“We start our lives with blues. . .with music. It’s our first language.” – David Mutti Clark
May 5, 2021 Volume 2, Issue 22
No Way Home Donna Herula at Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s
Most of us reading have been stuck at home more often than we’d like in the past year, so we thought we’d take you on a journey. Chicago Blues Masters take you to a time when people wereseeking home–perhaps a whole new home, like say, Chicago–and the adventures on the way. Take a listen to Donna Herula, Katherine Davis and Joanna Connor and the song “No Way Home” on the Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s Concert stage.
“No Way Home” by Donna Herula, Katherine Davis and Joanna Connor at Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s
Knock Knock..Blues is Here! Slide Blues Guitarist Donna Herula Releases New Album
Donna Herula has released a new album Bang at the Door. Read some of the latest reviews in Chicago Blues Guide and Living Blues!
Photo by David Tepper
“Donna delivers fourteen fantastic songs with a smooth and slick blend of rootsy and folky blues music that showcase both the Chicago and the Mississippi Delta as influences for her work. This is her third release and it demonstrates the growth of her music and talents that she has honed both in her performances and in her work teaching at The Old Town School of Music in Chicago.”
From Trumpet to Southern Cooking “Blues From the Inside Out” Dave Specter Interviews Trumpet Player Kermit Ruffins
Blues is more than guitar bass and drums! Take a listen as Dave Specter, Musical Director and Guitar Instructor at Chicago Blues Network, as well as Host of the Blues From the Inside Out podcast, interviews Kermit Ruffins.
The New Orleans trumpet master, vocalist, composer and co-founder of the Rebirth Brass Band shares stories of his early days playing street parades and parties in the Big Easy, touring the world, owning a club in NOLA and rare insights into his southern cooking.
Guitarist LUKE PYTEL is a busy Blues guy—as band leader, sideman and session player. And during the pandemic shut down he started a family-run free-range chicken egg business from his home in Indiana, delivering to customers in Chicago on a somewhat bi-weekly basis. As his company EQUALLY YOKED cartons attest, the eggs are “Hand Gathered” and “Locally Laid.” “We started small and have grown rapidly in the last few months,” says the enterprising Pytel. “We don’t know if we’ll target grocery stores quite yet, but we’re very popular among friends in the Blues community and my delivery zone is widening. Everyone loves farm fresh eggs; they have so much more taste and the color is richer.” Ya can’t beat ‘em, says me.
Among his many musical endeavors, Pytel fronts his own kick-ass ensemble, THE LUKE PYTEL BAND. “With my blues background, I’m able to stretch out with my own band to include the more contemporary blues sounds of Zach Brown and John Mayer. (Not to mention Jimi Hendrix, Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughn.) My idea is to put on a complete show, a tight program with presentation in mind, performing not just standards but exploring the Blues genre for all its worth.” Luke is also a first-call guitarist for the other bands when in need. “I’m in a position to pick and choose to guest and sit in with bands who are upbeat and fun” says Luke. “When you see me performing it’s with bands I believe in. It’s a good place to be.”
Pytel came to Blues music the good ol’ fashioned way, by learning from the masters. Inspired by Eddie C. Campbell, he evolved from an acoustic guitar student at the Old Town School Of Folk Music when they were on Armitage to a club hound, seeking music nightly, soaking up the styles and stagecraft of every player from Willie Kent to Charlie Love to Michael Coleman and everyone in between, eventually joining many including Rodney Brown with Sam Green and Pookie Styx. After his initiation, he joined Big James, toured the US and Belgium, opened for Robert Cray and lived the Blues Life. “Wouldn’t trade it for anything,” says Luke.
Like so many players, Luke is looking forward to playing live again. “Coming out will be explosive. Performers and audiences will be meeting in the middle of happiness. It’s gonna be great.” Catch The LUKE PYTEL BAND this Saturday at BLUE CHICAGO, 536 N. Clark this Saturday night, May 8th:https://www.bluechicago.com/
Equally Yoked Fresh Eggs can be ordered by calling (708) 372-6516 or on Facebook HERE.
The Luke Pytel Band can be followed on Facebook and its cd “Live At Rosa’s” can be purchased HERE.
Other Blues artist cds that feature Luke’s expressive fretword: Demetria Taylor – Bad Girl – Delmark Records Shirley Johnson – Blues Attack – Delmark Records Liz Mandeville – Red Top – Earwig Music
THE LUKE PYTEL BAND Luke Pytel-Guitar & Vocal Brian James – keys Ari Sedar – bass Brady Williams – drums
Catch ‘m live, but for a video taste @ Rosa’s: HERE.
– 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.
Featured Blues Guitar Lesson JOHNNY BURGIN Teaches IKE TURNER
Chicago Blues Network Guitar Instructor Johnny Burgin: Presents Ike Turner Guitar Lesson
“I recently read Ike Turner’s fascinating autobiography, “Takin’ Back My Name”. The word “guitar” may have appeared three times lol! For such a multifaceted person as Ike, the guitar was just another thing he did. For any serious blues/roots player, his guitar playing, as well as his arranging and piano playing, has been a source of inspiration across the decades. His deep blues roots came from his boyhood in Clarksdale, where his first gig was playing piano with Robert Nighthawk as a teenager. He quickly became a DJ, then a talent scout for Modern records, bringing folks like BB King to the label and playing piano on BB’s first hit “3 O’Clock in the Morning”. His first band, The Kings of Rhythm, had the monster hit “Rocket 88”, which is credited as the first rock n’ roll song. While working as a production assistant at Sun records he took some guitar lessons from Earl Hooker and developed his own wild, stinging style on guitar. By this point, he was seemingly everywhere at once– at the right place at the right time to organize bands, material and recording sessions for artists such as Elmore James, Little Milton, Billy the Kid Emerson, Otis Rush, Howlin’ Wolf, Rosco Gordon and on and on. Much has been said of his tumuluous and very public rise and fall, which is beyond the scope of this video. I’ll look at his guitar playing in “Twistin’ the Strings” and “Prancin'”, and then skip ahead to Ike’s combeback CD “Here and Now”, which is filled with tremendous guitar. I had the privilege to hear Ike’s band twice during that time, at the Chicago Blues Fest and then at the San Francisco Blues Fest: what a show! Like Eddie C Campbell, Ike was effortlessly able to update his sound to a compelling modern, urban groove, without losing any of his nittty gritty blues and rockin’ R&B roots. I’ll touch a bit on his tune “Gave You What You Wanted” at the end of the lesson.” – Johnny Burgin