“I been in the blues all my life. I’m still delivering ’cause I got a long memory.” – Muddy Waters
December 2, 2020 Volume 1, Issue 31
Premiering Right Now at 1:00 PM CST New! Song + Lesson Videos with Dave Specter (At Home Chicago Blues Musical Director) and Brother John Kattke
Dave Specter and Brother John Kattke Play & Teach Allen Toussaint’s “On Your Way Down”
Dave Specter and John Kattke would normally be playing all around town, but because of the pandemic, we get to learn from them. Here they are performing and teaching Allen Toussaint’s “On Your Way Down”. On Toussaint’s original song, he was backed up by The Meters, a decidedly funky band formed in the mid-sixties in New Orleans. The band was founded by its drummer Art Neville, who also went on to be part of The Neville Brothers.
This song has a rich history and you can learn how to play it directly from Chicago Blues Masters.
Enjoy! The YouTube premiere is 1:00 PM today Wednesday, Dec 2nd.
To take monthly lessons with Dave, Brother John, or any of the other fantastic teachers, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For $23.95/month, it’s hard to go wrong.
The Blues Brothers at 40 by Marty Weil @ChiBluesHistory
Blues Brothers Opening Scene
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of the Blues Brother movie. Today, the movie is beloved by legions of blues fans and is often listed among the best Hollywood musicals ever made. It also holds the record for most cars destroyed (103) in the making of a Hollywood film.
At the time of its theatrical release, however, many critics and hardcore blues fans were–to put it mildly–disappointed with the movie. For example, Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert, in his review, asked rhetorically if the whole picture wasn’t “dreamed up in a Junkyard.” Ignoring Ebert, I snuck into the Golf Mill Theater in Niles, Illinois, to see the R-rated Blues Brothers’ movie. (I was only 15 at the time.) To my young eyes, the movie was a fun and frolicking homage to the blues and a love letter to Chicago, the idiom’s hometown.
In the aftermath of Disco, the Blues Brothers’ movie re-introduced the popular culture to such brilliant artists as Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, Cab Calloway, James Brown, and others. Interestingly, it wasn’t one of these legendary performers that were the inspiration for John Belushi’s “Joliet Jake” character. The soundtrack to the movie is dedicated to Curtis Salgado, an award-winning singer/composer. Salgado is also the reason why Cab Calloway’s character in the movie is named “Curtis.”
Today, the Blues Brothers film enjoys worldwide cult status–proving snobby critics like Ebert wrong.
Marty Weil is the editor of@CHIBLUESHISTORYon Twitter. Marty is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.
Photo of the Week: Mike Wheeler by Peter M. Hurley
Mike Wheeler; flash with substance. Mix scorching steel strings with a gospel throat and you’re getting close.A warm presence who sings like a soul angel but plays with devilish chops when cutting loose. Sweet blues, raw funk, and a guitar sound from an electric playground of soul and r&b.
The Mike Wheeler Band is one of Chicago’s finest late period blues practitioners and will be for decades to come. Tight and right, virtuosos all.
As a sideman, Wheeler has paid his dues. He has learned from the best and the torch has been passed by blues masters before him. It will not be extinguished on his watch.
Photo taken at Rosa’s Lounge during a closed streamed set on August 4, 2020. The band was on fire.
-PETER HURLEY 12/2/2020
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
When You’re Online, Start On Your Blues Journey… We’ve got the Chicago Blues Masters to help you get started.
If you’ve had a lifelong passion to the blues, why not start playing it yourself and see what it feels like to play? It’s more than just a few riffs–you can learn 16 Classic Blues songs including:
“Blow Wind Blow” “Let Me Love You Baby” “Just A Little Bit” “Got My Mojo Workin'” “All Your Love I Miss Lovin'” “Killing Floor” “That’s All Right” “Messin’ With the Kid” “Help Me” “Bright Lights, Big City” and more!
The online lesson package is $23.95/month, and includes “office hours” where you can talk directly with Chicago Blues Masters. When you get started, the teacher you choose will reach out to talk to you about your playing!