Copy
A weekly digest of blues news
 
View this email in your browser
MAR 5 – APR 8 2021 
FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER
REST IN PEACE
Louis Arzo Youngblood, 68
aka “Gearshifter”
1953–3.3.21

Jackson, MS-based guitarist and vocalist who dabbled in a mix of country blues, modern soul blues and whatever in between; of heart-related problems
LEARN MORE ABOUT GEARSHIFTER
HAVE A LISTEN

Gene Taylor, 68
7.2.52–2.20.21

Boogie-woogie piano player who played as a teenager in LA with Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson and PeeWee Crayton. He went on to be a longtime member of both The Blasters and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. He was found dead in his bed by his roommate in Austin (they had been without heat for five days).
LEARN MORE

HAVE A LISTEN
Gene Taylor Blues Band with Dave and Phil Alvin

Don't lie to me
The Blasters & Gene Taylor 

Early Every Morning
Kim Wilson & Gene Taylor 

Sherman Robertson
10.27.46–1.28.21 

Blues guitarist, songwriter and singer who played with Clifton Chenier for several years in the 1980s and also went on to play with Rockin' Dopsie and Terrance Simien and the Mallet Playboys before going solo. Mr. Robertson died at his home in Silver Lake, OH, in hospice care.
Read the Blues Matters Tribute

HAVE A LISTEN

If you want to learn. more about Sherman Robertson and the Texas zydeco scene,  there is a wonderful book called Texas Zydeco by Roger Wood, with photos by James Fraher. I just got a used copy this week in pristine copy.

Douglas Carroll Grigsby III, 57
3.16.63–2.17.21

Most well known as the bass player and musical director for soul singer Teena Marie 
LEARN MORE
GoFundMe Memorial Fund

Llewillym Milo Johnson Sr., 49
1.18.61–1.8.21

Chicago singer, songwriter and bass player
 Read the obituary

I am also sad to report that guitarist Dave Specter lost his mom, Elaine, on Feb. 11 at the age of 91, and guitarist Pistol Pete lost his older brother since the last newsletter. Send a little love their way.


OTHER NOTABLE PASSINGS 
James Burke, 70
9.19.50–2.19.21
Member of the classic Chicago soul group, The Five Stairsteps
Their 1970s song, O-o-h Child is listed on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Read the Rolling Stone obituary

Tom Burns, 67
1954–11.23.21
Harmonica player and fixture on the Minneapolis blues scene; Burns was living in Arizona at the time of his passing.
Read about his offbeat life
HAVE A LISTEN

Mary Wilson, 76
3.6.44–2.8.21
One of the founder members of the Supremes; of hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

And, finally, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, beat poet and founder of the great City Lights bookstore in San Francisco died at the age of 101. I will admit to not really being into poetry, but Ferlinghetti's poem, The Wold is a Beautiful Place, was one I liked from the book, A Coney Island of the Mind.

THINKING OUT LOUD
THERE'S GOTTA BE A WAY. Steve Balkin, director of the Maxwell Street Foundation and a Roosevelt University Professor Emeritus, has a mission: to give Rev. John Johnson's Maxwell St. Blues Bus a new life and a new home. According to a Block Chicago story, the bus was a "rolling music store" and Johnson sold blues tapes and CDs from it on Maxwell Street "from the 1960s to the late 1990s." The renovation supposedly will only cost between $10,000 and $15,000. I think finding the permanent home could be a bigger struggle, but I really like what Balkin has in mind.
READ ABOUT BALKIN'S AMBITIOUS PLANS
DONATE TO THE CAUSE

THE CLOCK IS TICKING...You have until 11:59pm CT on Friday, March 12, 2021, to vote in the 2021 Blues Music Awards. Remember, though, you must be a member of the Blues Foundation to do it. Note that the awards will be live streamed on Sunday, June 6, beginning at 4pm CST on the Blues Foundation Facebook page and on their YouTube channel).
Here's the complete list of nominees

WE LIKE BEING IN THIS DOG HOUSE. Great Canadian harp player Harpdog Brown has a new nine-episode YouTube series online. Still coming up:
MAR 7 (1pm CST) John Nemeth
MAR 14 (1pm CST) Holger Petersen
MAR 21 (1pm CST) Tim Williams

