Finally Chicago gets a blues museum, at Muddy Waters former home on the Southside. Celebrating the blues by passing down the history and the music with a recording studio and renovation, it aims to engage the next generation of talent.
“It’s our job as blues historians, but as people who love blues or are vying for the blues legacy … it’s our jobs to remind people that the blues is the root of a lot of music,” said Chandra Cooper, Waters’ great-granddaughter.
Waters, born McKinley Morganfield in 1913, moved to Chicago in 1943 to pursue music professionally. He developed an influential electric guitar based blues style that went on to heavily influence the Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter and an entire generation of blues rockers.
Pink Floyd, a psychedelic rock band with over 250 million albums sold has had a foot in the blues since day one. Founder Syd Barrett named the band after two Piedmont blues players, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council – settling the question “which one’s Pink?” The music brought blues riffs galore to the masses courtesy of the guitar stylings of David Gilmour.
Even casual fans may notice the fiery blues licks incorporated in many of the band’s anthems such as “Wish You Were Here,” “Money,” “Have a Cigar” and “Young Lust.” As Gilmour himself put it:
“I love blues, and every piece of music that I have listened to has become an influence. But you’re right, there’s a distinct blues influence within what I do, but at the same time I am not frightened to step out of that. I don’t even think whether I play the blues or not, I just play whatever feels right at the moment. I also will use any gadget or device that I find that helps me achieve the sort of sound on the guitar that I want to get.”
The 2019 King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas showcased dozens of great blues artists on 6 stages. Top moments shown below include the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band with BCI #10’s Joe Krown on the keys. Kenny Wayne and vocalist Noah Hunt have been a stage-fronting combo for over 20 years!
Minds were blown all weekend long with Larry McCray providing the hard edge guitar work, and Andy T laying it all on the line with Alabama Mike, Anson Funderburg and guests. The quaint historic town of Helena sprang to life once again this year.
Kudos to Bubba Sullivan and the crew for an excellent fest and the Southern hospitality extended to the Blues Center. And another shout out to Jontavious Willis (of BCI #1), killing it live with the audience in the palm of his hand. Awesome bluesy shows across the board!
Jimi Hendrix’ Band of Gypsys first show finally gets released. The 12/31/69 Fillmore East show opened sonic doorways into the 1970’s with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums. A totally divergent sound from that of his earlier Experience, this group fused a more muscular brand of blues rock on standout tracks such as “Machine Gun” and “Freedom.
The Rolling Stones video cover of Eddie Taylor’s Ride ’em On Down. The Stones last featured it live on July 12, 1962 according to setlist.fm. They began their career as a Chicago blues cover band put together by founder Brian Jones. While he pushed for the Stones to remain more blues purist, he later settled for being a colourist accessorizing Jagger-Richard compositions. At the tail end of the 60’s Mick Taylor followed his bluesy Mayall Band stint with deep explorations into roots music for half a decade. After that the Stones played less Chuck Berry and fewer blues covers while still doing more than the next band. Now 50 years after moving away from blues as a main concert or album motif, the Stones seem prepared to take it in with a concentrated force unseen since 1965 when Satisfaction signaled their pop writing validation. The cd also contains count ’em 4 covers of Marksville, Louisiana’s Little Walter. In 2016, they returned to a work by a Chicago blues icon with Ride ’em on Down. Please enjoy the official video..
This shot from the archives gave the blues feel today. The Black Keys live at the LA forum November 6, 2014. The Akron, Ohio blues duo paid the blues apprenticeship then forged a more popular and creative option. It was like 1966 all over again.