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                            <div style="text-align: center;"><strong>"I never had the blues. The blues always had me" - Brownie McGhee</strong></div>

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                            <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:15px"><font color="#003366"><strong>November 18, 2020&nbsp; &nbsp;Volume 1, Issue 28</strong></font></span></div>

                        </td>
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				<!--[if mso]>
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                        <td style="padding-top: 9px;padding-left: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-right: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;">
                        
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                                        <div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:24px"><strong>"At Home" Blues Concerts</strong></span><br>
<em><span style="font-size:20px">At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s</span></em></div>

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                            <span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">This <strong>"WangDangDoodle" At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s </strong>show is going strong - <strong>you can watch this video concert, with FIVE Chicago Blues Masters, until December 3rd </strong>(the show originally aired last month). Bring Chicago's Blues music legacy into your livingroom with Jimmy Johnson, John Primer, Billy Branch, Dave Specter and John Kattke. Buy $5 Tickets and share the joy:&nbsp;<a href="https://bitly.com/WangDangD" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">bitly.com/WangDangD</a>&nbsp;</span></span>
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            <img alt="" src="https://mcusercontent.com/232447c535c950df820e47ef1/video_thumbnails_new/71c2ac0c373b65e7a38a1a54f1ca5ec2.png" width="564" style="max-width: 640px;border: 0;height: auto;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;vertical-align: bottom;" class="mcnImage">
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            <h1 style="display: block;margin: 0;padding: 0;color: #222222;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 40px;font-style: normal;font-weight: bold;line-height: 150%;letter-spacing: normal;text-align: center;"><span style="color:#FFFFFF"><span style="font-size:18px">At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s Concert Clip</span></span></h1>

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                                <a class="mcnButton " title="Buy Tickets to WangDangDoodle " href="http://bitly.com/WangDang" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold;letter-spacing: normal;line-height: 100%;text-align: center;text-decoration: none;color: #FFFFFF;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;display: block;">Buy Tickets to WangDangDoodle </a>
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                                        <div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:24px"><strong>"Heart of the Blues"</strong></span><br>
<em><span style="font-size:20px">by Joanna Connor</span></em></div>

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                        <span style="font-size:16px"><span style="color:#000000"><strong>Joanna Connor</strong> is a weekly contributor to <em>bBluesNote</em> with her column "Heart of the Blues." Joanna<strong>&nbsp;</strong>is a Guitar Instructor with <em>At Home Chicago Blues</em>. To learn more about Joanna </span><a href="http://joannaconnor.com/" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color:#008080">visit her website</span></a><span style="color:#000000">&nbsp;or </span><a href="http://joannaconnor.com/video/" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color:#008080">watch her videos</span></a><span style="color:#000000">. To take lessons with Joanna, </span><a href="https://athomechicagoblues.com/" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;"><span style="color:#008080">click here</span></a><span style="color:#000000">. </span></span>
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                        <span style="font-size:18px"><span style="color:#000000">It seemed invincible, a fortress , a touchstone of Chicago’s cultural lifeblood. The <a href="https://www.kingstonmines.com&nbsp;" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Kingston Mines</a></span><span style="color:#000000">, the “Playground of The Stars” was its clarion call on advertisements , and it was a claim with merit. Today this indomitable blues party haven stands silent for 9 months due to a twist in history none could foresee.&nbsp;</span></span>
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                        <td valign="top" class="mcnTextContent" style="padding-top: 0;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;color: #757575;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;">
                        
                            <p style="margin: 10px 0;padding: 0;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #757575;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:18px"><span style="color:#000000">The luminescent orange exterior, the homemade signs outside announcing the talent, the parade of humanity that packed it nightly, the <a href="https://www.shure.com/en-US" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Shure Vocal Master</a>&nbsp;that was the sound reinforcement run by each band on stage, the worn carpet, the smell of booze, smoke, all were a part of the juke joint magic that served up some of the hottest music on the planet, seven nights per week, until 4 am or 5 am on Saturday. It was there I jammed with superstars or shook their hands or engaged in conversations: celebrities who were &nbsp;there for their own muse, be it paying homage to true American music, soaking in the earthy atmosphere or perhaps looking for more illicit adventures. It was there <a href="https://www.jimmypage.com" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Jimmy Page</a>,&nbsp;</span><span style="color:#000000">and I backed up <a href="https://www.sugar-blue.com" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Sugar Blue</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="color:#000000">and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Wellington" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Valerie Wellington</a></span><span style="color:#000000">, a woman whose voice and demeanor was a reincarnation of <a href="https://www.biography.com/musician/bessie-smith" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Bessie Smith</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="color:#000000">one Thursday night at 3 am, it was there I spoke with <a href="https://www.herbiehancock.com" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Herbie Hancock</a></span><span style="color:#000000">, who watched our entire set, it was there I shook <a href="http://www.mickjagger.com" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Mick Jagger’s</a>&nbsp;hand, it was there I received accolades from <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000681/" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Vince Vaughn</a>, it was there <a href="http://&nbsp;https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000115/" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Nicholas Cage</a>&nbsp;fell in love with me and the band and became a fan, returning a dozen times while he filmed “The Weatherman”, it was there I laughed with <a href="https://www.bonnieraitt.com" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Bonnie Raitt</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="color:#000000">who came to show some love to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.C._Reed&nbsp;" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">AC Reed</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="color:#000000">one night as he was performing there by singing with him while she was on tour for her “Nick of Time” album (AC played on her debut album).</span></span></p>

<p style="margin: 10px 0;padding: 0;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #757575;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:18px"><span style="color:#000000">It was there bassist <a href="http://&nbsp;https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Squire" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Chris Squire</a>&nbsp;from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_(band)" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Yes</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="color:#000000">sat in with us twice. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_King" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Albert King</a> told me “you sound good” at Kingston Mines. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_G" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Kenny G</a></span><span style="color:#000000">, <a href="https://hueylewisandthenews.com" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Huey Lewis</a></span><span style="color:#000000">, <a href="https://www.tednugent.com" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Ted Nugent</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="color:#000000">and <a href="http://www.jimbelushi.ws" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">Jim Belushi</a>&nbsp;</span><span style="color:#000000">came to get some of that mojo and play with the band.&nbsp;</span></span></p>