PAST SHOWS
EPISODE 1: featuring Bill Bourne
EPISODE 2: featuring Peter North
EPISODE 3 featuring Jack de Keyzer
EPISODE 4 featuring Cam Hayden
EPISODE 5 featuring Aki Kumar
EPISODE 6 featuring Kid Andersen

No...I don't know who all these people are (I can't want to find out, though), but I do know one thing: We LOVE Harpdog Brown and would never miss a chance to watch him do his thing...on either side of the border.
HARPDOG BROWN PHOTO © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy

GET IN TUNE. Slide whiz Donna Herula will teaching two online guitar classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music beginning Sunday, March 7 through Sunday, April 25: ONCE A JAYHAWK...Actually I was never a Jayhawk, but when I briefly lived there, I did like Lawrence, KS, a lot. So it caught my eye when I saw that one of the professors at the University of Kansas recently penned a book called Groove Theory: The Blues Foundation of Funk. Here's what author and KU associate professor Tony Bolden says in this intro:
"My central argument (is) that blues and funk are not just musical forms; they are interrelated concepts. And blues is ‘like the nucleus’ of rock as well as rhythm and blues, which includes soul and funk.”
LEARN MORE

SUCH A DEAL. Every year the University of Chicago holds The Great Chicago Book Sale that offers "books in every subject up to 90% off." The books I want are never 90% off, but this year there are a few blues books of note (p.24 of the catalog, but p26 of the .pdf): 
Bitten By the Blues: The Alligator Records Story ($11)
I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy ($8)
Jimi Hendrix: Soundscapes ($8)
The sale ends on June 15, 2021.
FIND OUT MORE

NOTE: To take advantage of the discounts, use the promo code AD1909 when you check out.

THE CONFUSION CONTINUES. So, the Grammys will be held March 14 if you care. I really wasn't going to whine about the Grammys anymore (even I was sick of hearing it) but @#$%! It is bad enough there are only two blues categories: Best Traditional Blues Album  and Best Contemporary Blues Album, but the contemporary category has Fantastic Negrito and G. Love (yes, the guy with the Special Sauce) up against The North Mississippi Allstars, Ruthie Foster and Bettye LaVette. What...no room for Larkin Poe? And please....if we every get to go to Chicago Blues Fest live again, don't put G. Love on the main stage...or really anywhere in town that weekend.

SOME SANITY. The GRAMMY Museum Mississippi recently gave Bobby Rush the Crossroads of American Music Award at their annual gala. The award honors "honor artists who have made significant musical contributions influenced by the creativity born in the cradle of American music."

THE GLOBES. Andra Day won a Golden Globe for Best Actress–Motion Picture Drama for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in the United States vs. Billie Holiday and the late Chadwick Boseman won Best Actor–Motion Picture Drama for his role as Ma Rainey's trumpet player in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. If nothing else, these Golden Globe wins might expose a new audience to the talents of the two great blues singers featured in these films.

GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, Motor Row Brewing has closed its doors.  Katie O'Hern and Tyler Davis will be opening a twin concept brewery and tasting room in the space called Duneyrr, specializing in wine-beer hybrids, and Moderne Dune, focused on IPAs and lagers. I can only hope that they will see the value of keeping the weekly blues jam going...PLEASE.
LEARN MORE

TRUE STORIES. It seems like the documentaries just keep coming. The latest one I care about is the HBO  documentary on Tina Turner, called (of course) Tina. You can watch it on HBO and HBO Max  at 7pm CST on March 27 and on demand the next day. There will be never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, personal photos and new interviews.
WATCH THE TRAILER

WE GOT YOU, OSCAR. Oscar Wilson, singer for the Cash Box Kings and beloved member of the Chicago blues community, recently announced on Facebook that he was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer. I checked in with Cash Box Kings band leader Joe Nosek and he confirmed that Oscar was being treated at the Mayo Clinic and the doctor was: 
  • very optimistic about Oscar's condition
  • an old school Muddy Waters fan...so we know Oscar is in good hands.
Stay tuned for news about a GoFundMe campaign and some online shows to raise money to help with his medical bills. And send those positive vibrations.

WE BE OLD. I am in a constant state of denial about exactly how old I am until I pass a mirror, but there was something  particularly unsettling to find a Billy Gibbons playlist on the AARP website. OK...at least I am in good company.
YOU CAN SEE THE LIST HERE IF YOU ARE AN AARP MEMBER 
If not, here's the artists he likes: The Nighcaps, Freddie King, Lightnin' Hopkins, Hop Wilson, Frankie Lee Sims, Albert Collins, Jimmie Vaughan, Mike Flanigin, T-Bone Walker, Lead Belly, and even one of his own songs:  Missin' Yo Kissin'.
FYI: A new ZZ Top recording is coming out later this year.

