Students of our “At Home Chicago Blues” lessons, and musicians from as far away as California and Colorado are coming to Chicago this summer! If you play Blues Guitar or Blues Bass and want to learn the Chicago Blues Set List with the pros, please join us for an immersive 5-day learning experience at Roosevelt University. Instructors include Billy Flynn, Johnny Burgin, Harlan Terson and more. To learn about the Bootcamp, click here.
Click ‘play’ above tomeet some of our Chicago Blues Masters, Instructors at Chicago Blues Bootcamp
“No Border Blues” Podcast with Johnny Burgin and Stephanie Tice Sponsored by Chicago Blues Network
Little Victor, The Beale Street Blues Bopper
From the archives…”No Border Blues” #13
Little Victor was raised in Italy and Memphis and was dubbed “The Beale Street Blues Bopper” by his cousin– the avant garde-blues filmmaker, producer and performer Tav Falco. While in Memphis, his uncle, noted blues writer David Evans and family friend Alex Chilton also encouraged the young Victor, who was already playing harp and singing, to pick up the guitar.
He was soon performing weekly on Beale Street with Uncle Ben Perry. With influences such as these it’s no wonder Little Victor is deeply rooted in traditional blues sounds, but also has a fiercely independent artistic sense of purpose. He’s made several of his own records for Wild Records, El Toro records, and Germany’s Rhythm Bomb records, and his most recent effort, “Deluxe Lo-Fi” features Kim Wilson, Carl Sonny Leyland, Big John Atkinson, Willie Buck, and Tomi Leino and Jo Buddy from Finland.
Click ‘play’ above to watch the interview with Johnny Burgin, Co-Host of No Border Blues, interview Little Victor
Victor is probably best known for his long and successful association with Louisiana Red and the significant crossover success of their “Back to the Black Bayou”, on Ruf Records. They worked closely together until Red’s passing in 2012– check out Victor’s emotional performance in this video of his original “The Death of Louisiana Red”. In the last several years, Victor has used his strong musical vision to produce artists such as The Jelly Roll Men (see NBB Episode 7), Shakedown Tim (see NBB episode 11), Sophie Kay of Paris, Harpdog Brown of Canada, Mo Al Jazz of France, Little Hat of the Netherlands and many others.
About the Podcast
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.
BILLY BRANCH, EMMY AWARD WINNER 3 TIME GRAMMY NOMINEE RETIRED 2 TERM GRAMMY GOVERNOR 2020 BLUES FOUNDATION HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE ALLIGATOR RECORDS RECORDING ARTIST
“Billy Branch was discovered by Willie Dixon, the “father of modern Chicago Blues,” while Billy was still in college. Willie encouraged Billy to finish his college education, which he did, but instead of going to law school after receiving his political science degree, Billy began touring with theWillie Dixon Chicago All-Stars. This gave Billy the unique opportunity to travel and work as an under study for the legendary Carey Bell who was planning to leave the All-Stars and form his own band. When Carey took his leave, the young Billy Branch took his place, touring with Willie Dixon for 6 years.
Since those early days, Billy has played on over 300 different recordings including 15 albums under his own name. Billy has recorded with Willie Dixon, Johnny Winter, Keb’ Mo, Lou Rawls, Koko Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Honeyboy Edwards, Syl Johnson, Lurrie Bell, Ronnie Baker Brooks, John Primer, and Taj Mahal, just to name a few. Billy has three Grammy Award nominations, having lost one nomination to BB King and Eric Clapton! He served two consecutive terms on the NARAS Grammy Board of Governors and founded the First Grammy Blues Committee. Because Billy’s Blues credentials include dozens of years spent working side-by-side with many of Chicago’s illustrious Blues musicians of years gone by, he is considered an ambassador of Chicago Blues. In that role he has written the forwards to three books, given numerous U.S. State Department cultural exchanges in other countries, presented keynote speeches (one was for the Obama Foundation), and presented to the leaders of Turkey’s Parliament, teaching them to play harmonica! Billy also does commercial voice-overs and has acted in two major big screen movies.
Billy’s new release onAlligator Records, ROOTS AND BRANCHES, THE SONGS OF LITTLE WALTER honors the iconic Little Walter, one of the principal architects of the Chicago Blues sound. His band takes Little Walter’s classics and embed their unique creative synergy This highly anticipated album includes Little Walter’s daughter, Marion Diaz, sharing a few anecdotes of life with her legendary father.