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            <h1 style="text-align: center;display: block;margin: 0;padding: 0;color: #222222;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 40px;font-style: normal;font-weight: bold;line-height: 150%;letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="color:#FFFFFF"><span style="font-size:18px">Joanna Connor Live at Kingston Mines</span></span></h1>

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                        <td valign="top" class="mcnTextContent" style="padding-top: 0;padding-right: 18px;padding-bottom: 9px;padding-left: 18px;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;word-break: break-word;color: #757575;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;">
                        
                            <p style="margin: 10px 0;padding: 0;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #757575;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">But the real reason this club was a sanctuary was the talent that played there night after night, playing to try and pay the rent, playing without glory. We made beautifully deep music just because we had to live this life as our true selves, all the while impacting the audiences in ways they will never fully know. Together, the musicians and the patrons were the real luminaries that made this place what it was.&nbsp;</span></span></p>

<p style="margin: 10px 0;padding: 0;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #757575;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">As yet another unfortunately necessary lockdown looms here, the future of this 50 year-old club looks precarious. I can only hope for the best and look back with gratitude at the total sum of 19 years that I made music there.&nbsp;</span></span></p>

<p style="margin: 10px 0;padding: 0;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #757575;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 16px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">Hoping for a future resurrection of this venue and many others, be extra safe!</span></span><br>
<span style="font-size:20px"><span style="font-family:comic sans ms,marker felt-thin,arial,sans-serif"><strong><em>Joanna</em></strong></span></span></p>

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                                <a class="mcnButton " title="Take Lessons with Joanna Connor" href="https://chicagobluesnetwork.com/at-home-chicago-blues/" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold;letter-spacing: normal;line-height: 100%;text-align: center;text-decoration: none;color: #FFFFFF;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;display: block;">Take Lessons with Joanna Connor</a>
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                                        <div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:24px"><strong>"Koko Taylor: The Queen of the Blues"</strong></span><br>
<em><span style="font-size:20px">by Marty Weil @ChiBluesHistory</span></em></div>

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                        <span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">I was coo-coo for Koko Taylor. I attended so many of her performances in the 1980s that she would often invite me to croak "All Night Long!" into the microphone when she sang her signature song, "Wang Dang Doodle," which was written by her mentor and champion Willie Dixon.</span></span>
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                            <span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">Koko Taylor was Willie Dixon's final "project" at Chess Records. Interestingly, Taylor originally envisioned herself as the next Diana Ross, but Dixon had other, better ideas for her career. Dixon signed Taylor to a management and production contract in 1962. Taylor told an interviewer what it was like to record for Dixon, "Willie Dixon negotiated how the songs would go, he arranged the music and selected the musicians. My job was to sing, and that is what I did, no more no less."&nbsp;<br>
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With the demise of the Chess label after its sale in 1969 to General Recorded Tape (GRT), Taylor's career suffered and Dixon rightly believed she didn't get a fair shake with the new owners. Like many Chicago blues artists, a career in music didn't cover the monthly bills. For most of her career, Koko Taylor labored as a housekeeper.&nbsp;<br>
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By the 1970s, her voice wasn't what it was in 1962, but Taylor persevered. In 1975, she became Alligator Records' first female artist. She recorded a Grammy-nominated album for Alligator titled, "I Got What It Takes." The comeback album returned Taylor to her rightful place in the blues limelight. With great fanfare in 1994, Koko Taylor opened her own blues club on Division Street in Chicago. Koko Taylor's reign as the Queen of the Blues ended when she died from complications from surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding on June 3, 2009. Taylor is remembered as a beloved and talented figure in Chicago blues history.</span></span>
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                        <span style="font-size:16px"><span style="color:#000000"><strong>Marty&nbsp;Weil</strong>&nbsp;is the editor of</span>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/chiblueshistory" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;"><strong>@CHIBLUESHISTOR</strong>Y</a>&nbsp;<span style="color:#000000">on Twitter.&nbsp;Marty&nbsp;is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.</span></span>
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                                        <div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:24px"><strong>Photo of the Week: Primer &amp; Branch</strong></span><br>
<em><span style="font-size:20px">by Peter M. Hurley</span></em></div>

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                            <span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">John Primer and Billy Branch. Billy Branch and John Primer. All Stars. The Real Deal. Sons Of The Blues. Quintessential&nbsp;sidemen AND Consummate bandleaders. They've done it all and when they do, it's blues music at its best. Hell, it's&nbsp;<em>music</em>&nbsp;at its best. Virtuosos. Front men and side, lead or ensemble players, their&nbsp;musicianship was forged in the hot cauldron of the blues mills of live performance in smoky clubs, International festivals, recording sessions, and back rooms with Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Jr, Wells...say no more.&nbsp; Having stood on the shoulders of the Masters before them, they are now&nbsp;<em>our</em>&nbsp;present day Masters.<br>
<br>
When asked what it's like to be in the groove, to be in the zone, Billy mused. "Like flying," he&nbsp;said. "In an altered state of consciousness, in the moment and not thinking about what comes next. Lighter than air, like in a parachute."&nbsp; When blues vets&nbsp;sync up, it's magic&nbsp;time and this gig for the Chicago Blues Network taken from the stage of Evanston's S.P.A.C.E. was no exception. While Primer&nbsp;stung his acoustic Fender with a steel-finger slide,&nbsp; Branch blew choruses in a heavenly synchronicity&nbsp;invoking the Delta blues that blazed the trail for the electrically charged Chicago Blues of today.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br>
<br>
- Peter M Hurley 11/18/2020</span></span><br>
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<span style="font-size:16px">Mr. Hurley is a contributing photographer and writer for Living Blues Magazine and the staff photographer for Chicago Blues Network. His recent book&nbsp;<em>Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago</em>, in collaboration with Blues historian and author David Whiteis, showcases his work in the field. His passion for blues music began with the Chess Studios’ sound of Bo Diddley and continues to this day.&nbsp;</span><em><font color="blue" size="4"><a data-auth="NotApplicable" href="http://pmh1951.wixsite.com/blueportraits" id="LPlnk671986" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">pmh1951.wixsite.com/blueportraits</a></font></em>
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                                        <div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:24px"><strong>Latest "Blues From the Inside Out" Podcast</strong></span><br>
<em><span style="font-size:20px">with Dave Specter&nbsp;</span></em><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">&nbsp;</span></span><br>
<span style="color:#FFFFFF"><span style="font-size:18px">Guitar Instructor &amp; Musical Director of At Home Chicago Blues</span></span></div>

