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“A bad rendition of you is better than a good rendition of somebody else.” – Willie Dixon
August 31, 2022  Volume 3, Issue 18
Focus on Chicago Blues Bass…
Three Questions with Bassist Harlan Terson and More
Grateful Students of the Blues

“A little over a year ago, I decided to dedicate myself to becoming the most solid, in-the-pocket bass player I could be playing blues and soul music…I just wanted to reach out and let you know that even though I only had lessons with you for a short time, you’ve been a lasting influence on me with your book, playing, and general approach. Thank you!
– Testimonial of a Student of Harlan Terson, Bass Instructor
In the Video below…“This is part of our new short video series for 594 Miles From Chicago, called “3 Questions with.” Each artist we interview will have 3 questions to answer at the end of their interview! In this video we have Harlan Terson who joins us at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted in Chicago, IL.” – Bluesbird Talent Agency Youtube
594 Miles From Chicago: 3 Questions w/ Harlan Terson
“[Harlan Terson’s] influences include all styles of blues, as well as the recorded sounds of Stax/Atlantic and Motown. James Jamerson, Carole Kaye, Tommy Cogbill, and Duck Dunn are just a few of his favorite bassists. Terson’s steady “in the pocket” groove has kept him working on the competitive Chicago blues circuit, and taken him overseas as well… 
 
Watch More “594 Miles from Chicago” Here

“Be true to the music.” – Jimmy Burns

594 Miles from Chicago includes interviews with many Chicago Blues greats, including Willie “The Touch” Hayes, Demetria Taylor, Jimmy Burns to name just a few. The 594 Miles from Chicago documentary is by http://www.Bluesbirdtalent.com © BLUESBIRD TALENT AGENCY LLC.
Pete’s Pics “Blues in Action”
by Peter M. Hurley

MERLE PERKINS
Photo © Peter M. Hurley
    While assigned to photograph MERLE PERKINS for an upcoming issue of Living Blues Magazine, I visited the veteran drummer at a block party. Charismatic and photogenic, Mr. Perkins was dressed to the nines as he always does when performing. And he played the hell out of his set for the band assembled on the lawn.

    Generally cheerful, Perkins was feeling the effects of a financial setback from a recent auto mishap caused by another driver. Dependent on his car to get him to and from gigs, repairs are much needed. His friend, singer BRENDA TAYLOR RICCI, in attendance for a rousing guest appearance of her own, has set up a Go Fund Me site for Merle in collaboration with The blues train Radio Eddy Freeman, and sponsored by The Eddie Taylor Blues Foundation: CLICK HERE FOR THE GOFUNDME.

Merle Perkins is endorsed by Soulmate Cymbals. Below are excerpts of his bio from their website:    

