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A monthly digest of blues news
 
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JULY 9 – SEPT 9 2021
FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER FORWARD TO A FELLOW BLUES LOVER
A NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS
Wait a minute...Has the pandemic ended? It sure seems that way in Chicago, where masks have become "chin" jewelry for some and trash for many. If you are ready to rejoin the world again, there are a LOT of options to hear blues inside and out, even though we are still waiting for Legends to get back to business. It will...be patient.

In my world, for a few different reasons, I have decided to skip the AUGUST newsletter and take the rest of the summer off to pretend to finish my quarantine to-do list and just wander a bit. I will be back SEPT 10 with a new newsletter, likely the same ol' attitude...and hopefully the updated website I promised to have finished by now. Procrastination is sometimes my middle name.

Enjoy the summer! I will keep the online calendar more or less updated as I hear about gigs, so you won't have to find things on your own. See you in September!
–Karen Murphy
Editorial Director
REST IN PEACE
Ellen McIlwaine, 75
10.1.45 –6.23.21
Ellen McIllwaine died at a hospice center in Calgary, Alberta, of esophageal cancer, which had only been diagnosed six weeks before her death. I have been an Ellen McIllwaine fan since the 1970s, but never looked closely at her bio so I just assumed she was Canadian (she was born in Nashville). It was a logical mistake since she lived in Canada for more than 30 years. Amazingly, she once played in the plaza next to Tribune Tower for one of their lunchtime shows. Boy, was I in heaven that day. What a talent.
PHOTO: The cover of her 1972 recording, Honky Tonk Angel
HAVE A LISTEN
READ THE WASHINGTON POST OBIT


Carlton Jackson, 60
Carlton Jackson was a  longtime member of the Portland jazz and blues scene. He was a talented drummer and, since 2009, hosted The Message on Portland jazz station KMHD. He passed away at his North Portland, OR, home. The cause of death was not released.
GET MORE INFO

FROM TAJ MAHAL'S FACEBOOK PAGE (JUNE 21–22):
It is with heavy hearts that we share the very sad news of the passing of our dear friend and “tour manager extraordinaire” Kong. The family of Taj's tour manager and our dear friend, Kong, created an email address for those who would love to share your stories, photos, feelings and memories of Kong.
Email address: rememberingkong@gmail.com
THINKING OUT LOUD
TOO MANY CHOICES. This weekend in Chicago is a good example of WE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS. On Sunday, July 11, we have to choose between three great options:
  • Muddy Waters Blues Jam and Tribute to Mojo Morganfield
    1-5pm, Downtown Westmont (part of Taste of Westmont)
  • FRONT PORCH CONCERT SERIES: Jimmy Burns
    3pm, Muddy Waters Mojo Museum (4339 S. Lake Park)
  • Tribute to Sir Walter Scott with Joe Pratt and the Source One Band
    3-7pm, East Odyssey Lounge (9942 S. Torrence)
And, if you are up for a road trip, there is a Tribute to Bryan Lee (1-830pm) on Saturday, July 10 in Two Rivers, WI with a lot of bands.

If you need any more ideas, check out the Online Calendar.

MORE BUDDY. Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away premieres Tuesday, July 27, at 9PM on PBS (Check your local listings, pbs.org/americanmasters, and the PBS Video app). This new documentary features unseen performance footage and new interviews with Buddy, Carlos Santana, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr, Christone "KINGFISH" Ingram and more.

OPEN HOUSE. The House of Blues is the latest to announced they will be back in business in Chicago beginning today! They don't have a music schedule online yet, but I am sure it is coming soon.

BETTER IDEA. As I was whining about the Village of Orland Park's  Centennial Park West Concert Series and the dumb idea that you had to buy the whole series ($75-$90), someone at the village must have realized that no one would want to pay to see that odd collection of bands with no obvious connection to each other (or they just heard me whining). Now it is possible to buy single day tickets...so if you wanna see the Fabulous Thunderbirds, the ticket is a more reasonable $25. That night you can also see the headliner Blue Oyster Cult for a real blast from the past and Mark Farner's American Band. In case you forgot, Farner was the lead singer/guitarist of Grand Funk Railroad who later became a contemporary Christian musician (I could not make this up). 
OPTION #2: You could go see the T-Birds at 430pm and leave after their set. Then you have time for a nice dinner before you head home.
TICKETS

CLAP YOUR HANDS! Congratulations to 92-year-old Chicago blues master Jimmy Johnson, who won the Blues Artist of the Year (Male) in the 2021 Living Blues Awards Critics' Poll.