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                            <span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">Listen in as Dave Specter talks with award-winning Blues Guitarist and Vocalist Nick Moss. </span></span><br>
<br>
<em><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px"><strong>“Guitarist and singer Nick Moss shows the world his fearsome guitar chops and his complete familiarity with the great tradition of Chicago blues music."</strong> - MOJO (UK-based magazine)</span></span></em>
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            <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chv-o2lBk4I&amp;t=471s" title="Dave Specter's Blues From The Inside Out podcast interview with Nick Moss" class="" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;">
            

            <img alt="" src="https://mcusercontent.com/232447c535c950df820e47ef1/video_thumbnails_new/4dd9f486ca12ff6d2c96368f7f0f33e3.png" width="564" style="max-width: 640px;border: 0;height: auto;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;vertical-align: bottom;" class="mcnImage">
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            <h1 style="display: block;margin: 0;padding: 0;color: #222222;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 40px;font-style: normal;font-weight: bold;line-height: 150%;letter-spacing: normal;text-align: center;"><span style="color:#00FFFF"><span style="font-size:18px">Dave Specter's "Blues From The Inside Out"<br>
Podcast Interview with Nick Moss</span></span></h1>

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                                <a class="mcnButton " title="Listen to Podcast Here" href="https://www.bluesfromtheinsideout.com/nick-moss" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold;letter-spacing: normal;line-height: 100%;text-align: center;text-decoration: none;color: #FFFFFF;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;display: block;">Listen to Podcast Here</a>
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                                        <div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:24px"><strong>Latest "No Border Blues" Podcast</strong></span><br>
<em><span style="font-size:20px">with Johnny Burgin &amp; Stephanie Tice</span></em></div>

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                            <span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px"><strong>Johnny Burgin</strong>, Guitar Instructor with At Home Chicago Blues, and Delmark recording artist, with producer <strong>Stephanie Tic</strong>e present "No Border Blues".&nbsp;This new video podcast, sponsored by Chicago Blues Network, talks with notable international blues artists about how and why they got the blues. It shines a spotlight into the hidden blues scenes-- "mesmerized clusters"-- of serious blues music and fans in places you might not expect. <strong>Meet Trickbag! from Sweden.</strong></span></span>
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            <img alt="" src="https://mcusercontent.com/232447c535c950df820e47ef1/video_thumbnails_new/114c3a0b36f61f8201ec89fbf570963f.png" width="564" style="max-width: 640px;border: 0;height: auto;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;vertical-align: bottom;" class="mcnImage">
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            <h1 style="display: block;margin: 0;padding: 0;color: #222222;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 40px;font-style: normal;font-weight: bold;line-height: 150%;letter-spacing: normal;text-align: center;"><span style="color:#FFFFFF"><span style="font-size:18px">"No Border Blues" Episode Five: Trickbag!</span></span></h1>

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                                        <div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:24px"><strong><em>In the News:</em><br>
“Spec” speaks out against injustice, with help from Billy Branch and Brother John, on new Delmark release</strong></span><br>
<span style="font-size:18px">by&nbsp;Linda&nbsp;Cain<br>
(Shared from Chicago Blues Guide with permission)</span></div>

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                            <span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:18px">Dave Specter is a man who wears many hats: guitarist, songwriter, bandleader, recording artist, producer, podcast host and music venue co-owner.<br>
<br>
Since 1985, Specter has performed regularly at top Chicago blues and jazz clubs, festivals and concert halls across the U.S. Since 1989, he has toured internationally with shows in Europe, South America, Israel, Mexico and Canada. Before forming his own band in 1989, he toured as a band member with blues greats including Son Seals, The Legendary Blues Band, Hubert Sumlin, Sam Lay, and Steve Freund. He has performed and/or recorded with luminaries like Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Otis Rush Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Johnson, Lonnie Brooks, Otis Clay, Ronnie Earl and many more.</span></span>
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                                <a class="mcnButton " title="Read the Article and Interview Here" href="https://bit.ly/specarticle-cbg" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold;letter-spacing: normal;line-height: 100%;text-align: center;text-decoration: none;color: #FFFFFF;mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;display: block;">Read the Article and Interview Here</a>
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                            <span style="font-size:20px"><em><span style="color:#000000">The interview includes insights on the song "The Ballad of George Floyd". Hear the song in the video below, and at this link:&nbsp;</span></em><a data-auth="NotApplicable" href="http://bit.ly/GeorgeDaveBilly" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;">http://bit.ly/GeorgeDaveBilly</a>.</span>
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            <img alt="" src="https://mcusercontent.com/232447c535c950df820e47ef1/video_thumbnails_new/40b91b0c045f7a50d3cca03be124655b.png" width="564" style="max-width: 640px;border: 0;height: auto;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;vertical-align: bottom;" class="mcnImage">
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            <h1 style="display: block;margin: 0;padding: 0;color: #222222;font-family: Helvetica;font-size: 40px;font-style: normal;font-weight: bold;line-height: 150%;letter-spacing: normal;text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:18px"><span style="color:#FFFFFF">Dave Specter and Billy Branch: The Ballad of George Floyd</span></span></h1>

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                        <span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:24px"><strong>Learn to Play with Chicago Blues Masters</strong></span><br>
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<span style="font-size:20px"><strong>Online video lessons you can use from home!<br>
Bass | Guitar | Vocals | Keyboard</strong></span></span>
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                            <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:24px">The online lesson package is just $23.95/month!</span></span></div>

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                            <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-size:20px"><strong>Have a Question?</strong>&nbsp;Email <a href="mailto:scott@chicagobluesnetwork.com" target="_blank" style="mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #007C89;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;"><strong>scott@chicagobluesnetwork.com</strong></a></span></span></div>

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                            <div style="text-align: center;"><strong><span style="color:#000080"><em>Keep in touch on social media, until next time...</em></span></strong></div>

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“You might say that the universe plays the blues.” ― David Byrne
November 11, 2020   Volume 1, Issue 27
In this issue: Columns by Marty Weil, Joanna Conor; “Photo of the Week” by Peter M. Hurley, and “No Border Blues” podast, and the gift of music.
“The Saga of the Sonny Boys”
by Marty Weil @ChiBluesHistory
John Lee Curtis (John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson) (left) and Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II) (right) 
Randy Newman had a soft spot for Sonny Boy Williamson (John Lee Curtis) whose identity and his act were usurped by another talented bluesman named Rice Miller. Rice Miller christened himself Sonny Boy Williamson much to the chagrin of the original Sonny Boy. To distinguish the two Sonny Boy Williamsons, Rice Miller is referred to as Sonny Boy Williamson II (SBWII) and Curtis as SBWI.

