“The blues is celebration, because when you take sorrow and turn it into music, you transform it.” ~ Odetta Holmes
December 8, 2021 Volume 2, Issue 44
2022 Blues Bootcamp Registration is Open! Learn to play Chicago Blues from Chicago Blues Masters in Summer 2022
Just Announced! Chicago Blues Bootcamp is Monday May 29th – Friday June 3rd, 2022.
Register for this 5-day immersive camp to get 6+ hours of instruction and jamming per day, with instructors who are all professional musicians who work, live and breathe the Blues. Most of our instructors and guest artists are Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Artists. Join them at Chicago Blues Clubs for late night performances. Attend the Chicago Blues Festival 2022, plus more benefits. Become part of the Chicago Blues Network.
Location: Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. Per Roosevelt University Policy, all participants, faculty, staff and students must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated in order to attend.
In the video below, meet just some of the Chicago Blues Bootcamp Instructors who are Chicago Blues Masters, and get a taste of a few lessons. Imagine working in-person with them and enjoying the ultimate Chicago Blues immersive experience.
Meet Your Chicago Blues Bootcamp Instructors in this Video
I met GARY MARTIN through mutual friend John Watkins over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and glad I did. Gary had come down from his home base of Edmonton in Canada to visit friends and family from his true home of Chicago. I quickly came to admire this energetic, gregarious and friendly man who had learned guitar under the tutelage of one of the greatest of all time, his Uncle Hubert, HUBERT SUMLIN of Howlin’ Wolf fame. Doesn’t get much bluesier than that.
Martin took his Chicago Blues to Canada in the late ’70s and joined and cultivated a vital scene for other bluesmen to visit on their way across the blues circuit among our friends up north. A new young friend and fantastic player, JOSEPH J. SAYE JR. (more about Joey in the next column) was debuting his chops with his trio at Nick’s Beer Garden in Wicker Park.* (“His trio” includes the great nonagenarian BOB STROGER on bass, by the way.)
Towards the end of Joey’s first set, he generously asked Gary up on stage though they had never met. Gary lit the house up with his master shownship, trading vocals and guitar work with Joey. One of those stage-sharing memorable cross-generational musical exchanges that bluesmen provide for each other so generously and memorably.
Gary’s tribute to Sumlin and Wolf, “Killing Floor,” and a Martin original titled “Good News Blues” recorded in Baton Rouge with KENNY NEAL will be included on a compilation cd; more info about that will be forthcoming when release date is set.
Info below culled from Gary’s ABOUT page on his website:
Musical director, arranger, bandleader, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Gary Martin is a master showman. Born in Chicago, and considered a child protege, Martin started his musical training under the tutelage of legendary bluesman and uncle, Hubert Sumlin. While in his early teens, Gary had competed with the Jackson Five at the famous Regal Theatre, shared the stage with Howlin Wolf, recorded for “Chess”, and was played on Chicago radio. His association with many of Chicago’s jazz masters provided this young guitarist with a sound foundation in jazz. Miles Davis once stated “Gary will be a man of all seasons because of all the styles he has mastered.”
Gary’s love of Detroit’s “motor city sound” known to the world as “Motown” afforded this young guitarist a unique opportunity to work with Walter “Choker” Campbell, the father of Motown along with the famous Joe Hunter, who provided Berry Gordy with his first studio musicians who we know today as the “Funk Brothers.” Martin eventually became band leader for both these men at various times in his career.
In the mid 80’s Canada’s top funk/show band Canadian Express and Juno nominee Something Extra hired Martin as band leader and musical director. This versatile performer, has been musical director for many top touring musicians, a session player across North America, and has performed for numerous radio and television specials.
Known as the “Prince of Blues” by his peers, Martin, an ethnomusicologist, is a true ambassador of Chicago blues, lecturing, performing, providing workshops at schools, colleges and universities.
*Nick’s features blues bands on weekend nights. But whatever you do, don’t park on Milwaukee Ave. after 10 pm. Tow trucks are in abundance and a rude awakening awaits after enjoying a night of solid blues.
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.
Top 10 Blues Albums for the Holidays Give the Gift of American Music Legacy
Chicago Blues artists have delivered top shelf Chicago Blues albums we can all enjoy. Support the Blues and give the gift friends and family can dig all year long. There are too many great albums out there to include them all–so here’s the highlights from Chicago Blues Masters and Instructors with Chicago Blues Network.
Six String Soul: 30 Years On Delmark
2-CD set with 10-page insert booklet Features Harlan Terson on Bass
“Johnson’s fluid, slicing guitar licks dart and spark with unpredictable elasticity throughout this set. His voice soars to the heavens time and again, never misplacing its melismatic passion no matter the tempo.” – Delmark.com
Take a Journey Around the World Today Johnny Burgin (Guitar Instructor and Chicago Blues Master) & Stephanie Tice Bring You “No Border Blues”
Take a blues journey with No Border Blues! This new video podcast provides a sometimes surprising look at international blues artists and hidden blues scenes from Japan to Norway to Nepal and beyond. Delmark recording artist Johnny Burgin and producer Stephanie Tice will shine a spotlight on notable international blues artists; discussing the blues scenes in their home countries, their individual journeys in the blues, and presenting some intimate and exclusive musical performances.
“No Border Blues” Compilation
In this video, you can hear interviews with Blues Artists all over the world, showing how Chicago Blues music influences musicians around the globe, and meet new people that are “carrying the flame.”
Are You a Musician? Join us at Chicago Blues Bootcamp 2022 Register Here