OTHER CHICAGO CRITICS' POLL WINNERS
Shemekia Copland | Blues Artist of the Year (Female)
Billy Branch | Most Outstanding Musician (Harmonica)

CRITICS' POLL – BEST BLUES ALBUMS OF 2020
Shemekia Copeland | Uncivil War
John Primer & Bob Corritore | The Gypsy Woman Told Me

THE LIVING BLUES READERS' POLL CHICAGO WINNERS
Shemekia Copland | Blues Artist of the Year (Female); Best Blues Album of 2020, Uncivil War
Buddy Guy | Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar); Best Live Performer; Most Outstanding Blues Singer

All the winners are in the JULY/AUGUST 2021 edition of Living Blues magazine.
JIMMY JOHNSON PHOTO: © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy

BMA WINNERS. The Blue Foundation also has announced its 2021 Blues Music Award winners. For Chicago, it was Shemekia Copeland, Kenny Smith and John Primer. Here's the complete list. Congrats to everyone!

And now the submissions process has already begun for 2022. 

MORE AWARDS. Anyone can and should vote (but ONLY ONE TIME) in the Blues Blast Music Awards––and you can do it through Aug. 6. While I would never tell you who you should vote for, there are a number of Chicago musicians up for awards who I know would love your support. I can't tell if there will be an actual awards ceremony this year or if we are still operating in virtual reality. One more thing: This is how Blues Blast signs up new subscribers...if you don't already subscribe, you are added to the subscriber list when you vote. You can, of course, unsubscribe any time you want, but why? You can never have too much blues news, can you?
VOTE RIGHT NOW

AN INTERESTING COINCIDENCE. July 10 must have been a particularly good day for the blues because both Bruce Iglauer (Alligator) and Julia Miller (Delmark) were born that day. 

ON THE ROAD AGAIN. The ill-fated Women of the Blues exhibit curated by Lynn Orman Weiss that was at Delmark during the entire pandemic, was featured in a short WTTW segment recently. Look for the exhibit to pop up again in a couple other locations in town in the not-too-distance future.
WATCH THE WTTW SEGMENT
OFF THE COUCH
6.18.21 @ SPACE, Evanston
Southern Hospitality
Any time I see Victor Wainwright's name on something, I'm in. His band the Train is a force of nature and I cannot wait until they do another show in Chicago. In this case, Southern Hospitality is just some old friends playing together...but when the friends are Victor Wainwright, Damon Fowler and J.P. Soars...everyone has a great time. We waited a year for this show, thanks to our friend COVID-19. It definitely was worth the wait, but let's not do that again.
THE PHOTOS

6.27.21 @ 43rd & Lake Park
Bronzeville Mural Ribbon Cutting

Thanks to the Bronzeville Blues Collaborative,there's a new mural in Bronzeville that emphasizes the link between the Delta blues that Muddy electrified and turned into Chicago blues and the music being made today by current musicians like Chance the Rapper and Noname (aka Fatimah Nyeema Warner) an American rapper, poet and record producer from Bronzeville. The mural, by artist Damon Lamar Reed, features images of Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Mary Lane, Chance the Rapper and Noname

Mary Lane and the No Static Blues Band entertained the crowd after the ribbon cutting. 
THE PHOTOS

7.1.21 @ Blues Heaven Foundation/Chess Studios
Willie Dixon's Birthday Bash
featuring Melvin Taylor & The Slack Band

This was Melvin Taylor's last performance before he joins John Mayall's band for its upcoming tour, replacing guitarist Carolyn Wonderland. It was great to be back at the Blues Heaven Foundation's Garden to celebrate the great Willie Dixon. Hopefully, this will be the first of many performances this summer. 
THE PHOTOS

NOTE: The Mayall show at SPACE is already sold out, but Mayall will also be at City Winery on Sunday, Aug. 22–and there are still a few tickets left.
DISTRACT YOURSELF
HAVE A LISTEN
The Mannish Boys
I LOVE this band and wish I could have seen them live...especially with Finis Tasby. This is the next best thing. This version of the band also has Sugaray Rayford.

*******
Bob Corritore currently has three CDs nominated for Blues Blast Music Awards. I listened to all three recordings the other day and went straight to blues heaven. They are all great, but I am really loving Spider in My Stew. Each track is wonderful, but I particularly love Oscar Wilson singing Tennessee Woman, Lurrie Bell on I Can't Shake this Feeling and Francine Reed singing I Shall Be Released. It brought me to tears.