In the lyrics to “Sonny Boy”, Newman takes up the cause of the original Sonny Boy’s plight after SBWII stole his career from under him:

I’m gonna tell you my story
About a man who’s down in hell
He ain’t up here anyway
As far as I can tell
This man stole my name
He stole my soul


In 1941, Rice Miller was hired to play the King Biscuit Time show, advertising the King Biscuit brand of baking flour on radio station KFFA in Helena, Arkansas, with Robert Jr. Lockwood. The program’s sponsor, Max Moore, began billing Miller as Sonny Boy Williamson, in an attempt to capitalize on the fame of the established Chicago-based harmonica player and singer SBWI. Although John Lee Curtis was a major blues star who had already released dozens of successful and widely influential records under the name “Sonny Boy Williamson” from 1937 onward, Rice Miller would later claim to have been the first to use the name. Some blues scholars believe that Miller’s assertion he was born in 1899 was a ruse to convince audiences he was old enough to have used the name before John Lee Williamson, who was born in 1914. The best description of SBWII comes from the authors of Moanin’ at Midnight, “He was the trickster figure of folklore made flesh–Bre’r Rabbit in human form.” Randy Newman would wholeheartedly agree.

Randy Newman – Sonny Boy

Marty Weil is the editor of @CHIBLUESHISTORY on Twitter. Marty is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.
Photo of the Week: “Mud” Morganfield
by Peter M. Hurley
“Mud” Morganfield… Deep into it. A voice steeped in Chicago mud with a dusting of ancestral Mississippi dirt. His face, a map of emotion and experience. He wears his family name with pride and style and writes originals to carry his own. This photo was taken at a House Of Blues benefit performance in 2018. Within an all-star lineup, Mud shone.
– Peter M. Hurley 

A new photo of Morganfield appears in the Trading 4s 2021 Calendar which will be available for purchase before Thanksgiving.

See Mud Morganfield, along with Johnny Burgin, in this Trading 4s show from last July, 
https://youtu.be/YRvYRIYTYv8.


Mr. Hurley is a contributing photographer and writer for Living Blues Magazine and the staff photographer for Chicago Blues Network. His recent book Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago, in collaboration with Blues historian and author David Whiteis, showcases his work in the field. His passion for blues music began with the Chess Studios’ sound of Bo Diddley and continues to this day. pmh1951.wixsite.com/blueportraits
“Heart of the Blues”
by Joanna Connor
Joanna Connor is a weekly contributor to bBluesNote with her column “Heart of the Blues.” Joanna is a Guitar Instructor with At Home Chicago Blues. To learn more about Joanna visit her website or watch her videos. To take lessons with Joanna, click here.
In my last article I reminisced about my first night of sitting in with the luminary Lonnie Brooks.

After my three song jam with Dion and Band, Delta BluesMan Johnny Littlejohn, who was in the audience, offered me a gig at Blues that would take place three weeks later. We exchanged phone numbers.

I went outside covered in sweat from the set, gleaming on the outside and inside, not noticing the frigid temperature on that October night. I ended up at Cook County Hospital a few days later with a raging fever and the inability to swallow and had the diagnosis of tonsillitis. Penicillin would wipe it out within the week. Fortunately I went to the Jazz Record Mart and bought the one Johnny Littlejohn album I could find the day after I met him. I spent the week in recovery learning every cut on the album.

We met a week later at a soul food restaurant on Pulaski Rd for breakfast. I had no car and lived at the corner of Irving park and Pulaski. I had asked people and eventually the bus driver if I was headed in the right direction, and each of them said “You don’t want to go in that neighborhood!” I was undaunted. I was going to have breakfast with a living legend and one of the few blues men in Chicago that played real Mississippi Delta Slide guitar. Over a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and grits, Johnny explained his show to me.

His accent was so thick this New England transplant pieced together what he was saying as best I could. The night of the show I took two buses to Blues lugging a 1964 Fender black face twin loaded with two JBL, and my Les Paul in a hard shell case in either hand from my third floor apartment. It  didn’t bother me at all. I was ecstatic. I walked into the club the air heavy and smoky, my heart pounding with anticipation.

Here I was, 22 years old and I was to be playing with three men old enough to each be my grandfather, each masters of their genre.

I don’t recall every minute of that night, other than Johnny telling me he was impressed I had learned that album, and me trying to figure out what he was shouting out as song titles, as there was no set list and his Mississippi accent might has well has been Japanese to my ears! What an honor to be on this stage with the deepest of blues being played by veterans of the this music, straight from their lives, straight from their souls. My blues education had begun!

Until next time !

Joanna
Listen to a song by John Littlejohn here:

John Littlejohn – “Driftin’ Blues”

“No Border Blues” Podcast
with Johnny Burgin and Stephanie Tice
Take a blues journey with No Border Blues! Delmark recording artist Johnny Burgin and producer Stephanie Tice are happy to present exclusive musical performances and intriguing cross-cultural exchanges with some artists you should know about. In this episode, meet UK artists Katie Bradley and Dave Ferra.

No Border Blues Episode 4, Katie Bradley and Dave Ferra from the UK

Read about the podcast in the hyperlocal news source, “The Beachwood Reporter” and learn more about this incredible show. Read it here.
Give the Gift of Music
For yourself…or for a musician you know.
At Home Chicago Blues offers convenient online video lessons you can access anytime,
plus Q&A with Chicago Blues Masters.
Bass | Guitar | Vocals | Keys
Online lessons for $23.95 per month.
Register Here
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“The whole of life itself expresses the blues. That’s why I always say the blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling and understanding. The blues can be about anything pertaining to the facts of life. The blues call on God as much as a spiritual song do.” – Willie Dixon
November 4, 2020   Volume 1, Issue 26
Blues Concerts to Watch Anytime From Home
At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s
If you need a soundtrack this week, look no further than At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s. Watch these full concerts on Youtube anytime to see Chicago Blues Masters in action. Performers include Instructors with At Home Chicago Blues and many other Blues greats. Blues is the sound of resilience. 
At Home Chicago Blues entertains you with concerts AND teaches you how to play!

