“That’s the thing about the blues: It’s one thing to hit a note on a guitar. To make it matter is something else altogether.” – Joe Bonamassa
April 14, 2021  Volume 2, Issue 19
Tonight! Debut of “No Border Blues” Episode #15 at 8:00 PM CST
Featuring Host Johnny Burgin, Interviewing Blues Guitarist Arinjoy Sarker from Kolkata, India
Tonight at 8:00 PM CST, Johnny Burgin, Guitar Instructor with “At Home Chicago Blues” and Chicago Blues Network, interviews Arinjoy Sarkar, an up-and-coming guitarist and singer from Kolkata, India. The Arinjoy Trio features Sounak Roy on drums and Aakash Ganguly on bass; they self-released “The Arinjoy Trio” in 2019, won an all-India band hunt contest in 2018, and on the strength of that they were invited to perform at the Mahindra Blues Festival in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, Arinjoy performed at Mahindra in a pan-Indian all-star group “The Homegrown Blues Collective.”  Arinjoy is endorsed by Fender India and was recently featured in Rolling Stone India. Currently, the trio is working on a second release and their goal is to tour in Europe and the U.S.  Arinjoy and his trio approach the blues seriously–with very few local peers or mentors; and in a country with very few blues performances and venues, they have managed to both educate themselves about the blues and to perform the blues with soul.

Take a blues journey with No Border Blues, the only blues podcast focused on international blues artists and hidden blues scenes around the world. Delmark recording artist Johnny Burgin and producer Stephanie Tice shine a spotlight on notable international blues performers, discuss the blues scenes in their home countries, and present intimate and exclusive musical performances. Sponsored by Chicago Blues Network, bringing Chicago Blues to the world.
Live in Vivid Colors: Blues Music Videos
Featuring our Chicago Blues Network Faculty Members
Learn from Chicago Blues Masters including Dave Specter, Billy Flynn, Joanna Connor, Johnny Burgin, Harlan Terson, and Brother John KattkeSome faculty members are featured in the videos below:

Dave Specter and Billy Branch: “The Ballad of George Floyd”

Joanna Connor – “Destination” – Official Music Video

Chicago Blues Network – Meet the Faculty

To get started with “At Home Chicago Blues” lessons for $23.95/month (with video lessons and weekly Zoom meetings with your teacher and fellow students) email info@chicagobluesnetwork.com or read more about it HERE.

The lessons focus on a 16-song set list, so you can learn many of the Chicago Blues classics that are famous worldwide. SIGN UP HERE.
View Sample Lessons
Blues with a Dash of Soul
“Blues From the Inside Out”

Podcast Hosted by Dave Specter
We are going into the archives to bring you this interview with Tad Robinson. One of the finest singers on today’s blues and soul scene, Tad Robinson talks with Dave about his album, recorded in Memphis with the legendary Hi Rhythm Section along with stories from his cool career, influences and inspirations.
Listen Here
To study directly with Dave Specter and “At Home Chicago Blues,” sign up here.
Pete’s Pics “Blues in Action”
by Peter M. Hurley
Owner, producer, chief engineer and mix-master RICK BARNES of RAX TRAX RECORDING in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood is a man for all seasons. When it comes to blues music, Rick has laid down tracks for many of the best. The late great Eddy Clearwater and Koko Taylor’s late-career and last cds were cut at Rax Trax as were discs featuring Mud Morganfield, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Lonnie Brooks, Lil’ Ed & The Imperials, Buddy Guy, John Primer, Jimmy Johnson, Willie Kent, Pinetop Perkins, Otis Clay, Bob Corritore, Bob Margolin, Brother John Kattke, Billy Branch, Sugar Blue and…………………the list goes on.

           Rax Trax’s website profile captures Rick concisely: An accomplished musician himself, Rick built Rax Trax to be a place musicians can comfortably feel right at home. His lack of ego may cause you to not notice that he has recorded, mixed, and produced Grammy nominated and highly acclaimed work. Having been in the musical trenches for years, Rick creates two things – great music and happy clients. Like the cool uncle you wish you had, Rick treats people like family and has been a mentor to countless musicians.

           When asked to describe his strengths for recording blues bands, Barnes replied in the positive: “Comfort level. Chemistry. A band needs to feel at home and we provide that here.” He continued, “It’s a feeling that is set up in the studio and among the players. When they’re feeling it, I can feel it and when we capture that magic on tape, it’s a beautiful thing.”  

          Regarding the future, Rick says, “For the blues to grow and thrive, the next generations must pick up the torch and light new fires. Look what Ronnie and Wayne Baker Brooks have done after growing up with their father Lonnie’s music. There is great promise everywhere. Jamiah Rogers in Chicago is another example. He was on some sessions here and ignited some fireworks. It’s great to see and hear.”

          I can attest that Rax Trax will provide what is needed on the recording end for great blues music to thrive and carry on…Rick Barnes and company will continue to be on the front lines.

For info, contacts and booking see Rax Trax Recording:

Photo taken at Rax Trax Recording, April 13, 2021.

– Peter M. Hurley 
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.
Bonus Lesson
Magic Sam Part II: “Look Whatcha Done” with At Home Chicago Blues Guitar Instructor Johnny Burgin
Magic Sam moved to Chicago in 1956, when he was 19, and performed on the city’s West Side, cultivating a style that influenced many musicians over the next decades. Guitar Instructor Johnny Burgin teaches you the song “Look Whatcha Done” (released on Cobra Records) in this video below:

LESSON: Magic Sam Part II: Look Whatcha Done

“Magic Sam had a different guitar sound. Most of the guys were playing the straight 12-bar blues thing, but the harmonies that he carried with the chords was a different thing altogether.” – Willie Dixon
SONG: Magic Sam – “Look Whatcha Done”
Sign up for lessons HERE.

20% of proceeds from lessons goes to The Blues Foundation’s COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund and The Firehouse Community Arts Center.

You can also purchase merch at the Chicago Blues Network shop HERE–and a portion of proceeds will go to these organizations and their missions.

Learn about the Firehouse Community Arts Center and hear great blues music from Chicago Blues Masters in this Trading 4s Concert video below:

Mud Morganfield, Johnny Burgin, Rick Kreher & friends: Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s Concert

Your Connection to Chicago Blues
Concerts ~ Lessons ~ Social Impact
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