Tim Austin, Buddy Guy's longtime drummer, passed away today, Thursday, April 4. He was 62.
In addition to being a member of Guy's band, Austin played with a who's who of legendary blues musicians that included Otis Rush, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Luther Allison, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Big Jay McNeely Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Billy Branch, Sugar Blue and Phil Guy, in addition to Warren Haynes, John Mayer and Carlos Santana.
Here's what the Buddy Guy team at Legends posted on Facebook: Tim Austin was the heartbeat of The Damn Right Blues Band and we are so deeply sad to announce his passing. When you spend as much time on the road as we do, you truly become a family. Tim was not only our drummer: He was a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a great friend. We will miss you so much, Tim. All our love. - Team BG
THINKING OUT LOUD
PLAY BALL...TOMORROW. The White Sox Home Opener was supposed to be today (Thursday, April 4), but the weather didn't get the memo so the team moved the game to Friday, April 5, assuming sunshine. We care only because Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames will be playing at Reggie's Music Joint after the game at 4pm. Let's get the party started.
NOW I'VE HEARD EVERYTHING. Blues has a longstanding reputation as the devil's music, but at least for this weekend, it will part of the Saturday Night aLive series (5pm, April 6) at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Downers Grove ( 4501 Main). Every Day Grace band members Craig Felde, Dave Johnson IV and Dave Tan will be joined by drummer David Nishi. And no, blues is not part of their weekly services, even though it probably should be.
SPEAKING OF CHURCH. Amazing Grace, the concert film of Aretha Franklin's 1972 gospel shows, will finally be released, first in Los Angeles (where the shows were filmed) and New York, and will be available at approximately 1000 screens across the U.S. on Easter weekend (April 19-21). Interestingly, the film premiered March 30 at the church where it was filmed: the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in South Los Angeles. I have one question: How did Mick Jagger get in the audience? TRIVIA: Franklin's Amazing Grace recording is supposedly the biggest selling black gospel album ever and her best seller. Read the Rolling Stone review LEARN MORE
BRINGING BLUES TO THE BURBS. The Friends of the Blues has released their schedule of upcoming shows:
TUES, APR 9 | Chris O'Leary, Manteno Sportsmen's Club
THUR, APR 18 | Jeremiah Johnson Band, Kankakee Valley Boat Club
TUE, JUN 4 | Ben Levin Quartet, Kankakee Valley Boat Club
TUES, JUL 30 | Frank Bang and the Cook County Kings, Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen's Club
SAT, AUG 3 | Nouveaux Honkies (more country than blues), Inside Out, Gilman
THUR, AUG 15 | Albert Castiglia, The Longbranch, L'Erable
TENTATIVE NOVEMBER DATE: Mike Morgan and the Crawl, Kankakee Valley Boat Club
All shows start at 7 pm, and are open to the public. Food and beverages always available
THE BLUES HAD A BABY...and they called it the Rolling Stones (sort of). The bad news is that Mick Jagger (unlike Keith Richards, apparently ) is a mere mortal, which means his body has rebelled and he needs a quick tuneup (actually surgery to replace a heart valve). The band had to cancel its appearance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in May, but, according to Billboard, will reschedule the rest of the North American tour, which includes two dates in Chicago. Watch for new dates beginning in July. If you need a Stones fix, the band is releasing a BEST OF recording with 36 tracks ($9.99) on Friday, April 19. If you need more, the deluxe version includes 10 more live recordings with musicians like Dave Grohl and Florence Welch (but that will cost you $23.55).
NEVER SAY NEVER. I thought I went to the final installment of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival when it was held at Madison Square Garden in 2013. Apparently not. There will be another two-day fest this year at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Sept. 20-21. As usual, all profits will benefit The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a treatment and education facility founded by Clapton for chemically dependent persons. Here's the current lineup joining Clapton: Alan Darby, Albert Lee, Andy Fairweather Low, Billy Gibbons, Bonnie Raitt, Bradley Walker, Buddy Guy Band, Daniel Santiago, Doyle Bramhall II, Gary Clark Jr., Gustavo Santaolalla, James Bay, Jeff Beck, Jerry Douglas, Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Walsh, Jonny Lang, Keb' Mo', Kurt Rosenwinkel, Los Lobos, Pedro Martins, Peter Frampton, Robert Cray, Robert Randolph, Sheryl Crow, Sonny Landreth, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Tom Misch and Vince Gill. (Note: Clapton performs both nights, but not All Artists listed will.)
ONE MORE NON-BLUES THING. Although blues will probably be hard to come by at most of these summer fests (except, of course, at our favorite summer festival), Do312 has put together a pretty comprehensive list of festivals of all kinds beginning this month that confirm why we live in Chicago. CHECK 'EM OUT
SAT, MAR 30 @ Buddy Guy's Legends Sugaray Rayford OPENING ACT: Alex Wilson One thing I know for sure: You can always count on Sugaray to give his audience 150% and to play until the venue says, "Enough." What a fun show!
SAT, MAR 30 @ Old Town School of Folk Music Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings He was a member of John Lee Hooker's band in the 1980s and produced four of Hooker's recordings, including The Healer, which won a Grammy award. He also co-wrote Gnawin' on It with Bonnie Raitt, which got a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal in 2002. He probably is one of the most under-the-radar killer slide players out there today. It was great to attend one of his rare Chicago appearances.
And yes, he was named after that other "Roy" that people of a certain age will remember fondly.
Sugaray Rayford | Somebody Save Me RELEASE DATE: March 1 (Forty Below)
Chris O'Leary | 7 Minutes Late RELEASE DATE: January 18 (American Showplace Music)
Luca Kiella | Figure It Out RELEASE DATE: April 10
Gary Hoey | Neon Highway Blues RELEASE DATE: March 15 (Provogue)
WED, MAY 15 @ City Winery DEADLINE TO ENTER:WED, MAY 1 @ Midnight
David Bromberg Quintet
He's been called an American icon by none other than Dr. John and is a renowned violin expert with a shop called David Bromberg's Fine Violins in Wilmington, DE. His musical journey began with blues–and that is where he has returned. His first release for Red House Records is The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues, a collection that spans a wide variety of blues styles from traditional to country and gospel-style blues.
HOW TO ENTER
EMAIL SUBJECT: Bromberg plays the blues BODY OF EMAIL: Your name, email address & phone 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.
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.
APR 11 "Little Frank" Krakowski
Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson
APR 4 Muddy Waters
APR 6 Big Walter Horton
APR 7 Billie Holiday
Mr. Bo (aka Louis Bo Collins)
APR 8 Robert Lowery
APR 9 Mance Lipscomb
APR 10 John Brim
BELATED WISHES AND OTHER FAUX PAS I must have missed someone...I am sure you celebrated without me.
OOPs. Last week, we inadvertently wished Pete Galanis a Happy Birthday on March 30. His birthday is actually March 6–and I knew that and sent wishes then. Who knows what happened to cause this silly mistake. And who cares? You can never have too much cake and should celebrate your birthday as often as your friends and family let you.