A NOTE TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS This newsletter has always been about the blues and nothin' but (OK, maybe a little blues-ish thrown in), but it is impossible to ignore what happened on Memorial Day: In Minneapolis Mr. George Floyd was murdered by a policeman in broad daylight ON CAMERA and in New York's Central Park, an unhinged woman unleased a nonsensical racist rant because she was asked to lease her dog (by a black man) in an area where that is the law. Those two events were the tipping point that FINALLY woke up the world and the reactions have been both encouraging (the largely peaceful protests much too long in coming) and heartbreaking (the senseless looting and destruction of our cities that do not honor the memory of Mr. Lloyd and all the other victims of racism and police brutality). The Something Happening Here section below includes just a little news related to these events and a playlist of songs, both blues and not, that just seem relevant right now.
ONE MORE THING As previously announced, this will be the last newsletter until after Labor Day, when I hopefully will resume biweekly publication (tentatively, FRI,SEPT 11). I might be back sooner IF life returns to normal before September. Stay safe and try to do something kind for your fellow humans. In the meantime, I will be rethinking the website and, as clubs open, I will be updating the online calendar.
STAY SAFE and WELL and SANE! –Karen Murphy, Editorial Director
CHICAGO BLUES FEST UPDATE
It's far from what we had been looking forward to this weekend had the Chicago Blues Festival gone on as planned, but the Department of Cultural and Special Events has announced that there would be a VIRTUAL Blues Fest as part of the Millennium Park at Home series. Unlike the 10-hour Juke Joint Festival marathon that was recently on Facebook Live, it will be just two hours a day, with six one-hour shows over three days. Note that the schedule previously announced for 2020 is what you can look forward to in JUNE 2021.
Local blues community members also lost loved ones: Mzz Reese lost The Legendary Godfather, Melvina "Chick" Rodgers-Williams lost her mom, Shorty Mack lost his wife, Kissie, and Rico McFarland lost his niece.
A FEW OTHERS WHO LEFT US Lucky Peterson
The biggest shock to the blues community this month was the death of Lucky Peterson at the age of just 53. If you ever had the pleasure of seeing Lucky live, you know why. Hands down, one of the most incredible shows I have ever see was when Lucky Peterson, Kenny Neal and the Silent Partners dominated the stage at B.L.U.E.S on Sept. 26, 1990. Read what Dave Whiteis wrotebefore the show–he absolutely NAILED what did happen.
Phil May (Pretty Things)
Did you know that Studebaker John was on a Pretty Things/Yardbirds album? HAVE A LISTEN
Plus, Lisa Dawn Robinson, John Burnett, Dave Wright, Jimmy Cobb (Miles Davis drummer), Betty Wright, Jerry Hall (not that Jerry Hall, THIS ONE), Peter Ecklund, Melva Houston, Willie K, and the husband of Queen Delphine (Indiana blues singer).
WHO CAN THINK ANYMORE?
PLAY THE BLUES. The Chicago Blues Bootcamp is offering online lessons by its faculty members for $23.95 per month. The group will donate 20% of each order to the Blues Foundation’s COVID-19 Blues Musicians Emergency Relief Fund. GET MORE INFO athomechicagoblues.com
COMING SOON, WE HOPE. Toronzo Cannon was supposed to do a live stream from The Venue in Aurora to celebrate the club's one-year anniversary since he was the opening act last year, but it was cancelled due to the current state of the universe. CHECK OUT PHOTOS FROM LAST YEAR
BE INSPIRED.Dorothy Jean Tillman just got a master's degree in sustainable science and environmental planning from Unity College in Bangor, Maine. Now, she’s working on a book and a project to develop engineering labs for South African girls–and might put together a podcast. If you are wondering why you need to know this information or why you should care, here are two reasons:
Ms. Tillman is the granddaughter of drummer Jimmy Lee Tillman, a member of the Original Chicago Blues Allstars
Ms. Tillman is 14 years old.
