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.
The new release from Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite 100 Years of Blues combines the guitar and harp prowess of two blues stalwarts. Roughly a century of the music officially known as blues has gone down. Now a couple performers with over a hundred years of playing pen some new tracks to summarize their findings. Among them the track “What the Hell?” above:
As JD Nash puts it:
This entire 12-track release is just two good-old-blues-boys sitting together and jamming. It’s absolutely brilliant. Most of the songs on 100 Years of Blues were written by either Bishop or Musselwhite, and they teamed up to write the title track. Along the way they also pay homage to Roosevelt Sykes with “West Helena Blues,” an appropriate song given the amount of times each artist has played at the King Biscuit Blues Festival. The duo also cover Leroy Carr’s “Midnight Hour Blues,” and Willie Dixon’s “Help Me.”
King of the Chitlin’ Circuit, Bobby Rush, turns 86 today! His incredible energy and vitality are an inspiration to us all. Winner of his first Grammy in 2017 for Porcupine Meat, he’s miraculously back with another strong release Sitting on Top of the Blues in 2019.
Benny Turner, bassist and younger brother of Freddie King talks and plays blues in BCI #16. Benny’s musical journey began in Texas, learning from his mother and uncles alongside Freddie. Playing poker and shunning rehearsals the band roared into the 1970’s with a blues rock sound sharing bills with Canned Heat, T-Bone Walker, Grand Funk and CCR, whose “Lodi” Freddie re-cut as “Lowdown in Lodi.” They embraced country music and loved Hank Williams, but Charles Brown was their idol.
The Rolling Stones began as a Chicago blues ensemble in 1962. As mid-2019 approaches they are set to embark on another U.S. tour. Marksville, LA’s Little Walter featured prominently in Blue and Lonesome the band’s 2016 Grammy winning blues set. The Chicago Tribune offers this run down.
Barry Goldberg in BCI #13 talks about his great fortune playing with Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels on “Good Golly Miss Molly/Devil With The Blue Dress” on his first session, going electric with Bob Dylan, The Electric Flag, Michael Bloomfield, Jimi Hendrix (then Jimmy James), his band with Steve Miller and how he got turned on to the blues in Chicago during the 1950’s. His blues apprenticeship with Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf paved the way. Now he’s in The Rides with Stephen Stills and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Some tasty piano licks fill in the gaps.
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.
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..
Lettsworth, LA native Buddy Guy with Mississippian Muddy Waters’ classic Louisiana Blues:
I’m goin’ down in Louisiana
Baby, behind the sun
I’m goin’ down in Louisiana
Honey, behind the sun
Well, you know I just found out
My trouble just begun
I’m goin’ down in New Orleans, hmm
Get me a mojo hand
I’m goin’ down in New Orleans
Get me a mojo hand (oh take me with you, man, when you go)
I’m gon’ show all you good-lookin’ women
Jes’ how to treat your love
Let’s go back to New Orleans, boys
“While it’s easy to associate British blues strictly with its superstar proponents—especially guitar gods such as Clapton, Page, and Beck—it’s easy to overlook the lesser-known acts who were intricately woven into the British blues family tree as well, in many cases providing a sort of minor-league club team system that supplied top players for the major league stadium fillers who would follow.” British Blues Top 10