“One thing the blues ain’t, is funny.” – Stephen Stills
January 27, 2021  Volume 2, Issue 8
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Explore classic Chicago Blues songs with Chicago Blues Masters Billy Flynn, Johnny Burgin, Joanna Connor, Dave Specter, Harlan Terson & Brother John Kattke
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“Trading 4s” Online Blues Concerts
Trading 4s are online concerts featuring Chicago Blues Masters, many of whom teach you Blues with Chicago Blues Network’s At Home Chicago Blues. When you can’t go out to see concerts, we bring the music to you!

One special concert was created with our neighbors in Michigan. The Chicago/Kalamazoo Blues Party features 5+ HOURS of killer blues with Katherine Davis, Dave Specter, Billy Branch, Fruteland Jackson, Joanna ConnorHarlan Terson and so much more! You can watch it anytime on the YouTube Channel.

Check out the concert (and learn more about Fruteland Jackson) below!

A Chicago/Kalamazoo Blues Party

To take lessons with some of the musicians you see in this concert, like Dave Specter, Musical Director (Guitar), Joanna Connor (Guitar), Brother John Kattke (Piano) and Harlan Terson (Bass), email scott@chicagobluesnetwork.com.

Learn with the “At Home Chicago Blues” program. You’ll gain access to 45+ video lessons and LIVE weekly Zoom meetings with your Instructors (who aren’t just teachers…they’re Chicago Blues Masters).
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Why The Aces Matter
by Marty Weil @ChiBluesHistory
At Wise Fools, The Aces are in a groove playing Hoo-Doo Man
Tremendous vocal power 

gospel and shout singing 
high-volume, hard-rocking 
A loveless love 
kittens on the keys 
Who Will The Next Fool Be?

The Aces were one of the earliest and most influential of the Chicago blues bands in the 1950s. The band was led by the guitarist brothers Louis and Dave Myers, natives of Byhalia, Mississippi. The legendary band went through a dizzying array of name changes as new members were added. For instance, when Junior Wells joined the band, they rechristened themselves the Three Deuces and then the Three Aces. When Fred Below joined in 1950, they became the Four Aces and finally The Aces. 
Portrait of The Aces
Clearly, branding wasn’t a strong suit of the Myers brothers, but they did excel at musical innovation. For example, in the 1950s, Dave Myers switched from the guitar to the electric bass, becoming one of the first Chicago blues artists to adopt this relatively new instrument and helped to popularize on the Chicago blues scene. Further, The Aces drummer, Fred Below, is credited as the creator of much of the rhythmic structure of Chicago blues, especially its backbeat. This is to say nothing of the wondrous innovations that Little Walter brought to the blues harp.

For those new to The Aces, I recommend beginning your journey into their catalog with the band’s 1970 release “Chicago Beat,” which was recorded in France with guests Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, Willie Mabon, and Mickey Baker. It’s an overlooked blues masterwork that deserves a serious listen.

Epigraph: An excerpt from a poem in Marrow Bones and Cleaver Music by Marty Weil (2014)
Marty Weil is the editor of @CHIBLUESHISTORY on Twitter. Marty is a blues researcher, educator, and social media influencer.
Pete’s Pics “Blues in Action”
by Peter M. Hurley

Fruteland Jackson
FRUTELAND JACKSON is a performer’s performer. Steeped in the knowledge of the history, tradition, feelings and spirit of the Blues, he is a consummate channeler of its greatest practitioners and songwriters (storytellers), past and present. When asked by yours truly to comment on his performing experience, FRUTELAND JACKSON offered this thoughtful reply:

   “When I am performing before an audience, and I am in sync with that audience, I have temporarily put my demons to rest, and the aesthetics of performing the blues becomes magical. There is a sense of empowerment that is overwhelming. A feeling that I am not alone, that someone has been where I am going, and that everything is going to be alright.
     There is an African Bantu word called “NOMMO,” which means life force or the vital force that carries words from the mouth in water vapor. So what we hear is both water and word. “NOMMO” is the power of the spoken word. “NOMMO” calls on the speaker (or singer) of the word and the listener to be in unity as they affirm each other’s reality. I receive gratification in return as a musician from the audience and consider it the rest of my salary or fee for performing. Musicians seek approval (applause) from people we do not even know in exchange for performance.
   When the Blues is used as a benediction convocation, the Blues musician assumes the elder’s role in a performance rite in which the Blues musician invokes the spirit of the Blues and thereby unites all the participants.”

From Fruteland Jackson’s website homepage:

Electro-Fi recording artist FRUTELAND JACKSON is a HistoryMaker (www.thehistorymakers.com). Author, storyteller and oral historian, Fruteland grew up in Chicago. He is a five-time Blues Music Award Nominee and a recipient of the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award. Fruteland performs Americana; acoustic blues, folk traditional and singer-songwriter styles around the world, and has created the award winning *All About the Blues Series- Blues in the School Programs. Working to bring more music education in our schools, his program motto is “Try, Trust, and Triumph”. Mr. Jackson plays acoustic guitar with a focus on pre-war and post-war blues ranging from Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy to Elizabeth Cotton, plus his personal interpretations. His latest CD,” Good as Your Last Dollar” was released in May 2019 and is available directly from Mr. Jackson. He holds two nominations for a 2020 BMA Awards in Memphis in May. Ask Alexa to play his CD.  

Photo taken at CHICAGO BLUES NETWORK Trading 4s performance August 20, 2020. 

To order Fruteland Jackson’s cds go directly to: 

– 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.
“Blues From the Inside Out”

Dave Specter (Musical Director and Guitar Instructor with At Home Chicago Blues) Interviews Jimmy Vivino
In this featured episode…
Guitarist, producer, arranger, bandleader and keyboardist Jimmy Vivino lights up the podcast with great stories from his amazing career on the road, in the studio, and on TV with legendary artists including: Levon Helm, Al Kooper, Johnnie Johnson, Hubert Sumlin, Max Weinberg and more!
Listen to the Podcast
“Blues from the Inside Out” is a monthly podcast featuring top names in blues and roots music with unique, artist-to-artist interviews. The show is hosted by Dave Specter, Musical Director of Chicago Blues Network

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