Let that information sink in for a while, especially if you are feeling just a little too proud of yourself for getting off the couch today and putting on pants. LEARN MORE
VERY INTERESTING IDEA. I accidentally found the website, Lest We Forget, looking for a documentary about the late Kofi Burbridge, a former member of the Tedeschi Trucks Band. In short, Lest We Forget is "a series of musical tributes...that feature musicians performing fresh and original arrangements to songs that connect in some way to folks who are sadly no longer with us." HERE'S A FEW I LIKED Matt "Guitar" Murphy Clarence Foundation Gregg Allman
Wouldn't this be a great way to honor the incredible legacy of Chicago blues? We surely have the talent here that could make this happen. It could be the "virtual" museum that could replace that brick and mortar thing that never got off the ground–at least for now (or maybe forever).
MARK YOUR CALENDAR. Delmark has created a streaming calendar in partnership with DoStuff Media. Obviously, the calendar lists Delmark artists only. These two are part of the Millennium Park at Home series mentioned earlier: JUNE 5 Mike Wheeler and Guy King JUNE 6 Melody Angel
A FEW OTHER UPCOMING SHOWS JUNE 6
Jimmy Johnson @ 2pm
Jimmy Burns @ 4pm
A LABOR OF LOVE. Can you believe that it has been 40 years since Steve Cushing began Blues Before Sunrise?Talk about a national treasure. In case you live under a rock, Blues Before Sunrise is a five-hour weekly public radio show for vintage blues, R&B and gospel from the 1920s through the 1960s. The show started in 1980 on WBEZ (91.5 FM), but can now be heard on WDCB (90.9 FM) on Saturdays from midnight to 5am, and on 25 other stations nationwide. Cushing can also occasionally be found behind a drum set and has written several books on his favorite subject. LEARN MORE
SAD (BUT HOPEFUL) NEWS. Anthony Paule, leader of the great Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, has recently completed treatment for classic Hairy Cell Leukemia, which luckily is the less aggressive version of the disease. The GoFundMe campaign to help Paule with medical billshas exceeded its $15,000 goal, but you can probably still donate if you choose. Although HCL is incurable, it is manageable with proper treatment. The next step for Paule is a bone marrow biopsy in late July or early August. Think positive thoughts and send some love his way. SOME PHOTOS OF PAULE AND HIS BAND OCT 2017 LOGAN CENTER BLUES FEST 2018 NORTH ATLANTIC BLUES FESTIVAL
ONE MORE TIME....Thanks to the eight folks who opened their wallets a month ago and sent a little money (and more than I suggested!) to the Blue Front Cafe's GoFundMe to get it from $860 to $1205! So...are we down to eight readers or have you just been distracted? Come on, they are only $3795 from their goal. ANYBODY got an extra $10? I surely could understand your disinterest if I was begging for myself (or my cat), but I hope you know I would NEVER do that. BY THE WAY...If you feel like traveling, the Bentonia Blue Festival was still on at press time: JUNE 20 at the Holmes Farm JUNE 15–20 At the Blue Front Cafe (Juke starts at 7pm each evening). BENTONIA BLUES FEST FACEBOOK PAGE VISIT YAZOO WEBSITE
Watch for the next chicagoBLUESnews:
FRIDAY, SEPT 11
I am not feeling too optimistic these days, BUT both shows are still on for now so....the FREE TICKETS giveaways are still going on.
Joe Louis Walker AUG 28
@ Hey Nonny, Arlington Heights SUBJECT LINE: Everyone Wants a Piece of Joe Louis Walker ENTER NOW
Taj Mahal Quartet SEPT 28 9pm show
@ City Winery SUBJECT LINE: Taj Has the Leavin' Trunk Blues ENTER NOW
REMEMBER THESE RULES
You can enter ONCE a day IF you are a subscriber of Chicago Blues News. BODY OF THE EMAIL: Just your name, phone and email address
DON'T GO OUT!
