An overflow crowd of family, friends, fellow musicians and fans like me gathered WED, JAN 30, for an intensely emotional afternoon that began with a funeral service for Michael Ledbetter and ended down the street with a celebration of life blues jam at Danny's Pizza in Elgin. The photo above only shows a small sampling of the stellar group of players who showed up to say goodbye to their friend. There is no question that Michael will be missed by everyone who ever met him. More photos from the celebration of life jam will be online later in the month.
If you want to help out Michael's soulmate/fiancée, Kathy Cahoon, and their two young children (Holland, 4, and Michael, 1), you have a couple of options:
OUT AND ABOUT. Just a reminder that the next newsletter will be the FEB 22-28 issue (mailed on FEB 21). This current issue has a GET OUT section that goes through the 21st, but don't forget you can make your own decisions by just checking the ONLINE CALENDAR. ONE MORE THING: Until I stop doing this, remind me never to take this much time off cuz it makes the GET OUT section and the Birthdays way too long.
THE JOINT IS JUMPIN'. The Water Hole (1400 S. Western) will have BLUE MONDAYS during February featuring Larry Taylor. There is no cover charge and the show is 7pm-midnight. Guest entertainers welcome. Go down and support this effort...and maybe Chicago's juke joint will have Blue Mondays every week.
AND THE WINNERS ARE....Ms. Hy-C & Fresh Start (St. Louis Blues Society) won the band competition and Jon Shain (Triangle Blues Society from North Carolina) has won the solo/duo competition at the 2019 International Blues Challenge in Memphis last week. This year's competition had more than 260 competitors and local favorite Ivy Ford made it to the semi-finals representing the Crossroads Blues Society of Illinois. Congrats to everyone. HAVE A LISTEN Ms. Hy-C & Fresh Start Fuel to Burn
SOME READING MATERIAL.If you have a little free time and are of this particular generation, you should be entertained by this article: Hippie Goddesses of the 1970s. With what is going on in the world, it's a lot more fun that the daily news.
CHANGE OF PLANS. The MARCH 14 Wanda Jackson show at SPACE in Evanston apparently has been cancelled. And, despite what you might see in various locations online, Cedric Burnside is NOT at SPACE on FEB 8. Again, I have no more relevant info, but look at the SPACE website (not Facebook).
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE. Mary Lane and the No Static Blues Band will be performing on THURS, FEB 21 at FitzGerald's in Berwyn. To add to the fun, there will be a screening before the show of the new documentary, I Can Only Be Mary Lane. And you do remember that Mary Lane has a new CD coming out in March called Travelin' Woman,right? It's Lane's first CD in 20 years.
BUDDY IN RESIDENCE with Corey Dennison OPENING ACTS
Eddie Taylor Jr. (noon) and Ronnie Hicks (4pm)
This was the first year that I attended three of the 16 Buddy in Residence January shows. Here's what I learned: Each show was just a little different, even though Buddy does have a few standard go-to shticks. It is a convivial environment, where everyone is super-friendly and shares a common love of Mr. Buddy Guy specifically and blues in general. And the die-hards really don't mind the 12-hour marathon to get a good seat for the main attraction. I am not sure I could go to back-to-back shows like some people do, but I will definitely attend these residency shows every chance I get.
NOTE: This is the last newsletter that will be mailed before the entry deadline, so I won't be nagging you to enter after today (or maybe I will on Facebook).
3.5.19 @ City Winery
Aaron Neville The 75-year-old legend, a former member of the famous Neville Brothers R&B/soul/funk group from New Orleans, is always moving forward. His solo album, Apache, mixes hard R&B with Neville's social and spiritual concerns. It is an album that "allows plenty of space for a singer who's arguably the most distinctive vocal stylist on the planet to tell it like it is."
EMAIL SUBJECT: The Other Side of Aaron Neville BODY OF EMAIL: Your name, email address & phone DEADLINE TO ENTER:MON, FEB 18 @ Midnight
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.
Timmy Heikkilä Yes, I know it was beyond cold, but apparently I was the only one who was curious about a blues singer with an umlaut because the small crowd was about as enthusiastic as they might be at the dentist. Heikkilä is from Kouvola, Finland, and apparently is in a band called Titty Bar Tim Blues Band. And, no, I could not have possibly made that name up. If you are interested, they have two CDs: Milk Shaka and Flathead Woman, which like most things in the world, are available on Amazon. For his Chicago appearance, Heikkilä gathered a strong backing band–Andrew Diehl (guitar), Mike Flynn (bass) and Steve Dougherty (drums). He also played at Smoke Daddy on Division on Saturday, where I assume the audience was more attentive. Would making the band wear Cubs uniforms at the Wrigleyville location help? Just asking.