“Simple music is the hardest music to play and blues is simple music.” – Albert Collins
August 3, 2022 Volume 3, Issue 16
Congratulations Demetria Taylor: Award and Upcoming Album Artist Honored with 2022 JUS’ BLUES Music Award
Demetria Taylor is a 2022 Jus’ Blues Awards Honoree with the Koko Taylor “Queen of the Blues” Award (Preserving Traditional Blues Heritage). The award ceremony is August 4, 2022 and Delmark Records reports it is heading to Tunica, MS to support and join the celebration for Demetria Taylor!
Her latest release is a single “I’m Gonna Tell It” on Delmark Records, following the single “83 Highway.” A new full album Doing What I’m Supposed to Do is coming this month…
“Demetria Taylor is the daughter of the late blues legend Eddie Taylor Sr. and is helping keep the legacy of her father alive. Eddie is best known as the rhythm guitarist in the band of Jimmy Reed, but he also had his own solo career and recorded some wonderful sides for the VJ label including the classic “Bad Boy”. Her mother Vera Taylor was also a blues singer. Demetria has fond memories of blues greats and friends of the family coming by the house including Floyd Jones, Carey Bell, Sunnyland Slim, Johnny Littlejohn, Sam Lay, Willie Kent, Tail Dragger, Eddie Shaw, Johnny B. Moore and Magic Slim. Born in Chicago, Demetria grew up surrounded by Blues music listening on records to her biggest influences including Etta James, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton and most importantly, “The Queen of The Blues” Koko Taylor (no relation to her family).” – JusBlues.org
Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s Concert Watch Demetria Taylor in this exclusive concert below:
Lynne Jordan, Demetria Taylor, Billy Flynn, Dave Specter, John Kattke: Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s Concert (2020)
I first met Mike when assigned to contribute a cover photo to Living Blues Magazine during the worst months of Covid shutdown. We met on the steps outside the Art Institute of Chicago. Michigan Ave. was a spectacularly eerie sight, empty of car and pedestrian traffic as far as the eye could see. I took some shots in front of one of the famous lion sculptures with Mike wielding his trusty black and white Fender guitar. Somewhat symbolic: When fronting his powerful band, Mike possesses a lion energy tempered by a calmness and confidence of knowing that behind him are some of the baddest blues cats playing today. The Mike Wheeler Band is a force: Larry Williams on bass, Brian James on keyboards, and Cleo Cole on drums… Check them out when you can; the hardest working blues band in show business and together the longest. The passages below, describing the breadth of Mike and his band’s musical experience, are from their website: mikewheelerband.com
Mike Wheeler has a vast knowledge of music and a voice that’s reminiscent of the late Sam Cooke. He can sing and play everything so well that you may forget what the original record even sounds like. From Jazz to Rock, from popular music to Top 40, he slides in and out of musical genres with sophistication, ease and indulgence. Mike Wheeler is a brilliant staple in the Chicago blues community, playing and writing songs for a variety of Chicago artists including, Nellie Tiger Travis, Peaches Staten, Sam Cockrell, Demetria Taylor, Big Ray & Cadillac Dave. Mike was a well known member of Big James &The Chicago Playboys, a notable band in Chicago and recorded five albums with the group. He has travelled the world as an ambassador for Chicago blues music. He’s been to Monaco, France, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium, just to name a few. He’s also shared the stage with the most elite musicians the world has known, including Willie Kent, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, George Benson, Jimmy Johnson and Shemekia Copeland. Mike was inducted in the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014. Mike uses Elixir Strings.
Larry Williams is a Bassist Extraordinaire with unmatched stage presence and charisma. Influenced by artists such as Bennie Williams, Jerome Scott, Sam Cockrell, Larry Graham, James Jamerson, Willie Dixon, Stanley Clarke and Verdine White just to name a few. Larry’s style is clean and driving, reminiscent of the late greats yet modern, enabling him to play with the best in the business. From Gospel to Alternative, Larry can play it all. He has played on national and international stages. He has performed with Albertina Walker, Tyrone Davis, James Cotton, Jimmy Johnson, Buddy Guy, Vicki Winans, Koko Taylor, B.B. King and George Benson along with countless others. He has recorded on three major blues labels: Alligator, Blind Pig and Delmark Records. He is a true example of someone who knows what he was born to do!! Larry uses Elixir Strings.