DO SOME READING
From the Deep South to Chicago, How Blues Music Shaped the Lives of 2 Japanese Men

*******
I Ain't Studdin' Ya
My American Blues Story
Bobby Rush just doesn't slow down. At 87, he is still performing regularly all over the U.S. and keeps winning awards, including a Grammy at the age of 83 for Best Traditional Blues Album for Porcupine Meat. And now he's got a new memoir that just came out June 22.  Anyone who has seen Rush perform knows he tells it like it is, which means the book will be filled with both humor and painfully honest stories with intimate details.

FROM THE NY TIMES
(you probably need a subscription to read)
Bobby Rush Lived the Blues. Six Decades On, He's Still Playing Them

*******
BUY SOMETHING
In my youth, I spend a LOT of time wandering around Evergreen Park Plaza, yet never knew that there was such a thing as Beverly Records just a few miles farther south. Now that I know, I will be heading down there to take a look. Amazingly, the store has been family-owned since 1967. I recently saw the store in the documentary Live At Mister Kelly’s––and thought for a second it might be the old Jazz Record Mart. It kinda has that Bob Koester vibe.

Maybe they will have the record I have been looking for for the past few years. I can dream.
 
NEW RELEASES
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram | 662
RELEASE DATE: July 23 (Alligator)
Anyone who has seen Kingfish live would agree with Living Blues magazine's assessment that, "By any measure, Kingfish is one of the brightest new stars of his generation." At just 22, he has already won many awards, including a 2021 Blues Music Award for Guitarist of the Year and Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year for the second year in a row. This second release was recorded in Nashville and co-written and produced (as was his first CD, Kingfish) by Grammy winner Tom Hambridge. It features 13 songs. 

GO SEE HIM LIVE
Kingfish will be at the new Hard Rock Casino in Gary July 23 and 24–and the shows are FREE (no kidding).

Mike Zito | Resurrection
RELEASE DATE: July 16 (SoNo Recording Group)
There are 11 tracks––eight originals and three covers––on this new release that Zito describes as "an album of feelings, emotions and is very personal." The covers are JJ Cale's I’ll Make Love To You, Eric Clapton's Presence of the Lord and Willie Dixon's Evil.

Brenda Taylor & Her Chicago Blues Band | Buggy Ride
RELEASE DATE: August 21 (Wolf)
Brenda Taylor is one of the daughters of Chicago blues legend Eddie Taylor. Chicagoans can catch Taylor around town often, but this is her first CD of her own. Her Chicago band members are her brothers Tim and Eddie Taylor Jr., plus Illinois Slim, Freddie Dixon and Harmonica Hinds. There are 12 tracks, including four originals plus one written by Taylor's mother Vera and one written by her dad, Eddie.

Dixon, Watkins, Vaughn3x3
RELEASE DATE: July 2 (Reecy Records)
Three Chicago blues masters––Freddie Dixon, John Watkins and Maurice John Vaughn–are joined by two other well-known Chicago musicians, Tim Taylor and Shirley Johnson, on this new release. 

Now I want to see this band play somewhere in Chicago. I'm waiting.

Cedric Burnside | I Be Trying
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (Single Lock Records)
A total of 13 tracks of Mississippi Hill Country blues from a member of the legendary Burnside family. Cedric, the grandson of R.L. Burnside, takes his grandfather's music and turns it into a modern sound that echoes its Hill Country roots. Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars makes a guest appearance.

NOTE: Cedric Burnside will be opening for the North Mississippi Allstars at SPACE in Evanston on Nov. 18. You can also see him at the Shawnee Cave Revival on July 17 in Murphysboro, IL.

AND ONE MORE THING
Delmark is planning a fall release for a double album celebrating Dave Specter's 30 years on the label.
The next chicagoBLUESnews:  
FRIDAY, SEPT 10 2021

(Mails on THURS, SEPT 9)
GET OUT!
OUR ONLINE CALENDAR
 chicagoBLUESnews Online Calendar 

Know about a gig I don't? Give me a heads-up.

