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A weekly digest of blues news
 
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DEC 14–JAN 3, 2019  
ONLINE CALENDAR  |  FESTIVALS
FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER
TIS THE SEASON TO FA LA LA LA
OR WHATEVER YOU DO


We have created a short selection of stuff to help you celebrate the season. Eat, drink and be very merry–or crawl into bed and wait for the madness to be over. Your choice.

GET IN THE MOOD
SOME SONGS OF THE SEASON
Christmas Blues (two hours worth)

Blues Christmas Songs 
a compilation by Rick Ford

76 Bluesy Christmas Songs
compiled by Philip Natale

JUST A LITTLE BIT NAUGHTY

Dirty Ol' Christmas Blues | Yes Ma'am featuring Blind Boy Paxton

Back Door Santa | Clarence Carter

Santa Claus is Back in Town | Elvis

HAVE A BLUESY CHRISTMAS

  • Head out to Navy Pier  on WED, DEC 19 to celebrate with Lil' Ed, Toronzo Cannon, Lynne Jordan and Matthew Skoller. You won't regret it. 7-830pm 
     
  • Go to 210Live in Highwood on DEC 23 and celebrate with Lil' Ed.

SHOP (AT HOME) TIL YOU DROP
An admittedly small collection of ideas for your shopping pleasure, if you are not already done spending.
CHECK IT OUT

RING IN THE NEW YEAR
If you must leave home, use our ONLINE CALENDAR for ideas.
 
THINKING OUT LOUD 

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LURRIE. Hard to believe, but Lurrie Bell turns 60 today–and will be celebrating with an appearance at BLUES on Halsted. Smilin' Bobby will also be there and you never know who else. It's party time, y'all!
LURRIE BELL PHOTO © Chicago Blues News/Michael Murphy

THE BEST. It's so subjective, but here's a list of the Top 40 blues recordings from 2018, according to Richard Ludmerer in Making A Scene, the Independent Music Magazine. Lots of great music on the list, but since I am partial to our local heroes, here's who made the list from our town (in no particular order): The Nick Moss Band (The High Cost of Low Living), Lurrie Bell and the Bell Dynasty (Tribute to Carey Bell), Shemekia Copeland (America's Child) and Buddy Guy (The Blues Are Alive and Well).

IT'S WHINING TIME. The Grammy nominations are out for 2019 and here are our two categories:

Best Traditional Blues Album

SOMETHING SMELLS FUNKY 'ROUND HERE
Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio
ELVIN BISHOP PHOTO © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy

BENTON COUNTY RELIC
Cedric Burnside

THE BLUES IS ALIVE AND WELL
Buddy Guy

NO MERCY IN THIS LAND
Ben Harper And Charlie Musselwhite

DON'T YOU FEEL MY LEG
(THE NAUGHTY BAWDY BLUES OF BLUE LU BARKER)
Maria Muldaur

Best Contemporary Blues Album

PLEASE DON'T BE DEAD
Fantastic Negrito

HERE IN BABYLON
Teresa James And The Rhythm Tramps

CRY NO MORE
Danielle Nicole

OUT OF THE BLUES
Boz Scaggs

VICTOR WAINWRIGHT AND THE TRAIN
Victor Wainwright And The Train

OTHER NOMINATIONS
Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians documented by William Ferris
TWO NOMINATIONS: Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes
MY COMMENT: This looks great. It is two CDs of blues and gospel (1966–1978), one CD of interviews and storytelling (1968–1994); one DVD of documentary films (1972–1980), transcriptions for each track, a download streaming code and a 120-page hardcover book edited by Ferris.

Life in 12 Bars (Eric Clapton)
ONE NOMINATION: Best Music Film
The King (Elvis) was also nominated in this category.

Saint James Infirmary Blues (Jon Baptiste)
ONE NOMINATION: Best American Roots Performance

I have a million whines, but here are two:

  • Why is Best Roots Gospel Album even a category?
  • Fantastic Negrito again in blues???????


I DON'T UNDERSTAND. The Sunday, Dec. 9 issue of the Chicago Tribune used its A&E section to publish a Best of the Arts 2018 section–Music and Books. You would think that in the blues capital of the known universe there would be a Best Blues Recordings section, but that page must have fallen out of my paper cuz I didn't see one. Or maybe Greg Kot will include a token blues recording or two in his Best Local  Recordings column that will appear in the Dec. 21 Chicago Tribune. He can use the Making A Scene article for ideas, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

AND THEN THERE IS WGN....In case you missed it, local blues musician Bear Williams was on WGN-TV today.  If you like what you hear, you can see Bear Williams at Buddy Guy's Legends on JAN 23 and FEB 15. You can also buy his CD, Waters of Love.
WATCH THE SHOW HERE.