Still percolating on drums nearly fifty years, Merle Perkins was born on July 20th, 1945 in Kansas City, Kansas to Frances Perkins and his father, who Merle never met. Merle grew up as an only child. Merle’s mother Frances was a jazz singer who sang in quartets in and around Kansas City, including Footsch Goodson’s Band. Frances sang jazzy styles in the likes of Sarah Vaughn and Dinah Washington. Also she listened to the sounds of big band jazz records in her home. Merle has always loved the drums, and said that as early as he can remember, his mother would take him to parades, where the drums would fascinate him, year after year. In 1956 Merle moved to St.Louis, Mo at the age of 11. During his teen years he often watched the drum corps practicing in the school yard and in 1962 Merle joined the Pleasant Green Drum and Bugle Corp. In 1963 he joined the only black Drum Corps at the time, “The Spirit of St.Louis” Drum and Bugle organization. This corp valued its pride on discipline, great skills of reading and timing. Teaching self-respect and excellence on performing and an outstanding appearance, as well as requirements for reading music and playing drums very well to become a member.  While in St.Louis, Merle met the first Blues Legend that he would eventually perform with in later years. Merle met Albert King at a club on Whitier and Eastern Avenue at 15 years old, and they ended up playing pool, of all things. In 1964, Merle and his mother Frances moved once again, this time to Chicago, and they moved in on 44st. and Prairie, Bronzeville. Ill. His passion to continue to be an even better drummer, as Merle pointed out; “the Drum Corps is in your blood forever”, because of the closeness of those who perform as a team. In fact many well known and famous drummers came from a Drum & Bugle Corp, for example Steve Gadd among many others. Merle was influenced strongly by Billy Cobham, the legendary drummer who was the first black drummer to play double bass in fusion jazz and rock. Merle listened to Cobham in jazz guitarist John McLaughlin’s band, which led Merle to buy a double bass. And at that time in 1970 no one in blues was playing drums like this, so Merle became the first drummer to do so. He became very good on a blues kit and adding more tone and sounds to his great abilities as a drummer, and it paid off. Merle was playing around Chicago in 1970, when he was asked to perform with the legendary Freddie King. Merle went on a small tour in the Ohio Valley with King, on a bill opening for Leon Russell. Buddy Guy and Junior Wells came next as Merle joined their band and toured consistently, even appearing live on television. The artists that Merle would find himself performing with after this, would include a very long list: Lonnie Brooks, Albert King, James Cotton, John Littlejohn, Buster Benton, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Coleman, McKinley Mitchell, Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows, Magic Slim, Abb Locke, Charlie Mussselwhite, Willie Kent, Joe Kelly and the Blue Shadows, Carey Bell, Son Seals, Johnny Dollar, A.C. Reed, Otis Clay, Lafayette Leake, Lovie Lee, Chick Willis, Larry Davis, Honeyboy Edwards, Maurice Vaughn and Eddie Clearwater for 11 years. He also performed with Pinetop Perkins, Bob Stroger, and Willie “Big Eyes Smith” And of course a band leader of his own band; Merle Perkins and the Perkolaters, from 1990-1997 in which he toured extensively. Merle has performed in 47 of the United States, and also Canada many times. As well as Brazil, Japan, England, Sweden, France, Russia, Turkey, Jamaica, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and other countries. Merle has recorded with many of the artists under such record labels as; Alligator, Delmark, Wolf (Austria), Ronn, Isabell, JSP, Evidence music, Big Boy, Blue Chicago Records, Upstairs Records, The Blues and Rock Connection and Nostalgia, among other labels. He has performed on all Chicago TV Stations.  During Merle’s later years working with Eddy Clearwater, tragedy again struck Merle. On July 25th 2009, his beloved mother passed away. Frances Perkins and Merle were extremely close. As his mother was also well liked by many artists as well as being known as a very kind, sweet lady. The loss of his mother was so devastating that Merle came close to leaving music behind all together. Now he dedicates all his music to his mother. Since then Merle has been very busy. As his drum solos allow him to shine on the wide range of influences and techniques he uses. His variety of sounds are wide as well, from sounds of light gentle rain falling from the sky, to sounds of snapping fingers to the sound of thunder.

Merle currently tours and records with various artists. Recently he released a promotional DVD video titled “Merle Perkins Through The Years”, that shows just an inkling of his career. As well as the CD; “Out of Brazil” on Chico Records with Ivan Marcio. A CD was released; “The Chicago Blues Sessions, volume 1”, includes special guests, as well as Merle singing vocal lead tracks. 

Photo © Peter M. Hurley / August 27, 2022

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.
This Weekend
Saturday September 3, 2022
2nd Annual Event Showcasing Chicago Blues

2022 ROCKWELL BLUES & JAZZ STROLL
Delmark Records announces that Saturday September 3, 2022, 12 Noon to 9:00 PM, is a free festival, the 2022 Rockwell Blues & Jazz Stroll.

This is the second annual event. The location is behind the 
Burning Bush Brewery – Rockwell and Irving Park, 4014 N Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60618. Come one and all to enjoy this special event celebrating Chicago Blues.
Photo of 1st Annual Rockwell Blues & Jazz Stroll 2021. Photo source: Delmark.com.

