Despite most of us being homebound, The Chicago Blues Bootcamp has found a way to share music with some concerts. The most recent Trading 4‘s shows, including performances by Joanna Connor, Dave Specter, John Kattke, Harlan Terson, Donna Herula, and Katherine Davis, are now up online. You can see performances here.
About the Performers
Trading 4’s on 5/28/2020 featuring Joanna Connor, Dave Specter, John Kattke & Harlan Terson
Joanna Connor’s original hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts is seldom named as a blues hotbed, but she was never one of those rock & roll kids who came to the blues secondhand. “My mom was actually the big influence in my musical life; she listened to blues, folk and rock as much as she could. So I heard Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal when I was a kid, and got into the more obscure artists as I went on. And I saw all the Chicago bands who came through town.”
By her mid-teens she was playing the Worcester and Boston clubs with her own band, then moved to Chicago in 1984. Once in town she learned from the best, sitting in with the likes of James Cotton, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. After a spell in Dion Payton’s band, she launched her own group which debuted with 1989’s Believe It. A string of acclaimed albums followed, and in 2002 she made her MC label debut with The Joanna Connor Band— perhaps the first album to display the full scope of her music. Read more at JoannaConnor.com. .
Dave Specter has earned an international reputation as one of the premier talents on the Chicago music scene. Since 1985 Specter has performed regularly at top Chicago blues and jazz clubs in addition to festivals and concert halls throughout the USA. Since 1989 Dave has toured internationally with performances in Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Spain, England, Northern Ireland, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Luxembourg, Mexico and Canada. Read more at DaveSpecter.com.
Brother John Kattke has been a resident musician at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago for 30 years. He has played with Eric Clapton, Steve Miller, the Black Crowes, and acquired ringing endorsements from many other musicians of renown. For example: Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant had seen John play with Otis Rush at the Jazz Café in London. When Plant and Kattke met in person at the United Center in Chicago, Plant told Kattke: “You play a mean guitar!”
George Benson came to the jam session that Kattke hosts at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago. After hearing the opening set that John played with his band, Benson told him: “You’re fearless! I thought I was fearless! You’re fearless!” Read more at johnkattke.com.
Harlan Terson‘s influences include all styles of blues, as well as the recorded sounds of Stax/Atlantic and Motown. James Jamerson, Carole Kaye, Tommy Cogbill, and Duck Dunn are just a few of his favorite bassists. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Illinois-Chicago, he began playing professionally on the Chicago scene.
Terson’s steady “in the pocket” groove has kept him working on the competitive Chicago blues circuit, and taken him overseas as well. He recorded and toured with Lonnie Brooks from 1976-1982. He has also appeared and recorded with many other artists, including the legendary Otis Rush, Bo Diddley, Magic Slim, Albert Collins, Sunnyland Slim, Johnny Littlejohn, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Rogers, Kim Wilson, Duke Robillard, Eddie Shaw, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Big Mama Thornton, Jody Williams, Steve Freund, Tad Robinson, Dave Specter and the Bluebirds, Jimmy Johnson, Sharon Lewis, Bob Margolin, Willie Smith, Diunna Greenleaf, Mojo and The Bayou Gypsies, The Chicago Rhythm Review, The Blue Coast Band, and Chicago blues rockers, The Fabulous Fish Heads. He performed at the internationally famous Kingston Mines in Chicago for more than twenty years, and has been on the teaching staff at The Old Town School of Folk Music since 1999. He has recorded on the Alligator, Delmark, Evidence, Severn, and JSP labels. Read more at harlanterson.com.
6/4/2020 “Slide by Slide” featuring
Joanna Connor, Donna Herula, Katherine Davis
Katherine Davis’s passion for singing was influenced at an early age due to her family’s musical background, which included an array of musical genres; typical for what ended-up being settled into Chicago prior to the 50’s. Diversity for culture, music; understanding the depth of history inherent with the blues, depicting freedom from slavery; coupled with the narrative woven deeply within struggling musicians during a tumultuous era; became the threshold of influences for Katherine’s unbridled interest to teach children.
For Katherine, it’s about sharing her life experiences, expanding a deeper understanding for today’s youth –in relation to their hidden gifts for music, while expanding their purview and appreciation for the heritage of blues, the personalities and icons that preceded them, which is woven into the fabric of this nation’s culture. These are the types of perspectives from which Katherine creates her inter disciplinary curriculum. As noted by the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special-Events, Katherine Davis is recognized as one of the first practitioners, professional musicians, and Artist in Residency for the Blues in the Schools program; for which Katherine is humbled and takes immense pride. Read more at BluesSingerKatherineDavis.com.
Donna Herula is a Chicago-born blues singer, songwriter and acoustic slide guitarist that has a passion for playing traditional country blues, Delta Blues, early Chicago Blues, folk, roots, and Americana in addition to contemporary and original songs. Her sound combines her love for music of the Deep South and Chicago with her love of blues guitar improvisation.
Acoustic Guitar Magazine named Donna one of the “top 10 up and coming resonator guitar players” and featured her in an article, “Down and Dirty: 10 contemporary resonator players talk about their love for that nasty sound.” In October 2016, Donna was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame.
Donna is a regular performer at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago and has opened for Buddy Guy multiple times. She is also a teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago where she teaches Acoustic Slide Guitar, Blues and Americana Fingerstyle and Electric Slide Guitar group and individual lessons. Read more at DonnaHerula.com.
We are making online lessons with our exceptional teachers available in a package that is less than $25/month and includes:
Welcome email and contact from an @Home Chicago Blues faculty member
Two video lessons per month from an @Home Chicago Blues faculty Member
Tabs and short history of the song, from the faculty member’s point of view
Weekly Zoom-based office hour led by faculty member