Register for lessons

 
“Heart of the Blues”
by Joanna Connor
Joanna Connor is a weekly contributor to bBluesNote with her column “Heart of the Blues.” Joanna is a Guitar Instructor with At Home Chicago Blues. To learn more about Joanna, visit her website or watch her videos. To take lessons with Joanna, click here.
Blues on Halsted is in the first floor of what appears to be an early 1900s three flat. 

It’s everything you imagine a blues bar to be- old wood throughout, narrow, crowded, smoky, stools and tables worn down, a bar tended by two world weary and extremely competent bar keeps, one pithy waitress who at maybe 5 feet tall and 90 pounds still manages to carry a tray loaded down with beer and shots over her head through the tightly packed crowd. It’s a Tuesday night, yes, a Tuesday and the joint is jumping. 

I’m there to see one of my favorite artists in those days- Lonnie Brooks. His voice is soulful and sounds like well worn velvet, his guitar playing has the cutting sound of Chicago with the funky edge of Louisiana, where he is originally from. His band is tight and syncopated. I am particularly fascinated and enamored by his back up guitarist, a tall, lanky, imposing guy in his good thirties, a cigarette dangling ala Keith Richards, a cowboy hat cocked low, and a guitar strap with his name on it- Dion, holding up a gorgeous black anniversary model Les Paul. 

As much as I love Lonnie and his own unique creole infused blues, Dion Payton is the one grabbing me right down to my soul with his melodic, fiery, passionate leads and uncannily well thought out and grooving rhythmic approach. Lonnie must have noticed my intense attention that I was paying to the band. He greeted me on break with a “you enjoying the show?” and upon my answer thick with my native New England accent asked was I visiting Chicago, and I said no, I’m living here to learn to play blues guitar. 

He chuckled and was sizing me up a bit- a young girl answered him with a sentence you didn’t often here. In 1984 there wasn’t even a half dozen female guitarist in all genres combined. He asked me if i would like to play his guitar and open the show with Dion and the band. He brings me to the stage and motions me to play his guitar as a sort of impromptu test. I must have passed. He told me to tell Dion I was sitting in.

I did just that, only to be met with a 6 foot four rather intimidating black man telling me flat out, no! I walked back to my seat, extremely disappointed. I went to the bar and ordered a double Jack, shot it down, and the liquid courage did it’s job. I went up to Dion and said “listen, I can play, Lonnie invited  me up “ Dion hands me just guitar and cooly says “play something”. I do just that and he nods. Minutes feel like hours and my nerves are tingling. Dion calls me up “there’s a young lady here in the house that’s gonna play some with us, welcome to BLUEs”. 

Well I can’t tell you what we played. But we did three songs and the entire crowd gave us a standing ovation and lots of clapping and hoots and hollers were rained upon us the whole time. I was in heaven! This moment led to the start of my career in Chicago. The Mississippi delta bred Johnny Littlejohn was in the house and when I was finished, he invited me to play a gig with him three weeks later at the same club! 

I wish you all well and will continue my blues saga next week!
Until Then, keep bluesin.
 
Joanna 

Listen to Joanna Connor…in concert. Enjoy this video below.
This At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s concert features Connor alongside Donna Herula and Katherine Davis:

Joanna Connor, Donna Herula and Katherine Davis with “Slide by Slide” Show

“The Bluebird Era of Chicago Blues”
by Marty Weil @ChiBluesHistory
Chicago record producer, Lester Melrose, was the mainline man at Bluebird, a blues record company that existed from 1931-42. The label is known for creating the “Bluebird sound,” which some critics malign for being formulaic. I say hogwash. The Bluebird sound came directly from the studio’s low-budget session band, which, luckily for us, was chocked full of incredible blues talent.
The Bluebird stable of talent included such stellar musicians as Big Bill Broonzy, Roosevelt Sykes, Washboard Sam, and Sony Boy Williamson I. Another key player was Blind John Davis, the house pianist for Bluebird who was known for his genteel approach to the blues. 
 

The first Bluebird records appeared in July 1932. The discs were test-marketed at selected Woolworth’s stores in New York City–selling for as little as 10 cents each. These test-market 8-inch discs are so rare today that some issues may no longer exist at all!


When Lester Melrose needed a song to sell that spoke to the burgeoning U.S. road system, Big Bill Broonzy delivered the classic recording “Key to the Highway.” Melrose was also bolstered by the help of prolific Chicago bluesman Tampa Red. He turned his Chicago home into what is lovingly referred to as “The Blues Hotel,” which played host to newly arriving blues artists from Mississippi and elsewhere. Tampa Red fed them and gave them a place to stay. In a 1973 documentary, Big Boy Crudup tells of how Melrose brought him to Tampa Red’s Blues Hotel. Crudup was previously domiciled in a wooden crate beneath Chicago’s gritty L tracks. Melrose heard Crudup playing for spare change and signed him to the label. (Without Melrose’s intervention, Elvis Presley would not have had “That’s All Right” to cover.) Crudup wasn’t the only famous guest at Tampa Red’s house. Melrose reportedly covered the lodging costs of Red’s most famous guests, including Willie Dixon and Memphis Slim.

After World War II, the Bluebird label was retired and its previously released titles were reissued on the RCA Victor label.

 
Marty Weil is the editor of @CHIBLUESHISTORY on Twitter. Marty is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.

This video below provides a mini-lesson of “Key to the Highway,” a song from the “Bluebird Era” of Chicago blues, with John Kattke.
Mini-Lesson of “Key to the Highway” with Brother John Kattke
Photo of the Week
by Peter M. Hurley
Jimmy Johnson. Going strong in his 90s, his silky guitar work is beauteous and fluid; it’s his ‘second singing voice’. And that high tenor voice; all rhythm and blues, all soul. Jimmy commands one of the best bands in Chicago blues and is a masterful leader. His age is his strength, learned, experienced and deeply connected to the 2nd wave of post war Chicago blues. Having learned from the masters, he is the current master, on the top of the heap. I love to photograph Jimmy Johnson, his eyes always sparkling, and his gaze fierce but warm. Play on, Jimmy.   

This photo of Jimmy taken at 2016 Chicago Blues Fest Tribute to Otis Rush.  