Cleo Cole began playing drums at the age of 10. He was influenced by his older brother Jethero Cole. Cleo played in his grammar and high school bands and also attended the Conservatory of Music where he was taught by Peter Romalis. He then began playing around town with various artists such as Doug McDonald, Alvin Cash, Floyd Taylor, Zora Young, Maurice John Vaughn, Shirley King, Big James, Nellie Travis, Peaches Staten, Sam Cockrell and Pistol Pete. His influences are Omar Hakim, Dennis Chambers, Billy Cobham, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, Killer Ray Allison, Willie “Big Eyes”Smith and Willie “The Touch” Hayes. He has traveled all over the world. He was part of the Legendary Blues Cruise 2011 where he bonded with his fellow drummers. Cleo plays Yamaha Maple Customs and has a stick endorsement with Vic Firth. He has recorded on Blind Pig and Delmark Records. Cleo Cole is a drummer that you must see and hear for yourself!!!
Brian James is keyboardist for The Mike Wheeler Band. He has played and acted as musical director for The Chi-Lites, The Drifters, The Classic Five, Sugar Blue, John Lee Hooker Jr, Chico Banks and Blues Legend Lonnie Brooks. He brings to the band his varied and diverse range of experiences and influences stemming from stints with Reggae, Country, Jazz, Rock Zydeco, Pop, Blues and R&B groups. Brian has an Associates of Fine Arts degree from Illinois State University and is currently working toward his B.A. in teaching. Brian is sponsored by Nord keyboards.
– Photo by Peter M. Hurley taken @ BLUE Chicago 536 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 where Mike Wheeler Band can often be seen.
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.
Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s Concert Watch Mike Wheeler& Larry Williams in this exclusive concert below:
Katherine Davis & Paul Kaye, Mike Wheeler & Larry Williams
For Mike Wheeler’s upcoming shows at BLUE Chicago click here.
Free Chicago Blues Video Lesson: Chicago Blues Master Billy Flynn Teaches “Just A Little Bit”
Billy Flynn Teaches “Just A Little Bit”
Billy Flynn, Grammy-award-winning Chicago Blues guitar master from Green Bay, WI, takes you through the basics of “Just A Little Bit,” a Roscoe Gordon tune made famous by Magic Slim. Key of G.
Flynn was one of the Blues Guitar Instructors at this year’s Chicago Blues Bootcamp, a 5-day immersive camp where musicians from all over the world can learn directly from Chicago Blues Masters.
Chicago Blues Evolving Through the Decades… Vital Vignette from 1970s Chicago Blues: Jimmy Dawkins
Chicago Blues evolves in each decade, and today let’s look at the 1970s Chicago Blues era. Take a trip and immerse yourself in the world of Jimmy Dawkins, with live footage and a select track from his Delmark Records catalog:
Jimmy Dawkins, 1970s West Side Chicago Blues | Premium Footage
Jimmy Dawkins “You Got To Keep On Trying”
You can take a listen to “a slice” of various decades of Chicago Blues with the following links:
Then, see how this live recording from the Chicago Blues Festival (in France) in 1970 has attributes of previous decades, while performers are putting new spin on the style as it grows:
Chicago Blues Festival ’70 (in Bordeaux, France)
What is your favorite decade and artists of Chicago Blues? Tell us on Facebook, connect with us here.
Of course, Chicago Blues is evolving right on through the decades to the art form it is today. Take a look at our YouTube Channel for free video lessons with Chicago Blues Masters, and free Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s Concerts to watch:
No Border Blues Hosts Johnny Burgin and Stephanie Tice Interview Blues Musicians from Around the World In This Episode: Ashesh Dangol from Nepal
Sponsored by Chicago Blues Network
Learn how musicians from all over the world are influenced by Blues. Some combine local folk music with Blues, and take the journey of finding freedom and solace through music. This episode from the archives features Ashesh Dangol from Katmandu, Nepal.
No Border Blues Episode One: Interview with Ashesh Dangol from Nepal
Take a blues journey with No Border Blues! This 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. Episode One features Ashesh Dangol, a guitarist and singer based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Ashesh’s music reflects his love of Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters, as well as his immersion in the rich musical heritage of his homeland. He has done much to generate a Nepalese blues scene; growing a fan base through extensive gigging, organizing events, and starting the Blues Society of Nepal. Since the pandemic, he’s been producing the livestream “Blues for a Cause”, which has featured dozens of artists worldwide. Much of his music and videos reflect his political activism and relief efforts in Nepal. Stay tuned for Episode Two, featuring Sony India recording artist Bollywood Blues artist Aki Kumar.
Take a blues journey with No Border Blues, the only blues podcast focused on international blues artists and hidden blues scenes around the world. Delmark recording artist Johnny Burgin and producer Stephanie Tice shine a spotlight on notable international blues performers, discuss the blues scenes in their home countries, and present intimate and exclusive musical performances. Sponsored by Chicago Blues Network, bringing Chicago Blues to the world.