WEST SIDE RISING.The Kehrein Center for the Arts (5608 W Washington Blvd.) officially opened on Wednesday, May 22. The Center, which includes the Sistema Ravinia Auditorium, will be home to one of the nation's largest African American elementary school orchestras, the Circle Rockets. The Center is named in honor of Glen and Lonni Kehrein, who founded the Circle Urban Ministries 45 years ago in the Austin neighborhood. After doing a little research, I was pretty impressed with Glen Kehrein, who passed away in 2011 before he could see the arts center built. Let's assume the new center will be able to host other musical...I mean blues...events, too. HERE'S MORE INFO (Note: I think this article has the wrong address)
WHAT WOULD JERRY WANT? A Jerry Garcia-themed venue is supposedly coming to the former Wishbone restaurant in the West Loop (1001 W. Washington), thanks to Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro and the Garcia estate. An early 2020 opening is planned for the new venue, which is described as described as a “seated jazz and jam venue." I am hoping that they might squeeze a little blues in, too. Smokestack Lightning anyone?
CHANGING HANDS. It appears that the jam on Mondays at The Quarry Event Center (2423 E 75th St.) will now be led by Elmore James Jr. & the Broomdusters. The Original Chicago Blues All-Stars had been doing the jam. If you go, please be sure to call first (312.259.1143) to make sure I am not leading you astray.
THE BLUES TRAIL. My cranky alter ego is not too impressed with the endless lists of silliness just meant to fill space: Things You Must Do Before You Die,The Best Music Venues in the U.S., The Most Incredible Weekend You Can Have With Your Cat, yada, yada, yada. So one of those lists, USA Today's2019 Top 10 Historic Towns in America, finally noticed Mississippi and actually picked two towns in the state, including Clarksdale (#4 this year):
Those with an interest in music history should have the town of Clarksdale at the top of their list. This town in the Mississippi Delta played an important role in the development of the blues, a history you can explore at the Delta Blues Museum.
NOTE: When you see Abilene, KS, and Angola, IN, on a list, you know they are running out of options. Skip these stupid lists and find your own bliss.
MUSIC IN THE AIR.The 57th St. Art Fair in Hyde Park is a great way to spend a weekend–and Buddy Guy's Legends lends a hand with a nice musical lineup for the art fest: SATURDAY JUNE 1
Noon – 1:45pm Matt Hendricks
2:00pm – 3:45pm Brother John Kattke
4:15pm – 7:00pm Tracye Eileen
FANNING OUT. The Shreveport Bluesman is a fan-made feature documentary by director Christian Alan Hansen that chronicles the musical evolution of blues rock guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Look for a release in January 2020.
IN WILLIE'S GARDEN. Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation has released its summer schedule of concerts, now called the Record Row Concert Series. The free shows, which run 6-730pm every Thursday, kick off Thursday, June 6 with Doktu Rhute Muuzic. Other events of note:
June 7 Blues Fest Afterparty with Melvin Taylor ($25)
June 8 Hot Blues Night with the Cash Box Kings ($25)
July 4 Willie Dixon's Birthday Bash (5–8pm) with Big Lew and The Crew
August 1 Marie Dixon's Birthday Celebration (5–8pm) with Joe Barr
REST IN PEACE
Aaron "Mudbone" Turner 6.11.58–5.17.19
Drummer Aaron "Mudbone" Turner, who was also a singer and songwriter, passed away on May 17 at the age of 60. Turner performed with legendary artists that included B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Jr. Walker and the All-Stars. He also toured with Susan Tedeschi at one time.
Saturday, June 1, 2019 @ 3pm
Dortch-Williamson Funeral & Cremation Services
1410 Highway 138 SW
Riverdale, GA 30296
HAVE A LISTEN Here's a song from his 2018 release, My Kind of Blues.
******* Paul Orta 9.6.57–5.16.19
Texas harp player Paul Orta lost his battle with colon cancer on May 16. He was 61. Orta fronted his band, The Kingpins (a.k.a. The International Playboys), and various other groups, opening for B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Van Morrison, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Junior Walker, James Cotton, and Buckwheat Zydeco, among others. A memorial service been held. LEARN MORE ABOUT PAUL ORTA
Detroit blues and jazz guitarist Paul Carey Bauhof (known professionally as Paul Carey) passed away at his home on May 10. He was 62. He co-founded the Sun Messengers in 1980 with fellow musicians RJ Spangler and Rick Steiger. He often backed Detroit-based Sir Mack Rice, as well as Johnny Adams, Earl King, Hubert Sumlin, Eddie Floyd and Pinetop Perkins. Carey also toured internationally with Detroit blues icons Thornetta Davis, Alberta Adams, Joe Weaver, Johnnie Bassett and Eddie Kirkland.
Services have been held, but you can still contribute in Carey's name to the Diabetes Association, 20700 Civic Center Drive, Ste. 100, Southfield, MI 48076 or diabetes.org. READ THE OAKLAND PRESS OBIT
HAVE A LISTEN Paul Carey photo courtesy of Chas. Verheyden Funeral Homes Inc.
2019 Chicago Blues Festival
June 7–9, 2019
You've got just
(but who's counting?) left at press time to plan your weekend.