Billy Branch and The Sons of Blues (SOBs) celebrated their fortieth anniversary by headlining the 2017 Chicago Blues Festival. They kept tens of thousands of Blues fans thoroughly engaged for over two hours. It’s hard to imagine that the SOBs very first gig was in Germany at the 1977 Berlin Jazz Festival. Over the many years since, Billy Branch and The Sons of Blues have consistently delivered the Blues to fans around the world. During their six week tour of Turkey, thousands of fans showed up every night of the week to experience authentic Chicago Blues. The Sons of Blues have made over 250 international tours, sharing the cultural legacy of the Blues around the world.
Billy Branch is a Blues education pioneer. He was one of the first artists to develop a Blues in Schools curriculum. Since 1978, in addition to recording and performing, he has taught hundreds of thousands of children around the world. His internationally recognized Blues in Schools Program is committed to teaching students of all ages about the Blues as the roots of America’s music. His curriculum and instruction strategies open his students eyes to music history, music theory. Students also learn music skills that reinforce music as a positive creative outlet which inspires students to embrace music as a viable creative expression. He has shared his interdisciplinary program in Europe, South America, Australia, Asia, Central America and Mexico where he taught his two week program in Spanish. In addition, Billy has taught in the Grammy Museum Music Revolution Project and lectured at the University of Chicago and other institutions of higher learning. His university level lectures are some of the most popular and well attended classes. Billy brings music history and music theory come alive.” – BillyBranch.com
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.
Click above to watch Billy Branch on Chicago Blues Network Trading 4s, with the late great Jimmy Johnson, John Primer, Dave Specter, and Brother John Kattke
Honoring Blues Giants Meet the Blues Artists that Paved the Way
“Muddy Waters and the Chicago Blues” Documentary
Catch the vibe of Chicago Blues!
“It’s no secret that Chicago shaped the Blues into what we know today. However, what’s surprising is that this innovation and this legacy began and ended with the career of one man: Muddy Waters.” – Muddy Waters and the Chicago Blues documentary
Click ‘play’ above to watch the “Muddy Waters and the Chicago Blues” Documentary
This 2015 National History Fair Documentary was produced by Erik Strand, Brian Strand and Oscar Miranda of East Aurora High School. – YouTube.com
This documentary of Chicago Blues paints a pictures of the world that birthed Chicago Blues. Over the decades Chicago Blues has evolved while building off of the music of the Blues Giants that paved the way. Be part of the journey of Chicago Blues.
Study with Today’s Chicago Blues Masters
Learn at Home: With “At Home Chicago Blues” faculty members of Chicago Blues Bootcamp are offering online lessons of our entire Blues Network Fakebook for you. Each lesson shows techniques, riffs, chord changes and other insights which Faculty members use in Blues Clubs and Festivals around the country. Chicago Blues Network will donate 20% of each order to the Blues Foundation’s HART Fund for direct medical support of Blues Musicians. Lessons are $23.95/month and include a weekly Zoom meeting with your Instructor and fellow students.
Upcoming Local Blues Events Featuring Chicago Blues Masters & Artists
Just some of the great Blues shows coming up this week and weekend…
Wednesday April 27th
Brother John Kattke hosts the Jam at Buddy Guy’s 9:00 PM at Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash, Chicago Show info
Ivy Ford: Let the Good Times Roll 9:00 PM at Rosa’s Lounge, 3420 W Armitage Ave., Chicago Show info
Thursday April 28th
Mike Wheeler Blues Band with Demetria Taylor 8:00 PM at Blue Chicago, 536 N Clark St., Chicago Venue Info
Joanna Connor, John Primer Kingston Mines, 2548 North Halsted Street, Chicago Venue Info
Jimmy Burns 9:00 PM at Rosa’s Lounge, 3420 W Armitage Ave., Chicago Show info
Friday April 29th
Donna Herula & More Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash, Chicago Times: Free Acoustic Set: Donna Herula 5:00-7:30PM Opening Band: Mixx Company Band 8:00-9:00PM Headlining Band: Derek Caruso & The Blues Fuse 9:30PM-close Show info
Luke Pytel Blues Band w/ Laretha Weathersby 8:00 PM at Blue Chicago, 536 N Clark St, Chicago Venue Info
Nora Jean Bruso, Omar Coleman Kingston Mines, 2548 North Halsted Street, Chicago Venue Info
The SonicSoul: Never Too Late 9:00 PM at Rosa’s Lounge, 3420 W Armitage Ave., Chicago Show info