Joanna Connor “I Feel So Good” from upcoming album 4801 South Indiana Ave
In thie video above, keep an eye out for Joanna’s drummer Jason “J-Roc” Edwards…as the bartender! Soak in this powerful song that will keep you “feeling good”!
“I am so proud of this woman who dug deep within her soul to summons the demons.” – Joe Bonamassa
“Chicago-based slide guitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter, Joanna Connor, best known as one of the reigning Queens of blues rock guitar, releases her 14th album on Joe Bonamassa’s new independent record label Keeping The Blues Alive. The new album, the follow up to her critically acclaimed studio album “Rise,” was produced by Joe Bonamassa in Nashville.
Joanna and Joe and the rest of the musicians on the album dug deeply and conjured up an authentic, alive and kicking set of Chicago Blues.” – Amazon.com. You can order the CD or MP3 tracks!
Joanna Connor is one of the many amazing professionals graciously teaching in Chicaog Blues Network’s “At Home Chicago Blues” program. Take advantage of this time where Blues Masters can help you grow musically.
You will have access to 45+ videos covering classic Blues songs, and live, group Zoom meetings. Lessons are $23.95/month, and only $71.85 for the first four months.
On a bitterly cold January night in 1970, Son House left a Rochester bar and passed out drunk in a snowbank. He was found hours later by passersby, but, by then, he had frostbite on both hands. He was hospitalized for several days and eventually recovered well enough to perform again.
Cold weather has bedeviled bluesmen since The Great Migration began in 1920 (lasting until approximately 1970). Based on the number of songs that reference cold weather, especially the wicked brand of chill that northern Illinois can produce, the cold was never far from the minds of many ex-Mississippians living in Sweet Home Chicago. One of the most famous of these songs is “Nine Below Zero” by Sonny Boy Williamson II. The weather so chilled Sonny Boy that he recorded the song twice, once in 1951 and again in 1961. The later version featured red-hot session sidemen, including Otis Spann, Luther Tucker, Willie Dixon, and Fred Below. It’s not by chance that nine below zero became the favorite temperature for a host of musicians, including Bob Dylan who refers to the degree in Bob Dylan’s Outlaw Blues in 1965.
Another frigid number that captured the spirit of Chicago’s freezing cold winters was Muddy Waters’ “Cold Weather Blues.” Muddy provides Chicago weather whiners with some solid-as-ice advice:
Oh, so cold up north that the birds can’t hardly fly So cold up north that the birds can’t hardly fly I’m going back south And let this winter pass on by
Sonny Boy Williamson II “Nine Below Zero”
Marty Weil is the editor of@CHIBLUESHISTORYon Twitter. Marty is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.
What to say, what to say? Johnny Iguana’s website bio covers the broad spectrum of his musical accomplishments in recording, recording, band-forming, and general ability to create a thunderous impression whenever and with whomever he plays. I mean, at the age of 22 the guy was handpicked by Jr. Wells to tour with him for three years. And later Otis Rush. His recording career? He’s on everything with everyone and for good reason.
The aforementioned web bio speaks of his influences: A short list of Johnny’s major musical inspirations: Otis Spann, Jay McShann, Ray Charles, Mose Allison, Bobby Timmons, Mike Watt, Bob Mould, Joe Strummer, Captain Beefheart and the near, dear, late, great Junior Wells. Johnny is a proud carrier of tradition (including the Chicago blues that uprooted him from his East Coast home and planted him firmly in the Windy City) but is even more proud to have developed abusive organ tones and a highly rhythmic, very “in-the-moment” piano style that sounds like no one else.
“When I’m playing live, I don’t think about the past, only the moment” says the “hammer and tickle” virtuoso. “I listen to what’s around me, I often close my eyes, and I am thrilled to exist in that moment that will never happen again. If only the rest of life could be like ‘clicking’ with the musicians around you on stage.”
Check out his most recent highly acclaimed inaugural blues cd as a leader on Delmark Records, “Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular!” Johnny on a 100-year-old upright and Lil’ Ed, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Phillip-Michael Scales, Bob Margolin, Matthew Skoller, Billy Flynn, Kenny Smith, Bill Dickens and Michael Caskey on their respective axes and vocals. Play it real loud and dig it from the down-in-the-bottom up.
Photo taken at a multiple piano player Tribute To Barrelhouse Chuck, Chicago Blues Fest, June 9, 2017.
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.
Featured Lesson Dave Specter (Musical Director of Chicago Blues Network)
Chicago Blues Network’s musical director and guitar instructor Dave Specter teaches the Sonny Boy Williamson classic tune “Help Me.” Sign up for more lessons with Dave and a stellar list of other Chicago blues instructors, sign up HERE.
Dave Specter: “Messin’ with the Kid” Guitar Lesson
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