“I just play blues for fun.” – Howlin’ Wolf
October 26, 2022  Volume 3, Issue 22
Blues Spotlight: Howlin’ Wolf
How Much do you Know About Howlin’ Wolf?
Hailing from Mississippi, Howlin’ Wolf learned Blues directly from none other than Charley Patton, and Wolf bridged the gap between Delta Blues and the burgeoning Chicago Blues. When Wolf moved to Chicago as an adult, he was noticed by Ike Turner (who was then just 19) and started his recording career in 1951. Many gems came from Wolf, including the famous song “Smokestack Lighting'” in the video below.
“This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.”
– Producer Sam Phillips, upon hearing Howlin’ Wolf
This is the only known filmed version of “Smokestack Lightning” by Howlin’ Wolf.
Wolf’s song “Killin’ Floor” is on the Set List of Classic Chicago Blues Songs you can learn with Chicago Blues Network. Get familiar with some of the top Blues tunes, which you can learn to help take your Blues playing to the next level.
Listen to the Set List
Which song is your favorite? Let us know on our Facebook page. To post your favorites, click here!
Take a Journey with No Border Blues
Hosts Johnny Burgin and Stephanie Tice 
Interview Blues Musicians from Around the World

In This Episode: LITTLE HAT
Sponsored by Chicago Blues Network
“LITTLE HAT is not a person, it’s a band from The Netherlands that plays a their own furious and raw version of blues and early rock ‘n’ roll. Like kindred spirits Jesus on a Tortilla from Milan (see No Border Blues #3), they are inspired by the deep cuts of obscure blues pioneers such as Joe Hill Louis and Sunnyland Slim, but play with a heaping dose of frantic energy. Little Hat employs the rare trio instrumentation of harmonica /vocals (Machiel Meijers), guitar (Willem van Dullemen) and drums (Paolo de Stitger). Little Hat is also intergenerational: Paolo’s in his 20s, Machiel’s not yet 40, and Willem recently turned 70!

Hear the band LIVE, and the interview, in the video below:
Little Hat: Rockin, Sleazy and Electrified Dutch Blues! No Border Blues #16
Machiel and Willem were in the long-running and popular Dutch blues band Stackhouse, but they are finding a new freedom with the “three-man-one-man-band” approach of Little Hat. Sometimes it sounds to me like Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers with harmonica! Little Victor, who we’ve interviewed in Episode 14, produced Little Hat’s latest CD “Wine, Whiskey and Wimmen” for the German label Rhythm Bomb Records. The purity of their vintage tones together with the forceful sonic attack of the recording proves this to be a fruitful pairing. You can find out more, and purchase their CD, at www.littlehatband.com.”
No Border Blues
More Free Podcasts
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.
Pete’s Pics “Blues in Action”
by Peter M. Hurley

Jamiah Rogers gets it on and gets down. Seen live, his trio thunders through a set of blazing blues and R&B originals with a passion and flash that goes right through you. Young and old music lovers embrace the guy for his blues roots and cool suits.  

 “The blues are deep and sacred. It’s the type of music I relate to the most and am able to express myself the best” says Rogers. “When we’re cooking on stage and we are grooving, it feels like a musical high that you would never want to leave alone. When you’re locked you never want to break.”

This photo of “Blues Superman” taken at peak moment is from the Broad St. Blues Fest in Griffith, Indiana / July 1, 2017. It received “Best Festival Image” by University of Chicago’s “Chicago Jazz And Blues: A Photographer’s Perspective” exhibit in 2019, and was published in Living Blues Magazine # 268. 

For more info on Jamiah’s CDs and appearances see: 
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.
October Double Feature:
“Heart of the Blues”

by Joanna Connor
Joanna Connor is a contributor to bBluesNote with her column “Heart of the Blues.” Joanna is a Guitar Instructor with Chicago Blues Network. To learn more about Joanna VISIT HER WEBSITE or WATCH HER VIDEOS
The month you feel it’s really autumn. The month you know that change is around the corner.  

In October, 1984, I left my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts and came to Chicago to live. The warm comforts of home distancing themselves further and further with every mile as I sat on that 27 hour bus ride. Change was definitely on my horizon and what I sought. I was on my way to begin my self designed apprenticeship as a student of the blues, seeking a position as a rhythm guitarist and maybe occasional vocalist in one of the city’s totally phenomenal bands. Most of my friends and family at home thought I was a little crazy and naive. But I never wavered in my belief that I would achieve my goals. I was 22, very self assured then, and always a dreamer. 

The scene was electrifying. Many of the blues most important living legends still resided and performed there. Chicago was saturated with musicians of stellar talent and was charged with colorful personalities. It appealed to me beyond measure. It was an exotic and compelling adventure to a girl from New England. I was ready. Little did I know how much I would learn and transform in so many areas of my life and how the imprint of this would alter my music and inner life forever. 

I settled in to a northwest side apartment and went job hunting. Offered a position at a now defunct French bistro downtown as a prep cook. This I knew would be temporary. 

Within three weeks of 7 nights per week of live music I found myself sitting in with Lonnie Brooks at BLUES on Halsted Street on a Tuesday night….I will take all of you back to that night in October of 1984. 

…Blues on Halsted is in the first floor of what appears to be an early 1900s three flat. 