Mr. Hurley is a contributing photographer and writer for Living Blues Magazine and the staff photographer for Chicago Blues Network. His recent book Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago, in collaboration with Blues historian and author David Whiteis, showcases his work in the field. His passion for blues music began with the Chess Studios’ sound of Bo Diddley and continues to this day. For website, click here.
Learn to Play Blues with At Home Chicago Blues 

Online video lessons you can use from home!
Bass | Guitar | Vocals | Keyboard
Register Here
The online lesson package is just $23.95/month!
Have a Question? Email info@athomechicagoblues.com.
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“Go ahead and play the blues if it’ll make you happy.” – Dan Castellaneta
October 28, 2020   Volume 1, Issue 25
Upcoming Blues Concerts
At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s
Thursday October 29
7:00 PM Central Standard European Time
(12 Noon Chicago Time)
Special Broadcast for Europe! “Wang Dang Doodle” At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s show featuring Jimmy Johnson, John Primer, Billy Branch, Dave Specter and John Kattke (filmed this past summer).

Wherever you are, take this chance to see five blues powerhouses in one show. 
October 29 Tickets
Photo of the Week: Jamiah Rogers
Photo and Column by Peter M. Hurley
Jamiah Rogers gets it on and gets down. Seen live, his trio thunders through a set of blazing blues and R&B originals with a passion and flash that goes right through you. Young and old music lovers embrace the guy for his blues roots and cool suits.  

 “The blues are deep and sacred. It’s the type of music I relate to the most and am able to express myself the best” says Rogers. “When we’re cooking on stage and we are grooving, it feels like a musical high that you would never want to leave alone. When you’re locked you never want to break.”

This photo of “Blues Superman” taken at peak moment is from the Broad St. Blues Fest in Griffith, Indiana / July 1, 2017. It received “Best Festival Image” by University of Chicago’s “Chicago Jazz And Blues: A Photographer’s Perspective” exhibit in 2019, and was published in Living Blues Magazine # 268. 

For more info on Jamiah’s CDs and appearances see: Facebook
 | Website | Blues Superman CD available here 
Mr. Hurley is a contributing photographer and writer for Living Blues Magazine and the staff photographer for Chicago Blues Network. His recent book Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago, in collaboration with Blues historian and author David Whiteis, showcases his work in the field. His passion for blues music began with the Chess Studios’ sound of Bo Diddley and continues to this day. For more images click here.
Catch an exclusive Jamiah Rogers performance on Thursday November 5th At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s at 7:00 PM CST. 

The livestream concert also features blues legend Tail Dragger plus Johnny Burgin.  RSVP & Share with Friends
HERE on Facebook (ticket link coming soon!)
“Mr. Hooker’s Neighborhood”
by Marty Weil @ChiBluesHistory
Cover of JLH Modern Recordings 1948-1954
Certain neighborhoods are associated with blues legends: Dallas’ Deep Ellum and Robert Johnson. Lightnin’ Hopkins and Houston’s 3rd Ward. John Lee Hooker’s stomping ground was Black Bottom, a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Detroit. 

The main drag in Black Bottom was Hastings Street, where we find Hooker with his guitar on the cover of his album, “The Legendary Modern Recordings.” When he wasn’t literally playing on the streets of Black Bottom, you might’ve caught him performing inside Henry’s Swing Club on Hastings. The famed Hastings Street ran north-south through Black Bottom. At one point, it had been a center of Eastern European Jewish settlement before World War I. By the time John Lee Hooker came to town, The Great Migration had transformed the strip into one of the city’s major African-American communities of black-owned businesses, social institutions, and nightclubs. It was then that it became nationally famous for its music scene. 
John Lee Hooker help promote the neighborhood as a blues music mecca when he referenced the area in his classic recording “Boogie Chillin’:

When I first came to town, people, I was walkin’ down Hastings Street
Everybody was talkin’ about the Henry Swing Club
I decided I drop in there that night
When I got there, I say, “Yes, people”
They were really havin’ a ball


John Lee Hooker wasn’t done using his endless boogie to pay homage to his beloved Hastings Street. In 1949, he released “Hastings Street Boogie.” Today, the Detroit neighborhood of Black Bottom and John Lee Hooker are inextricably linked.
Marty Weil is the editor of @CHIBLUESHISTORY on Twitter. Marty is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.
“Heart of the Blues”
by Joanna Connor
Joanna Connor is a weekly contributor to bBluesNote with her column “Heart of the Blues.” Joanna is a Guitar Instructor with At Home Chicago Blues. To learn more about Joanna visit her website or watch her videos. To take lessons with Joanna, click here.
October. 
The month you feel it’s really autumn. The month you know that change is around the corner.  

In October, 1984, I left my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts and came to Chicago to live. The warm comforts of home distancing themselves further and further with every mile as I sat on that 27 hour bus ride. Change was definitely on my horizon and what I sought. I was on my way to begin my self designed apprenticeship as a student of the blues, seeking a position as a rhythm guitarist and maybe occasional vocalist in one of the city’s totally phenomenal bands. Most of my friends and family at home thought I was a little crazy and naive. But I never wavered in my belief that I would achieve my goals. I was 22, very self assured then, and always a dreamer. 

The scene was electrifying. Many of the blues most important living legends still resided and performed there. Chicago was saturated with musicians of stellar talent and was charged with colorful personalities. It appealed to me beyond measure. It was an exotic and compelling adventure to a girl from New England. I was ready. Little did I know how much I would learn and transform in so many areas of my life and how the imprint of this would alter my music and inner life forever. 

I settled in to a northwest side apartment and went job hunting. Offered a position at a now defunct French bistro downtown as a prep cook. This I knew would be temporary. 

Within three weeks of 7 nights per week of live music I found myself sitting in with Lonnie Brooks at BLUES on Halsted Street on a Tuesday night. In my next entry, I will take all of you back to that night in October of 1984. 

Stay strong. Keep singing 
Joanna 
Latest “Blues From the Inside Out” Podcast
Hosted by Dave Specter, At Home Chicago Blues Musical Director and Guitar Instructor, with Guest Kirk Fletcher
Interview with Kirk Fletcher
Wactch on Youtube
Listen to Podcast
Featured Blues Tune to Learn 
“That’s Alright” with Johnny Burgin

At Home Chicago Blues helps you learn blues at home from Chicago Blues Masters.
The online lesson package is $23.95/month.