While I am away, I will try to work on the ONLINE CALENDAR to get it up to date. I have been adding rescheduled dates to the calendar, and there are a few shows coming up in the not-to-distant future that have not yet been cancelled (like Southern Hospitality at SPACE on June 19). If you have tickets to any show in the next few months, just contact the venue for the most updated info.
Continue to take care of your health, listen to blues online and support the musicians who are doing live streaming shows. A quick spin on Facebook will find a lot of options in addition the information on our website.
LIVE ON THE WEB
Here are just a few of the many options to stream LIVE music. I am sure you already know when your faves are streaming--or you should.
THUR, JUN 4 @ 7pm
Donna Herula, Joanna Connor AND Katherine Davis
It really doesn't get much better that this: Three of Chicago's finest women of the blues together. The show is FREE, of course, but show the ladies a whole lotta love by dropping a few benjamins in the virtual tip jar. LIVE STREAM
EVERY FRI–SUN @ 8–11pm
It's an online Stay-at-Home, Late Night Blues Party!
THREE WAYS TO LISTEN Facebook: Rosa's Lounge YouTube OR
on Roku (add Rosas Lounge channel)
As I have said before, you can get your live music fix by going online and finding your favorite musicians. Most of them are performing live on a regular basis to try to make a little money during this national nightmare.
Gerald McClendon | Can't Nobody Stop Me Now Delta Roots
Twelve original songs by Twist Turner sung by the "Soulkeeper" himself, backed by an all-star group of musicians that include Herb Walker, Mark Wydra, Roosevelt Purifoy, Ariyo, John Brumbach, Twist Turner and more HAVE A LISTEN BUY IT
Johnny Burgin | No Border Blues Delmark Coming June 19
Otis Rush and other Chicago greats like Eddie Taylor and Jimmy Dawkins lit the fire in Japan 40 years ago that led to this CD, the first American compilation of the musicians in the Japanese underground blues scene, with musical contributions by Johnny Burgin. BUY IT
Chicago, like most all major cities, had widespread looting and vandalism last weekend. Many stores were damaged beyond repair. Although there were rumors on Facebook that Kingston Mines was damaged, that doesn't appear to be true. Blue Chicago (536 N. Clark),however, took a pretty serious hit.
AND...FROM LOW-REEN'S FACEBOOK PAGE: Water Hole got hit last night 😢 Broken front plate glass windows. Not much else damaged. Tony was a little amused at the two guys, once they got in, they had trouble getting out. You see, several of the doors are a little quirky with the way the locks operate. So they were still inside when the police got there 😆. Two young guys, from west and south suburbs
Finally, for the photographers among us and those who just simply appreciate historic institutions, it was tragic to see that Central Camerawas destroyed. The business was founded in 1899 around the corner from its current location at230 S. Wabash, where it has been since 1929. Amazingly, third-generation owner Don Flesch was preternaturally calm about the huge loss and vowed to rebuild.
Clearly the damage touched a nerve because the GoFundMe campaign for Central Camera was past $175,000 (goal is $250,000) when I last checked. ANOTHER WAY TO SHOW YOUR LOVE:BUY A T-SHIRT
You can send a card, letter of encouragement and/or contributions in the form of a money order or check, to:
The Estate of George Floyd
c/o Ben Crump Law, PLLC
122 S. Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Attn: Adner Marcelin
Now that the whole world really is finally watching, we must move forward. For some inspiration, check out Killer Mike's speech. Below is a playlist of random songs (blues and otherwise) that I have been playing this week because I needed to. Michael Damani's song, Black Bags, is particularly chilling, and Shemekia Copeland's Ain't Got Time for Hate is achingly beautiful and should become our new anthem for the change that we want in our world. Can this be the year that Sam Cooke is finally right?
