“For me it was…a process of digging back through the rock and roll stuff to the roots…I remember when I heard that Albert King record, a light bulb going off in my head.” – Brother John Kattke
Chicago Blues Network Instructor Brother John Kattke, is featured on the latest “Blues from the Inside Out” blues podcast, hosted by Dave Specter.
A triple threat talent on today’s Chicago blues scene, vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist John Kattke has toured the world with Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Koko Taylor. John has been a longtime bandmate of Dave Specter’s and also leads his own band, where he combines influences from New Orleans, Texas, Chicago and all points in between.
Embrace a situation we are all facing, with “Rollin’ and Tumblin’ / Corona Virus Blues” with Dave Specter and Brother John Kattke, on the Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s Concert stage.
Dave Specter: Rollin’ and Tumblin’/Coronavirus Blues with Brother John Kattke
Check out more Instructors, including Brother John Kattke, Dave Specter, plus Johnny Burgin, Billy Flynn, Joanna Connor and Harlan Terson. With “At Home Chicago Blues” lessons you learn online, from anywhere, on your schedule, alongside Chicago Blues Masters.
Blues Guitar Focus Two Free Video Lessons with Johnny Burgin Chicago Blues Network Instructor Breaks Down Blues Songs for You…Grab Your Guitar!
“Scratch My Back” Guitar Lesson with Johnny Burgin of Chicago Blues Network
By request, here’s a lesson on the original Scratch My Back, a #1 hit for Louisiana bluesman Slim Harpo on the R and B charts in 1965 and a rare Blues crossover hit on the Billboard chart to #16. Slim has an instantly recognizable style with the type of genre crossing appeal of a Hank Williams. This song has remained one of the most widely played songs in blues, so it’s a good thing work it up to bandstand-ready status if you’re gonna be hitting blues jams. FYI: There’s plenty of youtube videos of one of Slim’s guitarists who played on this track, James Johnson, playing at Teddy’s Juke Joint outside Baton Rouge– you can see he is a great player who uses his fingers. You can find some of Rudy Richards too w James too! I’ll also discuss a bit of Jr Wells’s version on Live at Theresa’s 1975. Have fun! – Johnny Burgin
Pee Wee Crayton “Blues After Hours” Lesson with Johnny Burgin of Chicago Blues Network
Pee Wee Crayton is one of the founding fathers of electric blues lead guitar along with T-Bone, Lowell Fulson, etc. T-Bone is clearly a big starting point for him, but he played it with a twist and his own personal stamp. I go through some of the choruses of his #1 hit “Blues After Hours”, which he recorded in 1948, then in 1971 on Vanguard, then in 1975 on Johnny Otis’s Spectrum label. There are some AWESOME live versions of him playing this tune. It’s basically a set piece– he added two go arounds to the 1948 version. This got me talking about the value of learning some of the great songs note for note– I think it’s a very good thing! When it comes to playing solos and building songs that make sense, it’s a way more valuable approach than just learning a lick here and there. – Johnny Burgin
Johnny Burgin is just one of the Chicago Blues Masters you will study with when you are part of the Chicago Blues Bootcamp 2022, a five-day immersive camp in downtown Chicago, May 29 – June 3, 2022. Get professional tips and hands-on lessons for guitar, bass, piano, harp and vocals with artists including Billy Branch, Joanna Connor, Katherine Davis, John Kattke, Billy Flynn, Deitra Farr, Dave Specter and Harlan Terson. The camp is held at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Check out the classic blues songs you will learn with the set list below:
How many do you want to know? (Hint: the correct answer is all of ’em!). Bonus: Register at a discounted rate when you jump in by January 31, 2022.
Billy Flynn, Chicago Blues Master, is one of the Instructors at this year’s Chicago Blues Bootcamp. Learn More.
Pete’s Pics “Blues in Action” by Peter M. Hurley
I first met STEVE BELL at MOTOR ROW BREWERY (now Venue Overdrive) sitting in with the ORIGINAL BLUES ALL STARS featuring Freddie Dixon, Jimmy Tillman and John Watkins. The combo was electric as Steve summoned up his father CAREY BELL’s spirit and Freddie channeled his father WILLIE DIXON. The bloodlines are fierce here in Chicago. The copy below is excerpted from ALEX DIXON’s website that includes a profile of Steve.
STEVE BELL (Harmonica) Steve Bell, brother of bluesman Lurrie Bell, and son of the late and legendary blues harpist Carey Bell, is a chip off the old-man’s block. Steve had toured all over the world, backing up many blues legends, while also stealing the show with his amazing skills on the harmonica. He’s currently been touring with blues great John Primer.
Steve has previously recorded with Alex on his first release “The Vintage Room” by The Blues Experience Cash McCall, and has returned to lend his harp blowing abilities on the newest project for Vintage Dixon. You’re in for a treat…his skills will not disappoint!
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.
Rosa’s Lounge in Chicago: Livestream and Live!
Get a taste of the music: see John Primer and Steve Bell, in a live recording from Rosa’s Lounge, one of Chicago’s premiere Blues clubs, in the video below:
John Primer & Steve Bell, Live from Rosa’s Lounge
In Chicago? Check out the upcoming schedule at Rosa’s Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage Avenue, including these artists below.
Janury 5: Ivy Ford January 6: Lil Ed Williams January 7: John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band January 11: Pete Galanis & Friends Featuring Dave Herrero January 14: Nick Moss Band January 15: Cash Box Kings, Hail to the Kings! January 20: Joey J. Saye: Acoustic Blues January 21: ‘Fryday Night Live’ Blues Featuring Mary Lane
Photo by Peter M. Hurley
Mary Lane (photo above taken at Chicago Blues Network’s Trading 4s Concert stage) will be featured at Rosa’s Lounge on January 21, 2022. “A longtime staple of Chicago’s West Side blues circuit, singer Mary Lane was born November 23, 1935 in Clarendon, Arkansas. After honing her skills in local juke joints in the company of Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Nighthawk, Little Junior Parker and James Cotton, Lane relocated to Chicago in 1957.” – Rosaslounge.com
Safety first! Citing COVID concerns, the International Blues Challenge 2022 is postponed. According to the Blues Foundation’s website: “The Blues Foundation is actively working with our IBC partners to determine a new event date, and we will share that news as soon as possible.” The event was previously scheduled for January 18-22, 2022. Stay healthy and stay tuned for more info!
Learn Blues at Home While you’re at home, sign up for “At Home Chicago Blues” lessons. As we owe so much to those who have developed this art form over the past century, 20% of our revenue will be sent directly to the Blues Foundation’s HART Fund for direct medical support of Blues Musicians. At-home lessons are $23.95/month and include access to 40+ video lessons, plus weekly LIVE Zoom meetings with Instructors and fellow students.