NEVER ENOUGH TAJ. Taj Mahal has announced a livestream series (three shows) from the University of California, Berkeley:
March 13: with the Phantom Blues Band with special guest Jon Cleary
March 20: Roots Rising Showcase with performances by Piedmont BluzBob Ickes & Trey Hensley, and more.
March 27: Fantastic Negrito (I have no words.)
All shows are at 8pm CST.
GET TICKETS/MORE INFO (No, these are not FREE shows)

ONE MORE THING. I somehow missed this one earlier: Michael Damani, the young guitar phenom who plays with the Original Chicago Blues All Stars (Freddie Dixon and Jimmy Lee Tillman's band) recently got married to fellow musician Danielle Jones (Danielle of Earth). Congrats and warm wishes for a wonderful musical future! Who knew Damani was old enough to get married? Just kidding! 😜

PLAN TENTATIVELY
(BUT ENTHUSIASTICALLY) AHEAD
AUG 20–22, 2021
McHenry Area Rotary
Blues Brews & BBQ

Petersen Park  | McHenry, IL
I don't know who John Todd is, but I definitely know these other two:
Ivy Ford Band
Jimmy Nick and Don't Tell Mama

More bands to be announced. Stay tuned.
MORE INFO
IVY FORD PHOTO © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy

OTHER SHOWS SCHEDULED
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts | Skokie
OCT 10 | Boz Scaggs
OCT 14 Taj Mahal
NEW RELEASES
Popa Chubby
| It's a Mighty Hard Road
RELEASE DATE: 3.19.21 | Dixiefrog
Popa Chubby (you can call him Ted Horowitz if you dare) is celebrating his 30-year career with this new release that features 13 original songs and two covers: Kiss (Prince) and I'd Rather Be Blind. This is the Leon Russell song not to be confused with the Etta James classic. Remember, Etta wanted to GO blind, not BE blind. You may have heard Freddie King's version a while ago.
HERE'S A TASTE

New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers | Vol. 2
RELEASE DATE: 3.26.21 | Stony Plain Records 
This is my kind of supergroup. I told you about Vol. 1 in the JAN 8 newsletter and now the 2nd disc is scheduled for release in a few weeks. Remember, it's Charlie Musselwhite, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathus, Jim Dickinson, Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson. If you like the North Mississippi Allstars, you will love this.
PRE-ORDER

Chris Cain | Raisin' Cain
RELEASE DATE: 4.9.21 | Alligator Records
This is Chris Cain's first release on Alligator, which was produced and recorded by Kid Andersen at Greaseland Studios in San Jose, CA. The 12 original songs are what Cain himself describes as "the best pack of tunes I've ever written." That is saying a lot since this is Cain's 15th release.
CAIN AT LEGENDS IN 2019
AND CAIN IN 1992 IN PITTSBURGH

ALREADY OUT
Kat Riggins | Cry Out 
Gulf Coast Records
This new CD, which was released last summer, is up for a Blues Music Award this year for Best Contemporary Blues Album. It's 13 tracks of rockin' blues at its best from  this dynamic, charming performer.
HAVE A TASTE

Erwin Helfer and the Chicago Boogie Esemble | Celebrate the Journey
The Sirens Records
A year ago, some of Erwin Helfer's closest friends and collaborators recorded a jam session that is a joyous celebration of Helfer's life work. The release also celebrates Helfer's 85th birthday, which was Jan. 20, 2021. Stay tuned for a big celebration some time this year at the Old Town School of Music.

Sugar Blue & Louisiana Red | Red Funk N' Blue-the Complete 1978 Recordings
JSP Records
A total of 21 classics on two CDs that document a very special night in London and the collaboration between two amazing musicians.

Frank BeyAll My Dues are Paid
Nola Blue
Frank Bey was having a moment last year, with a resurgence of his music career, when he sadly passed away on June 7, 2020. This album is up for two Blues Music Awards––Song of the Year for All My Dues Are Paid  (written by Kathy Murray, Rick Estrin, Frank Bey, Kid Andersen and performed by Frank Bey) and Soul Blues Album of the Year. The album is also up for a Grammy award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
LISTEN TO ONE OF THESE DAYS (and grab the Kleenex for this one).