It’s everything you imagine a blues bar to be- old wood throughout, narrow, crowded, smoky, stools and tables worn down, a bar tended by two world weary and extremely competent bar keeps, one pithy waitress who at maybe 5 feet tall and 90 pounds still manages to carry a tray loaded down with beer and shots over her head through the tightly packed crowd. It’s a Tuesday night, yes, a Tuesday and the joint is jumping. 

I’m there to see one of my favorite artists in those days- Lonnie Brooks. His voice is soulful and sounds like well worn velvet, his guitar playing has the cutting sound of Chicago with the funky edge of Louisiana, where he is originally from. His band is tight and syncopated. I am particularly fascinated and enamored by his back up guitarist, a tall, lanky, imposing guy in his good thirties, a cigarette dangling ala Keith Richards, a cowboy hat cocked low, and a guitar strap with his name on it- Dion, holding up a gorgeous black anniversary model Les Paul. 

As much as I love Lonnie and his own unique creole infused blues, Dion Payton is the one grabbing me right down to my soul with his melodic, fiery, passionate leads and uncannily well thought out and grooving rhythmic approach. Lonnie must have noticed my intense attention that I was paying to the band. He greeted me on break with a “you enjoying the show?” and upon my answer thick with my native New England accent asked was I visiting Chicago, and I said no, I’m living here to learn to play blues guitar. 

He chuckled and was sizing me up a bit- a young girl answered him with a sentence you didn’t often here. In 1984 there wasn’t even a half dozen female guitarist in all genres combined. He asked me if i would like to play his guitar and open the show with Dion and the band. He brings me to the stage and motions me to play his guitar as a sort of impromptu test. I must have passed. He told me to tell Dion I was sitting in.

I did just that, only to be met with a 6 foot four rather intimidating black man telling me flat out, no! I walked back to my seat, extremely disappointed. I went to the bar and ordered a double Jack, shot it down, and the liquid courage did it’s job. I went up to Dion and said “listen, I can play, Lonnie invited  me up “ Dion hands me just guitar and cooly says “play something”. I do just that and he nods. Minutes feel like hours and my nerves are tingling. Dion calls me up “there’s a young lady here in the house that’s gonna play some with us, welcome to BLUEs”. 

Well I can’t tell you what we played. But we did three songs and the entire crowd gave us a standing ovation and lots of clapping and hoots and hollers were rained upon us the whole time. I was in heaven! This moment led to the start of my career in Chicago. The Mississippi delta bred Johnny Littlejohn was in the house and when I was finished, he invited me to play a gig with him three weeks later at the same club! 

Stay strong. Keep singing,

This 2-article series is reprinted from bBluesNote, Volume 1, Issues 25 and 26 (2020).
Brand New Video from Joanna Connor!
Step into the action and join Joanna Connor and her band on tour. Grab a front row seat!
JOANNA CONNOR – Full Show @ The Token Lounge, Oct 2022
Better Get These Blues Releases!
Chicago Blues Masters Keep Making the Music for You!
John Primer
Hard Times

Get the album: click here.
Mud Morganfield
“Blues in My Shoes”

Get the digital single: click here.

Plus, Mud Morganfield “Portrait” coming soon: pre-order it here!
Demetria Taylor
Doin’ What I’m Supposed to Do

Get the album: click here.
Dave Specter
Six-String Soul: 30 Years On Delmark

Get the DOUBLE album: click here.
Breezy Rodio
Underground Blues

Get the digital album: click here.
Joanna Connor
4801 South Indiana Avenue

To get the album: click here.
FREE Lesson Video with Johnny Burgin
“You Don’t Love Me Guitar” Lesson
Willie Cobbs, Magic Sam and Bo Diddley
“”You Don’t Love Me” has to be one of the most-played Post War blues songs. Yes, a large part of that is the famous Allman Brothers cover but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The basic template for this 1960 hit by Willie Cobbs is from Bob Diddley, “She’s Fine, She’s Mine”. Willie changed the words and the groove but the RIFF is just about the same, he just unburied it from the mountain of percussion on the Bo song.
You Don’t Love Me Guitar Lesson—Willie Cobbs, Magic Sam and Bo Diddley
Sammy Lawhorn plays a muscular, in your face, and hard-boiled guitar on the Willie Cobb 45according to the Stefan Wirz discography, that’s fellow Arkansas native Robert Jr Lockwood on bass too! The most famous Chicago blues version of this tune is by Magic Sam on the classic Delmark record Black Magic. I’ll take a quick look at Magic Sam’s amazing “mosquito bite” vibrato in his solo. It’s looser, faster, and has a bounce to ithave fun playing this classic!” – Johnny Burgin

Johnny Burgin is one of the Chicago Blues Masters that works with Musicians from across the nation at Chicago Blues Network’s Chicago Blues Bootcamp. At this immersive camp where you work with Chicago Blues Masters, instructors have included Billy Flynn, Dave Specter, Joanna Connor, Brother John Kattke, and Harlan Terson. Special Guest Instructors and Speakers have included Bob Stroger, John Primer, Dick Shurman, and more.
Blues from the Inside Out Podcast
Host Dave Specter Interview with Shemekia Copeland
From the archives…Enjoy a great conversation with Shemekia Copeland, one of the most dynamic, original and powerful blues singers in today’s music scene. Shemekia shares stories about her album America’s Child, lessons learned from her father Johnny Copeland, her relationships/collaborations with Koko Taylor, Dr. John, Will Kimbrough, John Hahn, and hosting her own radio show on Sirius XM.
Listen to the Podcast
Fall Into the Groove…
Choose the Blues!
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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