“My guitar is my torch, my soul carries the flame. Make no mistake, I’m a true blues man.” – Big Bill Morganfield
September 29, 2021 Volume 2, Issue 39
Chicago Blues Network: Johnny Burgin Chicago Blues Master on Midwest Tour
Chicago Blues Network’s Guitar Instructor and Chicago Blues Master Johnny Burgin is on Midwest Tour this month, bringing the sounds of Chicago Blues to new audiences. You can check out these shows by clicking the poster below:
Get ready to be a performer yourself. There’s no better way than learning from Chicago Blues Masters like Burgin in the “At Home Chicago Blues” program with video lessons and weekly LIVE Zoom meetings. Instructors include Johnny Burgin, Billy Flynn, Joanna Connor, Dave Specter, Harlan Terson and Brother John Kattke. It’s $23.95/month and when you sign up for 3 months, the fourth month is FREE.
In the FREE lesson video below, Chicago Blues Master Johnny Burgin takes you through the bass line of “Help Me with Some Green Onions” in F. Then, he moves to “little” chords and accents to give the song some atmosphere. Finally, he offers a framework for soloing.
Johnny Burgin teaches “Help Me with Some Green Onions” for Chicago Blues Network
Latest “Blues From the Inside Out” Podcast Host Dave Specter Interviews Devin Thompson
In the latest episode, Chicago Soul singer extraordinaire Devin Thompson shares stories of his musical journey; from his early days growing up in a very musical family in Joliet, IL, to his evolving career and the making of his latest album, Tales of the Soul, on Severn Records.
Check out Devin Thompson’s music in this music video below:
Devin B. Thompson – “Tell Me”
“Blues From the Inside Out” Podcast Host Dave Specter is the Musical Director of Chicago Blues Network and Guitar Instructor. Specter’s podcast features top names in blues, soul, jazz and roots music with a unique, artist-to-artist interview perspective along with live studio performances. The podcast is supported by Chicago Blues Network. Learn more about podcasts here.
To study with Dave Specter and more Chicago Blues Masters, with video lessons and weekly Zoom meetings, click here.
Pete’s Pics “Blues in Action” by Peter M. Hurley
My first encounter with FELTON CREWS was at the Chicago Blues Hall Of Fame Awards where he accepted the accolade in 2017. One-of-a-kind. They don’t name ’em like they used to.
Mr. Crews is a stellar exemplar of the great wealth of master musicians who reside or were raised in Chicago. The bio, below, is from Crews’s website and is penned by George Cole, author of “The Last Miles: The Music of Miles Davis 1980-1991” on the music of the last decade of Davis’s career.
Felton Crews Biography When jazz legend Miles Davis returned to the music scene after a five-year absence, the first bassist he called was Felton Crews. It’s easy to see why, because few can match Felton’s ability to create imaginative, free, open and melodic bass lines.
Felton grew up in Chicago, a city steeped in musical history, and which exposed the bassist to many forms of musical genres including, blues, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, funk and soul. The result is a highly versatile musician, with the ability to provide the right bass line for whatever music he’s playing, whether it’s a furious funk groove or a slow blues riff.
Felton’s first professional gig came when he was still in high school, where he was asked to support singer Minnie Ripperton. After playing numerous professional gigs around Chicago, Felton was one of a group of young musicians asked to help Miles record his comeback album, The Man with the Horn. Felton played on two tracks, including the hit single “Shout,” which features a powerful bass groove created by Felton. Felton Crews – Chicago Bassist
In 1986, Felton was invited to join Miles’ touring band, which resulted in him playing in gigs across the world including, the US, Europe and South America. The band – whose guitarists included Mike Stern and Robben Ford – played at a number of prestigious events including, The New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Montreux Jazz Festival and an Amnesty International concert, which was televised across the US.
The tour saw Felton sharing the stage with artists such as George Duke, David Sanborn, Hiram Bullock and Carolos Santana, and Felton’s playing is documented on releases such as the CD boxed set The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux and the DVD boxed set The Definitive Miles Davis at Montreux. Robert Irving III, Miles’ musical director for five years, says of Felton’s playing with Miles, “His fluidity was unmatched by any player that preceded him or succeeded him.”
Felton’s musical horizons are wide, and he has also played with artists such as, Otis Clay, Otis Rush, Son Seals, Junior Wells, Buddy Miles, and Billy Boy Arnold.
He has toured and recorded with Grammy award winning harmonica great Charlie Musselwhite, with the band also winning the 1995 W.C. Handy Award in the Best Blues Band category. This band also backed Dan Akroyd, Bruce Willis, John Hammond, and Bonnie Rait.
Felton also believes in giving something back to music, and is an instructor for the Blues Kids of America.com, a program which provides musical education, instruction and camps for up-and-coming young musicians.
In 2010, Felton was honored with a Grammy nomination for his bass work on the widely acclaimed album, The Chicago Blues: A Living History.
Now, Felton is set to launch his eagerly awaited first solo CD album, a release that will surprise, delight and excite fans of Felton’s playing, as well as those hearing his sound for the first time.
For Felton, music has always been very special, as he puts it, “Music Is the nutrient of our souls; the pulse of our spirit. It’s the passport of our minds and the owner of our hearts. A world filled with love and creativity shall ring as one; a chord that resounds infinitely.”
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 a 6th grade dance party discovery of Bo Diddley which led to Little Walter, muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and so on. It continues to this day. Visit Peter’s Website here.
Saturday Livestreams Keep Blues Accessible Chicago Blues Masters Jimmy Johnson and Jimmy Burns Bring Live Blues to Online Audiences on Saturdays
This Saturday, if you’re stuck at home, or you just want to be at home, you can still experience the magic of Chicago Blues from anywhere with the help of two Chicago bluesmen. Jimmy Johnson (at 92 years young) and Jimmy Burns each present a livestream show on Saturdays. Tune in with the links below and join the fun!
“Tune to Jimmy Burns’s facebook page for a delightful combination of blues and blues related songs with one of Chicago’s greatest. For Gratuity Jar:click hereand for T-Shirts: click here.” – Delmark.com
Our online video lessons, and Zoom meetings with Faculty, can be viewed anywhere in the world, on your schedule! Sign up for lessons today, click here to get started.
In the video below, you can watch Jimmy Johnson, as well as other Chicago Blues Masters like Billy Branch, Dave Specter, Johnny Burgin, and Rick Kreher, in a show recorded live on the Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s concert stage. Get a flavor of the music below, then keep it going by watching the livestreams this weekend.
Jimmy Johnson, Dave Specter, Johnny Burgin & Friends: Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s Concert
Are You Ready to Play Along? Learn Chicago Blues songs from Chicago Blues Masters.