MORE MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Some stations have gotten their brains (cojones?) back and are playing Baby It's Cold Outside again. WDCB's Hambone thought the version by Pearl Bailey and Hot Lips Page, which was not on my list last week (mostly cuz I got tired of making links) was the best–and then I found this one by Tallulah Bankhead & Jack Carson that amused me. IMO, they are all good.

YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY. It has been fun to watch the transformation of Samantha Fish over the years–and what a transformation it has been. Here are a few facts I just learned about Sam:

  • She relocated from her Kansas City area home to New Orleans.
  • She  joined forces with Rueben Williams to found Wild Heart Records.
  • The label's first release is Jonathon Long (from the Baton Rouge bluesman of the same name). Sam produced and appears on the recording as a guest artist.
  • She also has Long opening for her at Lincoln Hall this weekend (see the Get Out section below).
WHO KNEW? At least I didn't. I was looking for something else and found a video of Linda Gale Lewis (sister of Jerry Lee!) with her daughter. It's kinda fun. And here's something even more fun: Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On with the Lennerockers in 2011. Finally, there's Ms. Lewis with Robbie Fulks doing Great Balls of Fire–at FitzGerald's! Where have I been?????
FYI: Fulks and Lewis will be at Lincoln Hall  on FEB 23.

GET A TOUR. If you haven't gone down to the Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark) to see the current blues exhibit (Amplified: Chicago Blues) yet, local harp player Dizzy Bolinski would be happy to help. He is conducting the blues tours at the museum every Saturday in December at 2:30pm (three more weeks). He's also giving short concerts and all jammers are welcome to join in the fun. Call to confirm: 312-642-4600.
TICKET GIVEAWAYS

THE CLOCK IS TICKING!
DEADLINE TO ENTER:

SUN, DEC 16 @ Midnight

WED, DEC 26, 2018 @ City Winery

SHEMEKIA COPELAND
Win two tickets to see Shemekia!
ENTER RIGHT NOW

YOU MUST USE
THIS INFO

EMAIL SUBJECT: 
I LOVE AMERICA'S CHILD
BODY OF EMAIL: Your name, email address & phone

YOU (SHOULD) KNOW THE RULES
NOTE:
All subscribers of Chicago Blues News can enter ONCE A DAY throughout the contest.


Shemekia Copeland photo © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy

GET OUT
So many choices, so little time. Know about a show I don't? Tell Me About It...please.

ONLINE CALENDAR  |  FESTIVALS
 
FRI, DEC 14
Paul Kaye and the Blues Cartel
The Water Hole

Chicago Bound
Smoke Daddy Wrigleyville

Eric Noden
Lagunitas Tap Room (530pm)

Rico McFarland
BLUES

Chicago Blues Angels
Kicker's Bar and Lounge, Schiller Park

SAT, DEC 15
Bob Stroger

Nick's Beer Garden

Harry Garner Band
The Uptown, Westmont

Samantha Fish, Jonathon Long
Lincoln Hall

BLUES AND BREWS BRUNCH
Andre Taylor

River Roast

SUN, DEC 16
Marty Sammon's
Holiday Blues Fling
featuring Donald Kinsey (6pm)

VFW 2791 Bremen Post, Tinley Park

MON, DEC 17
Mike Wheeler Band
with Demetria Taylor

Blue Chicago

Tab Benoit
City Winery
(Also on Tuesday, DEC 18)

TUES, DEC 18
Joe Filisko's Harmonica Party

Harlem Ave. Lounge, Berwyn

Pete Galanis and Friends
Rosa's Lounge

WED, DEC 19
A BLUES CHRISTMAS
with Toronzo Cannon, Lil' Ed Williams, Lynne Jordan and Matthew Skoller

Navy Pier (7pm)

BLUES-ISH: Tell Mama
plays Janis Joplin

SPACE, Evanston

Tom Holland
Smoke Daddy

THURS, DEC 20
Ivy Ford

Hey Nonny, Arlington Heights

Mike Ledbetter Blues Band
BLUES

Morry Sochat
Shaw's Crab House

FRI, DEC 21
Queens of Rhythm and Blues–
Tracee Adams and Friends,
Lauren Conner Band

Bassline

BORDERLINE BLUES
Lowdown Brass Band

Untitled

SAT, DEC 22
Billy Branch and the Sons
of Blues, La Wuandia

Buddy Guy's Legends

Carlos Johnson and
the Serious Blues Band

BLUES

Omar Coleman
Smoke Daddy Wrigleyville

Ronnie Baker Brooks
FitzGerald's, Berwyn

Studebaker John and the Maxwell St. Kings
Harlem Ave. Lounge, Berwyn

SUN, DEC 23
A BLUES CHRISTMAS
with Lil' Ed

210Live, Highwood

Peaches Staten
Buddy Guy's Legends
MON, DEC 24
JW WIlliams and the ChiTown Hustlers, Corey Dennison

Kingston Mines

TUES, DEC 25

CELEBRATE something today....
if Christmas is not for you, celebrate Festivus OR...as Jon Stewart used to say, "It's Jews Go to the Movies Day."