You may have noticed that the calendar has expanded a bit in terms of the geographical boundaries. There are now shows listed that are happening in the states that border Illinois and Festivals all over the map that just look fun to me. Are there any rules you can follow to know if a show outside of the Chicago metro area will make the cut? Not really...but if it looks interesting to me or if I would go if I could, it will likely find its way onto the calendar.
GO HEAR LIVE MUSIC!
I was going to give you some ideas, but you have eyes and can look at the online calendar whenever you have a second. One thing I will point out: There is now a Blues Brunch Cruise running every Sunday right around the lake in Michigan City, IN. It could be too much fun and just one more thing we oughta be doing in Chicago. I do know that Matt Hendricks and Gerry Hundt are both performing during the season, but not sure when.
FIND OUT MORE
(269) 231-5867
TICKETS

Tickets go on sale tomorrow (7.9 @ 10am) for the SEPT 24–26 Berwyn Blues Fest at FitzGerald's. It's the closest thing we have to a real Chicago Blues Fest this year...unless the Logan Center Fest ups the ante in October. I also am hearing rumblings that the Windy City Blues Society might be planning a festival for 2022. Stay tuned.
SUPPORT THE MUSICIANS
www.chicagobluesnews.com/pay-musicians.html
This page has several links where you can find music–live and virtual.
JULY 8
Larry Garner
 
JULY 9
Anthony "Big A" Sherrod
 
JULY 10
Mavis Staples
Bruce Iglauer
Dexter Allen
Julia A. Miller
 
JULY 11
Jarekus Singleton
 
JULY 12
Brenda Taylor
Roger O'Reilly
 
JULY 13
Big Joe Maher
 
JULY 15
Willie Cobbs
Steve James
Tim OBrien
Corey Dennison
 
JULY 16
Sue Koester
  (Mrs. Bob)
 
JULY 17
Ironing Board Sam
Margie Evans
Johnny Burgin
Keith Johnson
 
JULY 18
Tony Mangiullo
Lynn Jordan
Rosalind Wilcox
 
JULY 19
Little Freddie King
John Watkins
 
JULY 20
Merle Perkins
Steve Freund
Bonny B. 
Phil Breen
Darren Jay Fallas
 
JULY 22
Dennis Gruenling
 
JULY 23
Linsey Alexander 
Frank Pellegrino
Bill Gibbs
 
JULY 24
Mighty Mo Rodgers
 
JULY 25
Bobby Henderson Powell
Keith Edward
 
JULY 27
Roger "Hurricane" Wilson 
 
JULY 28
Roy Rogers
Steven I. Wolf
 
JULY 30
Buddy  Guy
Otis Taylor
 
JULY 31
Jesse Lockridge
 
AUG 1
Robert Cray
Deitra Farr
Bill Stuve
 
AUG 2
Mark Naftalin
 
AUG 3
Matthew Skoller
Ronnie Shellist

AUG 5
Michael Murphy
 
(yeah, that Michael Murphy)
Martin Schaefer-Murra
Dave Katzman
 
AUG 6
Cody Diekhoff
 
AUG 7
Denny Freeman
Annika Chambers
 
AUG 8
Lady Bianca
Deak Harp
 
AUG 9
Trudy Lynn
Lois Wang
 
AUG 10
Grego Anderson
Devon Allman
AUG 11
Billy Flynn
Thornetta Davis

AUG 12
Roy Gaines
Sam Frazier Jr
Terry "Big T" Williams
Morry Sochat
Albert Castiglia
Nick Bell
Chuck Tippit
 
AUG 13
Jimi Bott
Cathy Lemons
 
AUG 14
Larry Graham
Terry Adams
Rick Kreher
 
AUG 15
RL Boyce
 
AUG 16
Eric Bibb
Seth Walker
 
AUG 17
Colin James
Steve Likens
 
AUG 18
Ken Saydak
Paul Garrett
 
AUG 19
Billy Prewitt
 
AUG 20
Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry
Eric Johanson
 
AUG 21
Elmore James Jr. 
Tracee Adams
Landis Chisenhall
 
AUG 22
Debbie Davies
Jim Thebassguy (Kaplan)

AUG 23
Johnny Iguana
 
AUG 24
David Freiberg
"Guitar Slim Jr." Armstrong
 
AUG 25
Mr. Sipp
 Erin Harpe
Brother Jacob (Jacob Schulz)
 
AUG 26
Cedric Burnside
Ari Seder
Derrick Procell
 
AUG 27
Louisiana Al
Andrew Diehl
 
AUG 28
Diane Spencer
Chris Beard
Sue Kane Coleman
Dave Raye
 
AUG 30
Jimmie Smith
 
AUG 31
Jay Davenport
Joanna Connor
Tom Rezetko
 
SEPT 2
Alan Charles Jardine
Joe Simon
Nick Fane
Jeff Stone
 
SEPT 3
Jackie Dixon
Lee Stafford
Chris Gibbs
Roosevelt E Johnson
 
SEPT 4
Wayne Sharp
Neal Francis O'Hara
 
SEPT 5
Sandra Hall
 
SEPT 7
Benjamin Latimore
Casey Lee
Jaime Sheets
 
SEPT 8
Guitar Shorty
Leslie Keros (DJ)
Shun Kikuta
Kurt Foor
 
(Friends of the Blues)
 