Johnny Burgin: “That’s Alright” Guitar Lesson

Muddy Waters “That’s Alright”

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“Everything comes out in blues music: joy, pain, struggle. Blues is affirmation with absolute elegance.” – Wynton Marsalis
October 21, 2020   Volume 1, Issue 24
Photo of the Week
Peter M. Hurley
        Violinist, songwriter, performer and recording artist extraordinaire, Anne Harris is a photographer’s dream. Statuesque and lithe, she instills every performance with hypnotic instrumental virtuosity while summoning the depths of the blues in dance and gesture, transporting us into her firelight of an ancient campground in some ancestral trance.
        Anne has succeeded in re-installing the fiddle as an important blues instrument. “Classically trained, I was always drawn to a huge variety of music, and Blues music opened up another chamber in my heart,” says Ms. Harris. “When I play my fiddle I am simultaneously reaching my hands both forward and backwards through time while reaching towards a future built on the hopes and dreams we collectively weave together.”
        My photo above was taken at one of her last performances with the Otis Taylor Band, on a beautiful summer’s eve in June of 2018. Anne was in especially fine form at the Pritzker Pavillion bringing her unique Blues power to the stage.
       A new and beautiful photo of Anne performing for a Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s broadcast will be featured in the upcoming 2021 calendar to be announced in an upcoming issue of bBluesNote.
       For info on Anne Harris‘s brilliant CDs, see
 http://www.anneharris.com/


– Peter M. Hurley  10/21/2020

Mr. Hurley is a contributing photographer and writer for Living Blues Magazine and the staff photographer for Chicago Blues Network. His recent book Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago, in collaboration with Blues historian and author David Whiteis, showcases his work in the field. His passion for blues music began with the Chess Studios’ sound of Bo Diddley and continues to this day. pmh1951.wixsite.com/blueportraits
Upcoming Blues Concerts
At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s
TRADING 4s with Tail Dragger, Johnny Burgin and Jamiah Rogers will be Livestreamed on 
Thursday November 5th 7:00 PM CST
Mark your calendars for 11/5 and stay tuned for ticket link ($5) which benefits artists and The Firehouse Community Arts Center in Lawndale. 
Trading 4s is Hosted by Dave SpecterAt Home Chicago Blues Musical Director and Guitar Instructor, who also interviews the artists and provides a guitar lesson at the beginning of the show, which shows you a song from the upcoming set. Catch it at 6:45 PM.

RSVP & Share with Your Musical Friends on Facbook
 

Tail Dragger at Hondarribia Blues Festival Image source.

“America’s Native Music Thrives in Europe
by Marty Weil @ChiBluesHistory
Willie Dixon, Memphis Slim, and SBWII at Airport

Blues artists have been revered in Europe since Chicago bluesman Big Bill Broonzy made the first blues sojourn to Amsterdam in 1953. Broonzy’s historic trip paved the way for a flood of blues musicians during what ultimately became known as the 1960s Blues Revival.

It was Willie Dixon who was bitten by the European travel bug in 1960. During the 60s and 70s, he ventured frequently to the Continent for a series of concerts featuring a who’s who of blues players. On the first such trip, Willie was accompanied by pianist extraordinaire Memphis Slim. Later, Willie returned with Muddy Water, Sonny Boy Williams, and others. The great Howlin’ Wolf also made notable trips to Europe. The visits by the blues royalty of Chicago made an incalculable impression on a slew of future blues-inspired rock musicians, including Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and Ringo Starr, to name a few.

The impression blues artists made in Europe has reverberated through the decades. In 1996, for instance, Notodden, Norway, and Clarksville, Mississippi, became sister cities. Cultural exchanges between the two cities have included performances by Norwegian blues artists at Clarksdale’s annual blues festival, while traditional Delta blues artists have traveled to perform in Notodden.

Notable blues artists like Champion Jack Dupree felt so welcome in Europe that they relocated there permanently. Sonny Boy Williamson, Memphis Slim, and Eddie Boyd all lived for a time on the Continent to escape racial turmoil at home. With outstanding blues artists based throughout Europe, the idiom became far more accessible and popular. A flourishing European fan base was established and maintained to this day. Recently, when bluesman Lucky Peterson passed away in France, there was an outpouring of grief and remembrance in the country. 
Marty Weil is the editor of @CHIBLUESHISTORY on Twitter. Marty is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.
“Heart of the Blues”
by Joanna Connor
Joanna Connor is a weekly contributor to bBluesNote with her column “Heart of the Blues.” Joanna is a Guitar Instructor with At Home Chicago Blues. To learn more about Joanna visit her website or watch her videos. To take lessons with Joanna, click here.
There was a concert this weekend on a lot that was the former site of The Checkerboard Lounge. 

To call this site holy blues ground would not be an exaggeration. The music that emitted from that spot is still floating amongst the cosmos and in the hearts and minds of those privileged to have been there in person during its lifespan. 43rd and King Drive on the Southside of Chicago was a bit rough , a bit brutal, a bit dangerous and the metal bars on the one window, and the metal security gate on the narrow front door bore witness. But to me that was part of its heavy, earthy charm. 
The Rolling Stones made many a pilgrimage throughout the years to this blues Mecca. In 1981 Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, backed by a stellar band including Ray “Killer” Allison on drums (RIH, and he was absolute thunder on that drum throne) and John Primer on rhythm guitar. Many of you have seen this video capturing just some of the magic that was available to audiences and musicians alike 365 days a year, (Click here for video: 
https://youtu.be/Mbao_laqF8E — or play the vide in the player below).

Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones – “Baby Please Don’t Go” (Live At Checkerboard Lounge)

I first went there on my 19th birthday. I saw Otis Clay with legendary Gospel guitarist Chris Johnson. An older man with a permanent scowl and an attitude sat at the narrow entry way Collecting the cover charge and did not check me for an ID. Around the corner, under a classic neon bar sign and the aforementioned barred window, sat the heavyweights of Chicago blues, smoking, swearing and playing cards- Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and the Meyers Brothers. 