WED, DEC 26
Shemekia Copeland

City Winery
Also on THURS, DEC 27

Billy Flynn
Smoke Daddy

Guy King, Keithen Banks
House of Blues

THURS, DEC 27
AFTERWORK BLUES 
Smiley Tillmon Band

River Roast (530pm)

Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Mike Wheeler
Kingston Mines

Nick Moss Band
Hey Nonny, Arlington Heights

FRI, DEC 28
Dave Herrero with Pete Galanis

Harlem Ave. Lounge, Berwyn

John Primer and
the Real Deal Blues Band with
special guest Billy Boy Arnold

SPACE, Evanston

Reverend Peyton's
Big Damn Band

Martyr's

Rico McFarland Band
Rosa's Lounge

Street Jaxkson Band
Johnny's Blitz Sports Bar, Westmont

SAT, DEC 29
Dave Weld and
the Imperial Flames

Stage Left Cafe, Woodstock

Omar Coleman
Smoke Daddy

SUN, DEC 30
Chicago Wind
featuring Deitra Farr

Blue Chicago

The Cash Box Kings
Buddy Guy's Legends

MON, DEC 31

Tracee Adams
Motor Row Brewing
See the Online Calendar for other options

TUES, JAN 1, 2019
Recover from all that was 2018

WED, JAN 2
BLUES JAM
Low-reen and the Maxwell St. Market Blues Band

The Water Hole

THURS, JAN 3
BUDDY IN RESIDENCE
with Bobby Rush

Buddy Guy's Legends

Smilin' Bobby
Phyllis' Musical Inn
PLAN AHEAD
MON, JAN 14
Second Monday Blues
with Billy Branch and Mary Lane

Reva and David Logan Center
for the Arts
University of Chicago

FRI, JAN 18
ZYDECO: CJ Chenier
and the Red Hot Louisiana Band

FitzGerald's, Berwyn
MON, FEB 11
Second Monday Blues
with Billy Branch and Lurrie Bell

Reva and David Logan Center
for the Arts
University of Chicago

FRI, MAR 1
Sonny Landreth and Marcia Ball

SPACE, Evanston
NOTE: They are also at FitzGerald's on SAT, MAR 2
Birthdays will run THURSDAY – WEDNESDAY, even though the newsletter DATE is FRI – THURS (somehow this makes sense)
CELEBRATE
DEC 13
Lurrie Bell 
Larry Taylor
(of the Chicago Taylor Family, not the Canned Heat guy)

DEC 14
Rose Enrico Branch (Mrs. Billy)

DEC 16
Lucky Peterson

DEC 20
Heather Tackett Falduto (Super Chikan, etc.)

DEC 22
Twist Turner
Liz Mandeville


DEC 25
Joe Louis Walker

DEC 27
Tracy Nelson

DEC 29
Steve Bell

JAN 1
Cookie Taylor (daughter of Koko)





 
REMEMBRANCES
DEC 15 
Andrew "Big Voice" Odom

DEC 17
Paul Butterfield

DEC 18
Pee Wee Crayton
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
Lonnie Brooks


DEC 19
Professor Longhair

DEC 21
Peetie Wheatstraw
Harmonica Slim


DEC 22
Lil Green

DEC 23
Little Esther Phillips

DEC 28
Matt "Guitar" Murphy
Pops Staples
Johnny Otis


DEC 30
Bo Diddley

JAN 2
Little Smokey Smothers

BELATED WISHES
DEC 8
Precious J Taylor

DEC 11
Steve Wagner (Delmark)
STAY BLUESY.
A big thank you to all the loyal blues fans who have supported Chicago Blues News from the very beginning. We've grown a lot in the last year thanks to your support. We appreciate it more than you know. Have a peaceful and safe holiday season.

See you in 2019!
NEXT NEWSLETTER: JAN 4-10, 2019.
SUBSCRIBE TO CHICAGO BLUES NEWS NOW
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.
Copyright © 2018 Chicago Blues News, All rights reserved.
 

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