SEPT 9
Tutu Jones
BIRTHDAY REMEMBRANCES
JULY 8
Louis Jordan
Johnnie Johnson
Henry Qualls
 
JULY 9
Joe Liggins
 
JULY 10
Blind Boy Fuller
Charlie Baty
Barrelhouse Chuck
Sir Walter Scott

 
JULY 11
Smokey Wilson
 
JULY 12
Sam Taylor
Sammy Lawhorn

JULY 13
Long John Hunter
 
JULY 14
Queen Sylvia Embry
 
JULY 15
Washboard Sam Brown
 
JULY 16
Denise LaSalle
 
JULY 17
George Barnes 
Peppermint Harris
 
JULY 18
"Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Lonnie Mack
 
JULY 19
Richard "Hacksaw" Harney
Buster Benton
 
JULY 20
Grace Brim
 
JULY 21
Floyd Jones
 
JULY 23
Percy Strother
 
JULY 24
Washboard Willie
 
JULY 25
Sylvester Weaver
 
JULY 26
Alberta Adams
 
JULY 28
Isaac L. "Banjo Ikey" Robinson
Junior Kimbrough
Mike Bloomfield
 
JULY 29
Charles Henry Christian
 
JULY 30
Bobby Too Tuff (aka Edward Blanche)
Big Jack Johnson
Michael Burks
 
JULY 31
Roy Milton
Smoky Babe
 
AUG 1
Marie Booker Dixon
 
AUG 2
Pork Miller
Big Walter Price
 
AUG 3
Alex “Easy Baby” Randle
 
AUG 4
Louis Armstrong
 
AUG 6
Willie Lee Brown
Lem Johnson
Willie Nix
 
AUG 7
Mose Vinson
Magic Slim
 
AUG 8
Lucky Millinder
Jimmy Witherspoon
Joe Tex
 
AUG 9
Robert Shaw
 
AUG 11
Sam Collins

AUG 12
Gladys Bentley
Percy Mayfield

AUG 13
Baby Bob Warren
Jimmy McCracklin
Son Seals
 
AUG 15
Buster Brown
Jackie Brenston
Bobby Byrd
Osee Anderson Sr.
 
AUG 16
Melvin “Lil’ Son” Jackson
Eddie Kirkland

AUG 17
Walter Brown
Albert Washington
Luther Allison
Dave "Snaker" Ray
 
AUG 18
Curtis Jones
Barkin' Bill Smith
 
AUG 19
Earl Gaines
Little Johnny Christian
 
AUG 20
J.J. Malone
 
AUG 22
Henry “Son” Sims
Addie "Sweet Pea" Spivey
Ruby Kate McTell
John Lee Hooker
Carolina Slim
Roscoe Shelton
 
AUG 24
Ruby Smith
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup
Wynonie Harris
Willie Seaberry (Po’ Monkey)
 
AUG 26
Jimmy Rushing
Walkin’ Cane Mark
 
AUG 27
"Diamond Teeth Mary" McClain
Lenin "Doc" Pellegrino
Odie Payne Jr.
 
AUG 29
Jimmie Bell
Dinah Washington
 
AUG 30
Mercy Dee Walton
Olive Brown 
Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson
 
AUG 31
Todd Rhodes
Dan Pickett
Red Nelson
Bobby Parker
 
SEPT 2
Floyd Council
Booker T. Laury
 
SEPT 3
Memphis Slim
Charlie Booker
Freddie King
 
SEPT 4
Meade Lux Lewis
Archie L. Edwards
U. P. Wilson
 
SEPT 5
Sunnyland Slim
 
SEPT 6
Charles Joseph "Buddy" Bolden
Jimmy Reed
Fred Below
Ollie Nightingale
Jay Owens
Paul Orta
 
SEPT 7
Little Milton
 
SEPT 8
Harmonica Fats
 
SEPT 9
Otis Redding
TENTATIVE 2021 SCHEDULE
(All newsletters mail on Thursday, the day before the issue date)
SEPT 10–OCT 7
OCT 8–NOV 4
NOV 5–DEC 2
DEC 3–JAN 6 2022

Always subject to change in our crazy world or just because I feel like it.
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 monthly, 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, the day before the mailing date.
Copyright © 2021 Chicago Blues News, All rights reserved.
 

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