It was a funky joint with a long bar, being tended by the girlfriend of the co-owner who was next to her, and she was your quintessential tough lady with a heart of gold, and the co-owner/ manager LC Thurman, was looking very much like the character later played by Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. The floor was worn white tile, a few posters lined the faded walls, the ceiling was low, several pillars stood in the way of sight lines. The stage was about a foot off the ground, covered in worn carpet, and a single naked light bulb hung from the ceiling in the middle of the stage. Other luminaries were hanging  out, drinking pints that were for sale at the bar- Lefty Dizz, Johnny Dollar, Carlos Johnson, Zora Young.

The crowd was a mix of University of Chicago students and neighborhood people, dressed to the nines. I was spellbound. I knew this Massachusetts girl had to move to this city. I did just that three years later and would be a part of the house band every weekend at this hallowed place. But these stories will be told another time. This tavern became my blues university. 

Until next time, be well, and remember as John Lee Hooker penned” Blues Is A Healer” 

Joanna 
Latest “No Border Blues” Podcast
with Johnny Burgin and Stephanie Tice
Take a blues journey with No Border Blues! This new video podcast, sponsored by The Chicago Blues Network, talks with notable international blues artists about how and why they got the blues. It shines a spotlight into the hidden blues scenes — “mesmerized clusters” — of serious blues music and fans in places you might not expect. Delmark recording artist Johnny Burgin and producer Stephanie Tice are happy to present exclusive musical performances and intriguing cross-cultural exchanges with some artists you should know about.

In this episode we are chatting with band leader Lorenzo Albai, the singer and harp player for Jesus On a Tortilla, from the little town of Saronna, near Milan, Italy. For eleven years they have been playing their brand of hard-core, retro, 40s and 50s Chicago blues in France, Poland, Switzerland and their native Lombardia.

No Border Blues Episode Three: Lorenzo Albai

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in the Style of the Chicago Blues Masters


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“If you don’t know the blues..there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock-n-roll or any other form of popular music.” – Keith Richards
 
October 14, 2020   Volume 1, Issue 23
Two Events This Week
The blues plays on!
TRADING 4s with Mary Lane and John Kattke
Thursday October 15th 7:00 PM CST
1) At Home Chicago Blues Trading 4s with Mary Lane and Brother John Kattke returns by popular demand. Check out the online concert and invite a few friends to do the same. $5 tickets support the artists and The Firehouse Community Arts Center in Chicago. Tune in and see this living legend as well as multi-instrumentalist and At Home Chicago Blues Faculty member.
Buy Tickets
Photo by Peter M Hurley
Trading 4s is Hosted by Dave Specter, At Home Chicago Blues Musical Director and Guitar Instructor, who also interviews the artists and provides a guitar lesson at the beginning of the show, which shows you a song from the upcoming set. Catch it at 7:00 PM.
Around the City…
The Bronze
ville Blues Walk
Saturday October 17th, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
(Rain Date: 10/18)
1) The Bronzeville Blues Collaborative, in collaboration with the Muddy Waters Mojo Museum, is sponsoring the Bronzeville Blues Walk along Muddy Waters Drive (43rd Street) as part of the Open House Chicago exploration of the Bronzeville community, the heart of Black Chicago. Several historic blues sites along Muddy Waters Drive will be activated with live, socially distanced performances. Each site will celebrate a unique era of the blues.
More Info
“The Three Kings of the Blues”
by Marty Weil @ChiBluesHistory
B.B. King was the King of the Blues. The same is true for Albert King. Then there’s Freddie King, often mentioned third, but no less important than the other two. Collectively, the legendary bluesmen who share the surname King are affectionately known as the Three Kings of the Blues.

B.B. King was instrumental in introducing a more sophisticated style of blues guitar soloing. Based on a fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato, King’s playing influenced many electric guitar players. King was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and is one of the most influential bluesmen of all time. The left-handed Albert King (a.k.a, the velvet bulldozer) was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2011, he was ranked number 13 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. The hard-driving, hard-living Freddie King had a powerful and soulful voice and played a distinctive style of blues guitar, which inspired many musicians. King was introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

Labeling these artists as the “Three Kings” has sometimes led to confusion among journalists and fans, but it never seemed to bother B.B., Freddie, or Albert. Whenever people asked B.B. if he and Albert were related, B.B. was known to laugh and answer, “He’s not my brother by blood, but he is my brother in the Blues.”

Marty Weil’s Three Kings of the Blues Spotify Playlist: click here.
Marty Weil is the editor of @CHIBLUESHISTORY on Twitter. Marty is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.
“Heart of the Blues”
by Joanna Connor
Joanna Connor is a weekly contributor to bBluesNote with her column “Heart of the Blues.” Joanna is a Guitar Instructor with At Home Chicago Blues. To learn more about Joanna visit her website or watch her videos. To take lessons with Joanna, click here, or email us at info@athomechicagoblues.com.
2020. The year. The year that showed it meant business. The year that is testing and teaching. 

This week alone I know of four musicians around the country fighting what I call the Plague. I don’t even want to write or speak its given name. Requesting you all conjure up prayers, energy and healing thought manifestations toward one of the great guitarists of our generation- Mr Eric Gales who is yet another human fighting it. 

He’s from Memphis and from a family filled with blues royalty. Blues is in his blood, his DNA. I first met him as a young teen when he was already making a name for himself at Ardent Studios, in Memphis. The highly pedigreed producer, Jim Gaines, who had recently produced Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “ In Step” , introduced us. I was recording the album which would be entitled “Fight”, a cut by Luther Allison, and released by Ruf Records in Europe and Blind Pig in the states.
 
That same week I would hear some amazing guitar in the next studio. I was then introduced to Jimmy Vaughan who was compiling cuts from his late brother Stevie. 

Looking back, I am saddened by the way Luther and Stevie were taken from us way too soon. 
I am deeply concerned for Eric, who may possibly be fighting for his life. But I am also thankful and moved to my core by the artistry of these three men. What a gift to the Blues and the world! 
I pray Eric Gales will be the exception to these untimely losses. I pray he will make music for us for another 50 years. 

In the meanwhile, reflect on the beauty of the blues. Play it, revere it, keep learning. Stevie, Luther and Eric would encourage that. 

Until next time!
Joanna 
Dust off the Axe, Bass, Keyboard or Vocal Cords and Start Learning Chicago Blues from Chicago Blues Masters Today!

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Blues from the Inside Out Podcast
Hosted by At Home Chicago Blues Musical Director Dave Specter
Interview with Steve Freund
Listen to Podcast Here
Have a Question? Email info@athomechicagoblues.com.
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