Otis Rush, one of Chicago blues’ leading lights, passed away on September 29th this year. His playing lives on in landmark recordings such as “All Your Love (I Miss Loving)” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby” impressed Eric Clapton, John Mayall and Jimmy Page – meaning that his sound became part of the tool box for blues rock heroes to come.
In the late 50s and early 60s he was one of Chicago’s brightest rising stars, tagged with Magic Sam and Buddy Guy as a creator of the spiky new West Side sound, but after his first record label, Cobra, went out of business he was signed by Chess, which did little for him, and Duke, which did less. “I started lagging with recordings,” he said later, “and it seemed like all I was meeting up with was crooks.”
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Oates talks and plays the blues in this recap of his Arkansas album and his dedication to roots music. Find out how the riff for “Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” came together at Electric Lady Studios in NYC. John plays “Stack O’ Lee” (Mississippi John Hut) and “That’ll Never Happen No More” (Blind Blake) showing off the bumble bee pick. John gives a shout out to Arif Mardin for inspiring his producing style. Subscribe to catch the series.
Will Bernard in BCI #11 details his collaborations with Charlie Hunter, Stanton Moore, John Medeski and Peter Apfelbaum in this jazzy, funky story with a few twists. Indian guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt provided a stimulus for Will’s singular slide guitar sound.
Will has played guitar on 43 albums as a guest artist! Compelling clips from Raw Music and Ric’s 1998 interview provide an exclusive 3 decade window into the work of a string master. Country Funk gets a mention, it’s Ric’s weekly radio show 10-noon fridays on WTUL 91.5 FM.
Pianist/organist Joe Krown plays and talks about his wide range of blues, boogie woogie, jazz, ragtime and rock and roll with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Chuck Berry and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown in BCI #10. Shot at Pinecohn this oral history gives a bit of the feel of playing in the band, when to improvise and when to adhere to structure. Also Joe Krown Trio w/ R&B legend Walter “Wolfman” Washington hammers on some blues and funky old soul to round out the program.