Michael Damani and the Original Chicago Blues Allstars
MAY 3 2020 @ MEMPHIS Blues Music Awards
Although it was not nearly as much fun as actually being in Memphis for the Blues Foundation's Blues Music Awards, it was certainly much cheaper sitting on my couch. The show was an extremely well-done two-hour broadcast hosted by the always charming Shemekia Copeland and occasionally featuring her super-cute son, Johnny. It ran on both Facebook Live and YouTube, which meant I could watch on a real TV! A big congrats to our hometown heroes, who took some of the big prizes of the evening:
The Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling – Band of the Year Nick Moss – Song of the Year for Lucky Guy The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling – Traditional Blues Album for Lucky Guy Shemekia Copeland – Contemporary Blues Female Artist Earwig Music (Michael Frank) – Historical Blues Album for Cadillac Baby's Be & Baby Records Definitive Collection
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram was another big winner, taking home Album of the Year, Best Emerging Artist Album and Contemporary Blues Album for Kingfish, and also winning Contemporary Blues Male Artist.
Another one of our faves–Sugaray Rayford–was named BB King Entertainer of the Year and Soul Blues Male Artist.
June 18 Jimmy Lee Tillman David Sims Michael Peavy
June 20 Hambone (WDCB) (aka Scott Hammer)
June 30 Ms. Rodeo Mike Wheeler
July 1 Syl Johnson
July 3 Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi
July 4 Linda Cain
July 5 Laretha Weathersby
July 10 Bruce Iglauer
July 15 Willie Cobbs Corey Dennison
July 18 Tony Manguillo
July 19 John Watkins
July 20 Merle Perkins
July 23 Frank Pellegrino Linsey Alexander
July 30 Buddy Guy
Aug 1 Deitra Farr
Aug 2 Mark Naftalin
Aug 3 Matthew Skoller Ronnie Shellist
Aug 5 Michael Murphy
Aug 7 Me
Aug 11 Billy Flynn
Aug 12 Nick Bell Morry Sochat
Aug 19 Billy Prewitt
Aug 21 Elmore James Jr. Tracee Adams
Aug 22 Jim “Thebassguy” Kaplan
Aug 23 Johnny Iguana
Aug 25 Jacob Schulz (aka Brother Jacob)
Aug 26 Ari Seder Derrick Procell
Aug 27 Andrew Diehl Louisiana Al
Aug 31 Joanna Connor Tom Rezetko
Sept 2 Jeff Stone
Sept 3 Jackie Dixon
Sept 8 Leslie Keros
BELATED WISHES If I missed your birthday, more cake for you. Please let me know the date for next year so I can add you to the list.
Jontavious (Quon) Willis
And here's all the birthday remembrances from the last newsletter through to the next one.
June 6 S.P.Leary
June 10 Howlin' Wolf
June 11 Bonnie Lee
June 12 Harmonica George Robinson
June 15 Aron Burton
June 23 Lucille Spann
June 24 Michael Coleman
June 26 Big Bill Broonzy
June 27 Johnny "Big Moose" Walker
June 28 David “Honeyboy” Edwards
July 1 James Cotton Willie Dixon
July 7 Pinetop Perkins
July 10 Barrelhouse Chuck
July 12 Sammy Lawhorn
July 28 Mike Bloomfield
July 30 Bobby Too Tuff (aka Edward Blanche)
Aug 1 Marie Dixon
Aug 3 Alex “Easy Baby” Randle
Aug 7 Magic Slim
Aug 13 Son Seals
Aug 15 Osee Anderson Sr.
Aug 17 Luther Allison
Aug 18 Barkin’ Bill Smith
Aug 19 Little Johnny Christian
Aug 27 Odie Payne Jr. Lenin "Doc" Pellegrino
Aug 30 Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson
Sept 4 Meade “Lux” Lewis
Sept 5 Sunnyland Slim
Sept 6 Jimmy Reed Fred Belows Jr.
A NON-BLUES MOMENT
Did you know that on JUNE 12, 2020, it will be 50 years sinceThe Kinks released their seminal single, Lola. The band is asking fans to send in memories of the track, including cover versions, artwork, pictures and anecdotes.