“Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.” – Stevie Wonder
December 30, 2020 Volume 1, Issue 40
Get the Party Started! Watch this clip of the Upcoming New Year’s Eve Concert
You’ll want to get tickets for this one and get a front row seat–right at home! Jimmy Johnson leads the way with nine Chicago Blues Masters in this special event at 9:00 PM CST, Thurs. 12/31: get tickets here.
Preview of Upcoming NYE Trading 4s Show: featuring Anne Harris & Joanna Connor and more!
This Trading 4s concert will feature: Jimmy Johnson, Billy Flynn, Joanna Connor, Johnny Iguana, Anne Harris, Dave Specter, Peaches Staten, John Kattke, and Ivy Ford in four sets of music. Tix are $9.95. Get in on the fun!
You can get a free ticket to the NYE show with the purchase of the 2021 Calendar. Plus, $6 from each calendar benefits Firehouse Community Arts Center in Chicago and Blues Foundation’s COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund.
Dig Chicago Blues throughout 2021. You get 13 full color photos plus notable days in Blues history. Supplies are limited, so get your copy!
The Blues During COVID by Marty Weil @ChiBluesHistory
The plague year of 2020 is one that few will remember with any sense of sentimental nostalgia. Among other devastations, COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the Chicago blues scene and the community from which it draws its lifeblood. On December 21, the President and CEO of the Blues Foundation, Patrica Wilson Aden wrote to members, “Blues music was born as the lyrical and melodic expression of hardship. It is the tuneful testimony to the perseverance of its creators. 2020 certainly tested the tenacity of the blues community.”
Blue artists are survivors, as Aden told the Blues Foundation members. She’s right. My sense is that the blues will emerge from 2020 to be heard again in small clubs, concert stages, and street corners. In the meantime, however, the struggle to recover has only begun. Throughout 2020, the Chicago Blues Network produced a series of live streaming concerts in an effort to provide artists with a stage and an audience. The Chicago Blues Network was not alone. Throughout the plague-ravaged year, music venues, festivals, and individual artists brought their music online to stream to fans, both as a source of revenue and as a means of keeping their audience.
Although blues music has been played each year for more than 100 years, 2020 ranks among the most difficult for the genre. The only equivalent in its history was the 1941-42 musician strike. On August 1, 1942, the American Federation of Musicians, at the instigation of union president James C. Petrillo, began a strike against the major American record companies because of disagreements over royalty payments. Beginning at midnight, July 31, 1942, no union musician could make commercial recordings for any commercial record company. That meant that a union musician was allowed to participate in radio programs and other kinds of musical entertainment, but not in a recording session. The 1940s musicians’ strikeremains the longest strike in entertainment history.
Marty Weil is the editor of@CHIBLUESHISTORYon Twitter. Marty is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.
Pete’s Pics / “Blues in Action” by Peter M. Hurley
Featuring: Peaches Staten
Whenever the vibrant Peaches Staten is booked to go on, it’s time to pull up the rug and get your dancing shoes on. This mighty singer can match voices with ladies twice her size, and the men too. Funky blues and r&b with a dash of zydeco is her calling card and she dances and enhances each number with a special blend of sauce boiled up where the Chicago River meets the bayou. She lights up the stage with a spirited personality and is a favorite at blues festivals and at the Chicago clubs where she can be seen again weekly… when the pandemic is through. She is one of my favorite ladies and it’s always great to capture her through my lens, the one above in 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. Visit Peter’s Website here.
Be sure to catch the concert Thursday 12/31, featuring Peaches Staten and a full flight of top Chicago Blues Talent, led by Jimmy Johnon! New Year’s Eve Trading 4’s at 9:00 PM CST Four sets of BLUES to ring in the new year!
A More Musical You… We Offer Blues Guitar, Bass & Keyboard Lessons
Many of the incredible performers you’ll see New Year’s Eve also offer lessons through Chicago Blues Network’s At Home Chicago Blues program, where you can learn from home with Chicago Blues Masters (while the annual Blues Bootcamp is on hold).
Whether you play for fun or in earnest, add Chicago blues to your musical palette. Start 2021 with a new, more musical you.