all members of the Wolf Gang. The original live recording was release on vinyl in 1988.
The next chicagoBLUESnews:
FRI, SEPT 2–OCT 6 (Mails on THURS SEPT 1)
MEET ANNE AND AMANDA
If you have been hanging around the blues scene in Chicago, you've already met Anne–or at least seen her in action, but this is a great story of serendipity and another talented woman you might want to know.
JULY 7 Sam Burckhardt
JULY 8 Larry Garner
JULY 9 Anthony "Big A" Sherrod
JULY 10 Mavis Staples Bruce Iglauer Dexter Allen Julia A. Miller (Delmark)
JULY 11 Jarekus Singleton
JULY 12 Brenda Taylor
JULY 13 Big Joe Maher
JULY 15 Willie Cobbs Steve James Tim O’Brien Corey Dennison
JULY 16 Susan Koester
JULY 17 Ironing Board Sam Margie Evans Johnny Burgin Keith Johnson
JULY 18 Lynn Jordan Tony Mangiullo (Rosa’s Lounge)
JULY 19 Little Freddie King Phil Upchurch John Watkins
JULY 20 Merle Perkins Steve Freund Bonny B. Phil Breen Darren Jay Fallas
JULY 22 Dennis Gruenling
JULY 23 Linsey Alexander Frank Pellegrino (Kingston Mines) Bill Gibbs
JULY 24 Mighty Mo Rodgers
JULY 25 Bobby Henderson Powell Keith Edward
JULY 27 Roger "Hurricane" Wilson
JULY 28 Roy Rogers
JULY 30 Buddy Guy Otis Taylor
JULY 31 Jesse Lockridge
AUG 1 Robert Cray Deitra Farr Bill Stuve
AUG 2 Mark Naftalin
AUG 3 Matthew Skoller Ronnie Shellist
AUG 5 Martin Schaefer-Murray Dave Katzman
AUG 7 Annika Chambers
AUG 8 Lady Bianca Deak Harp
AUG 9 Trudy Lynn Lois Wang
AUG 10 Grego Anderson Devon Allman
AUG 11 Billy Flynn Thornetta Davis
AUG 12 Roy Gaines Terry "Big T" Williams Morry Sochat Albert Castiglia Nick Bell Sam Frazier Jr Chuck Tippit
AUG 13 Jimi Bott Cathy Lemons
AUG 14 Larry Graham Rick Kreher Terry Adams
AUG 15 RL Boyce
AUG 16 Eric Bibb Seth Walker
AUG 17 Colin James Steve Likens
AUG 18 Paul Garrett Ken Saydak
AUG 19 Billy Prewitt
AUG 20 Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry Eric Johanson
AUG 21 Elmore James Jr. Tracee Adams Landis Chisenhall
AUG 22 Debbie Davies Jim Kaplan (Thebassguy)
AUG 23 Johnny Iguana
AUG 24 "Guitar Slim Jr." Armstrong
AUG 25 Mr. Sipp
Erin Harpe Jacob Schulz (aka Brother Jacob)
AUG 26 Cedric Burnside Ari Seder
AUG 26 Derrick Procell
AUG 27 Louisiana Al Andrew Diehl
AUG 28 Chris Beard
AUG 31 Jay Davenport Joanna Connor Gayle Dean Wardlow (Blues historian) Tom Rezetko
JULY 7 Pinetop Perkins
JULY 8 Louis Jordan Johnnie Johnson Henry Qualls
JULY 9 Joe Liggins
JULY 10 Blind Boy Fuller Charlie Baty Barrelhouse Chuck
JULY 11 Smokey Wilson
JULY 12 Sam Taylor Sammy Lawhorn
JULY 13 Jody Noa Long John Hunter
JULY 15 Washboard Sam Brown
JULY 16 Denise LaSalle
JULY 17 George Barnes Peppermint Harris
JULY 18 "Screamin' Jay Hawkins Lonnie Mack
JULY 19 Richard "Hacksaw" Harney Buster Benton
JULY 20 Grace Brim
JULY 21 Floyd Jones
JULY 23 Percy Strother
JULY 24 Washboard Willie
JULY 25 Sylvester Weaver
JULY 26 Alberta Adams
JULY 28 Isaac L. "Banjo Ikey" Robinson Junior Kimbrough Mike Bloomfield
JULY 29 Charles Henry Christian
JULY 30 Bobby Too Tuff (aka Edward Blanche) Big Jack Johnson Michael Burks
JULY 31 Roy Milton Smoky Babe
AUG 1 Marie Booker Dixon
AUG 2 Pork Miller Big Walter Price
AUG 3 Alex “Easy Baby” Randle
AUG 4 Louis Armstrong
AUG 6 Willie Lee Brown Lem Johnson Willie Nix
AUG 7 Denny Freeman Mose Vinson Magic Slim
AUG 8 Lucky Millinder Jimmy Witherspoon Joe Tex
AUG 9 Robert Shaw
AUG 11 Sam Collins
AUG 12 Gladys Bentley Percy Mayfield
AUG 13 Baby Bob Warren Jimmy McCracklin Son Seals
AUG 15 Buster Brown Jackie Brenston Bobby Byrd Osee Anderson Sr.
AUG 16 Melvin “Lil’ Son” Jackson Eddie Kirkland
AUG 17 Dave "Snaker" Ray Walter Brown Albert Washington Luther Allison
AUG 18 Curtis Jones Barkin’ Bill Smith
AUG 19 Earl Gaines Little Johnny Christian
AUG 20 J.J. Malone
AUG 22 Henry “Son” Sims Addie "Sweet Pea" Spivey Kate McTell (former wife of Blind Willie) John Lee Hooker Carolina Slim Roscoe Shelton
AUG 24 Ruby Smith Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup Wynonie Harris Willie Seaberry (Po’ Monkey)
AUG 26 Jimmy Rushing Walkin’ Cane Mark
AUG 27 “Diamond Teeth” Mary McClain Lenin "Doc" Pellegrino (Kingston Mines) Odie Payne Jr.
AUG 29 Jimmie Bell Dinah Washington
AUG 30 Mercy Dee Walton Olive Brown Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson
AUG 31 Todd Rhodes Dan Pickett Red Nelson Bobby Parker
TENTATIVE 2022 SCHEDULE (Mailing date
is always THURS)