Lightnin' Hopkins | King Of Dowling Street
Sunset Blvd. Records
This recently released recording has 57 tracks with 20 that have never been on CD before from the legendary Texas bluesman. There are also 12 previously unreleased performances, all remastered from analog tapes. 
HAVE A LISTEN

AND A COUPLE MORE

  • On March 26, Eric Clapton's  Historic Recordings Vol. 1 will be released. Think performances with the Yardbirds, Jimmy Page and Sonny Boy Williamson.
  • And something not really blues: Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird, original members of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, will release a new recording tomorrow (FRI, MAR 5) called These Thirteen.
    HAVE A LISTEN
DISTRACT YOURSELF
WATCH AND LISTEN
IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS
Snooky Pryor and his Mississippi Wrecking Crew
What a group: Snooky Pryor, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Pinetop Perkins, Bob Stroger, Mel Brown and Jeff Healey
BUY THE CD

I Believe I'm in Love with You
Bonnie Raitt and Kim Wilson

2021 Blues Foundation Hart Fund Benefit
Hosted by Chris "Bad News" Barnes

The next Quinn Sullivan...Decide for yourself.
Liam Docherty

THE REAL DEAL
Good Rockin' Charles and the Aces

SIT AWHILE–AND READ
Peter Guralick Talks About His Obsession With the Blues, the Real Meaning of Country Music, and Selling His Record Collection
He is considered the best of the best when it comes to those who write about American popular music. Michael Eric Dyson calls him "...one of the 3 or 4 greatest writers in the country today." This is an interesting interview with the author, whose current collection of essays, Looking to Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing, covers his long career of documenting the voices of blues, gospel, country and rock 'n' roll.

Raised in the Mississippi Delta, the blues shaped music for generations
by Lici Beveridge, USA TODAY

Former Bob Marley Guitarist Donald Kinsey, "Bob Loved Blues Music"
2.6.21 | South Florida Caribbean News 

Victoria amplifiers no longer Naperville's secret
Who knew (okay some people who needed to know, knew) that something cool was happening in Naperville?

The forgotten story of America's first black superstars
from the BBC

The Blues Never Die
This is a beautiful piece on Bubba's Blues Corner, a legendary record store in Helena, AR, now only open by request.
Bubba Sullivan, who turned 80 on Aug. 5, 2020, would like to turn the place into a museum to house his incredible collection of music memorabilia.
DONATE TO THE GOFUNDME
The next chicagoBLUESnews:  
FRIDAY, APR 9 2021

(Mails on THURS, APR 8)
STREAM IT!
FIND MUSIC ONLINE
 chicagoBLUESnews Online Calendar 
The calendar is being updated now and then (even more now than then these days).... so keep looking.

SUPPORT THE MUSICIANS
www.chicagobluesnews.com/pay-musicians.html
This page has several links where you can find music–live and virtual

A quick spin on Facebook will find a lot of options to get your blues fix.
There are a LOT of birthdays this month. The bakeries will be in overdrive.
MAR 4 
Dave Jackson 
Stephen Bass 
Tony Dale
 
MAR 5
John Primer
Carmelo Romero 
Rico McFarland 
Nick Alexander
 
MAR 6 
Walter Trout 
Pete Galanis
 
MAR 7 
Dr. Odie Payne III
Thaddeus Krolicki 
Ernest Isley 
Peter Wolf
 
MAR 9
Selwyn Birchwood 
Lloyd Price
Harrison Kennedy 
Laura Lee
Robin Trower
 
MAR 10 
Ronnie Earl
John Németh
 
MAR 11 
Harvey Mandel 
Jeremiah Johnson
 
MAR 13
Melvin Taylor  
Lorena Jastreb (photographer)
Kelly Brand
 
MAR 16 
Rick Franklin
James Partridge
Janet Mami Takayama (photographer)
Sherena Boyce
 
MAR 17 
Damon Fowler
 
MAR 18 
R. J. Mischo
Amy Brat (Vizz Tone)  
Grana Louise 
Dave Riley
 
MAR 19 
Clarence “Frogman” Henry
Faye Peaches Staten
 
MAR 20 
Sam Lay 
Marcia Ball
Jimmie Vaughan 
Larry Hoffman
MAR 21 
Joe Moss
Conrad Lozano