“The hottest FREE event of the summer is back! Bring your family, bring your dog. Plenty of free parking & great beer. Buy LPs, CDs & t-shirts! Get your records signed by the artists!” – Delmark.com

The year’s 2022 line-up includes:
Bob Stroger & The Headcutters
Jimmy Burns
Willie Buck
Demetria Taylor
Linsey Alexander
Milwaukee Slim
The Delmark All-Star Band: Dave Specter, guitar; Roosevelt Purifoy, keys; Bob Stroger, bass; Willie “The Touch” Hayes, drums.
Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames
Frank Catalano Quartet
Dee Alexander
Donna Herula & Harlan Terson with Lynne Jordan
Gerry Hundt ‘s One-Man Band
Andy Cohen


The Stroll is presented by Delmark Records, Earwig Records and the Rockwell Business & Neighbors Association, supported by the Band Roster, CHI – DCASE.

For the Full Schedule, Click Here
Katherine Davis New Album Release!
Chicago Blues Vocalist Releases New Album Including Original Tunes
Check out this featured track “What Else Can I Do” by Chicago Blues Master Katherine Davis, fresh off her new album, in the video below:
“What Else Can I Do” Song from New Album If I Could Go Back
by Katherine Davis
Katherine Davis produced, wrote, arranged, directed all of her 8 original songs. 
To listen on Spotify click here.
Blues from the Inside Out
From the Archives…Host Dave Specter Interviews Blues Legends
From the archives…
“Hear exclusive interview with the late, great Sam Lay, Chicago blues legend and 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; plus harp player, composer, entertainer and musician extraordinaire Corky Siegel join Dave in a 2-part interview discussing their musical collaborations and remarkable careers.” – BluesfromtheInsideOut.com
To listen to the podcast click here.

Hosted by Chicago Blues Master Dave Specter, Blues from the Inside Out is a podcast featuring top names in blues and roots music from a unique, artist-to-artist interview perspective and often includes live studio performances and jam sessions.

Every episode is a warm, relaxed and engaging conversation between two artists, packed with insights into each guest’s music, life and influences. Listeners get a chance to eavesdrop on this intimate chat that weaves in blues and roots history, tales of legendary performances and collaborations, and the kinds of personal anecdotes that make you smile, laugh out loud or maybe even cry.

Blues and roots music form the very foundation of our popular music culture, influencing everyone from the Rolling Stones to Beyoncé and beyond. Blues from the Inside Out links our musical past with our musical present and our musical future, creating an engaging cultural touchstone that attracts diverse audiences around the world.

This Week’s FREE Video Lesson 
A Chat about Howlin’ Wolf’s Guitar Genius Willie Johnson
with Chicago Blues Master Johnny Burgin
A Chat about Howlin’ Wolf’s Guitar Genius Willie Johnson
“Howlin Wolf’s Sun recordings feature guitarist Willie Johnson playing jazzy chords and jabbing leads with a distorted, roaring tone and nearly frantic aggression, matching the Wolf’s raw voice and huge presence. Willie Johnson’s style may have began in the Delta but it aspired towards the more urbane guitar stylings of Johnny Moore, T Bone Walker and Pee Wee Crayton, with unique and unforgettable results. I listened to a 92-song youtube playlist of songs Willie Johnson recorded backing Wolf as well as other singers such as Willie Nix, Sonny Lewis and Earring George. I realized that while Johnson has a consistent style throughout, he never repeats himself and like Earl Hooker or Jody Williams, finds endless creative variations within his style. Bearing that in mind, this lesson’s less of a “licks” lesson and more a discussion of the elements of his style: the swing chords, the jabbing leads, his sustained tone and his phrasing. Have fun checking out this singular guitarist. Thanks to Dave Waldman and Illinois Slim for some anecdotes and insights into WJ’s style and for Don Deering for compiling that amazing 92 song playlist!” – Johnny Burgin, Guitar Instructor with Chicago Blues Network
Watch more FREE videos
Make your move…
Learn the Blues!
Questions on lessons?
Email info@chicagobluesnetwork.com.

 
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Browse more issues of bBlues Note: here
Read more “Pete’s Pics” Blues in Action by Peter M. Hurley: here


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