MAR 22 
Dizzy Bolinski 
Nate Manos
 
MAR 23 
Quique Gomez 
David Grisman
 
MAR 24
Paul Filipowicz
 
MAR 26 
Tommy Z
  
MAR 28 
Brent Baxter Barrett
 
MAR 29 
Willie Clayton 
Sue Foley
 
MAR 30 
Eric  Clapton
Lightnin’ Malcolm
 
MAR 31
Giles Corey
 
APR 3 
Leon Russell
James McGriff
  
APR 3  
Rusty Zinn 
Chico (Wheeler) (grandson of Mike)
Ellen Miller 
Vino Louden 
Richard Thompson
 
APR 4
John Dee Holeman 
Michael Damani  
Arthur Crivaro
(owner, Bluesberry Cafe, Clarksdale)

 
APR 5 
Paul Oscher 
Larry McCray 
Brian Doroba
Monica Myhre
 
APR 6
Blind Mississippi Morris
Warren Haynes 
John Kattke 
 
APR 7 
Al Spears 
Paul Hanover
 
APR 8  
Lil' Ed Williams
BELATED BIRTHDAY WISHES
Not sure what happened last month–computer or brain malfunction–that caused these birthdays to be overlooked. More cake for you, I hope.

JAN 20
Erwin Helfer
FEB 2
Anne Harris

FEB 24
Carl Weathersby
Rob Robinson


FEB 28
Demetria Taylor
Laurence Glasser
BIRTHDAY REMEMBRANCES
MAR 4
Willie Johnson
Good Rockin' Charles Bester
 
MAR 5
Peg Leg Howell
J.B. Lenoir
Tommy Tucker
 
MAR 6
Walter “Furry” Lewis
 
MAR 7
Chico Banks
 
MAR 8
Mississippi John Hurt
Bob Brozman
 
MAR 9
Georgia White
Lefty Bates
George Higgs
King Biscuit Boy
 
MAR 10
Dave Alexander (OMAR Shariff)
 
MAR 11
Charley Lincoln
 
MAR 12
Jesse Fuller
Michael Ledbetter 
 
MAR 13
Otis “Lightnin’ Slim” Hicks
“Poor” Bob Woodfork
 Clara Smith
 
MAR 14
Robert Pete Williams
Andy Rodgers

 
MAR 15
Bertha “Chippie” Hill
Lightnin’ Hopkins
Clarence Green
 
MAR 16
Alec Seward
Son Bonds
Yank Rachell
 
MAR 17
Lovie Lee
Horst Lippmann

(promoter, American Folk Blues tours of Europe in the 1960s and beyond)

MAR 18
Big Daddy Kinsey

MAR 20
Frank Edwards
Little Buddy Doyle
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Eddie Shaw


MAR 21
Son House
Otis "Big Smokey"  Smothers
Otis Spann

Pete Mayes
William Clarke
MAR 22
Juke Boy Bonner 

MAR 23
Stick McGhee
Louisiana Red
Larry Hamilton


MAR 24
Boogie Bill Webb
 
MAR 25
Pete Johnson
Curley James Weaver
Aretha Franklin


MAR 26
Rufus C. Thomas Jr.
Johnny Harper
(Unverified date)

MAR 27
Leroy Carr
Robert "Junior" Lockwood
Johnny "Clyde" Copeland
Eddie Taylor Jr.


MAR 28
“Cripple” Clarence Lofton

MAR 29
Mary Johnson
Camille Howard


MAR 30
Sonny Boy Williamson I

MAR 31
Lizzie Miles
Big Maceo Merriweather
Etta Baker
Lowell Fulson


APR 1
Alberta Hunter
Lucille  Bogan
Carl Martin
Amos Milburn
 

APR 2
J.T. Brown
 
APR 4 
Muddy Waters
Cecil Gant
 
APR 5 
Duke Henderson
Spencer Ward Bohren 
 
APR 6 
Big Walter Horton
 
APR 7
Billie Holiday 
Jimmy "T99" Nelson
Bo Collins
 
APR 8
Moody Jones  
Robert Lowery
TENTATIVE 2021 SCHEDULE
(All newsletters mail on Thursday, the day before the issue date)
APR 9–MAY 6
MAY 7–JUNE 3
and more TBD

Alway subject to change in our crazy world.
 
WE DO ACCEPT ADVERTISING.
Contact Michael 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 © 2021 Chicago Blues News, All rights reserved.
 

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp