June 8, 2021
June 8, 2021
Here is the schedule for the 2021 Chicago Blues Festival! Times subject to change. This is an experiment meant to bring the Blues Festival to the neighborhoods where the Blues grew up.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
12pm-6pm on 43rd street for 5 blocks east of the Green Line (300 to 500 east)
This FREE “Bronzeville Blues” event will present three stages of live blues on Sunday, August 29th in the neighborhood that is the cradle of classic Chicago Blues.
The Forum, 318-324 E. 43rd St Chicago, IL 60653
The Checkerboard stage, 423 E. 43rd St. Chicago, IL 60653 (original location, defunct)
The “MOJO” Jam Session with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith
John Primer and Real Deal Blues Band
Park 43 540 E 43rd St. Chicago, IL 60653
Sunday, August 29, September 5, September 12, September 19, 2021
MUSIC LIVES HERE: RECORD ROW SERIES AT CHESS RECORDS WILLIE DIXON’S BLUES HEAVEN FOUNDATION
2120 S Michigan Ave
*6:00-8:30pm – outdoor performance in the Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Garden
Schedule of Events
Sunday, August 29 Joe Pratt and The Source One Band
Sunday, September 5 Sheryl Youngblood
Sunday, September 12 Vino Louden Band
Sunday, September 19 John Primer – duo performance
Music Lives Here – Historical Markers
Chess Records 2120 S. Michigan Ave. 320 E. 21st St.
Constellation Records 1421 S. Michigan
Jerry Butler’s Songwriters Works 1402 S. Michigan Ave.
One-derful Records 1827 S. Michigan Ave.
Vee-jay Records and Brunswick Records 1449 S. Michigan Ave.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
AUSTIN – WEST SIDE BLUES
Chicago & Mayfield
Through the years, Chicago’s West Side has cultivated a rich and lasting blues legacy – some of our city’s most legendary blues venues have been located there. To honor this rich and still-vibrant heritage, we will feature some of Chicago’s finest blues artists on Sunday, September 12, at the corner of Chicago and Mayfield in the heart of the city’s Austin neighborhood, beginning at 12:00 noon. Join us to celebrate the living legacy of Chicago blues!
12:00-1:00pm – Larry Taylor (60 min)
1:20-2:20pm – Mary Lane (60 min)
2:40-3:40pm – Jimmy Burns (60 min)
4:00-5:00pm – Mzz Reese (60 min)
5:20-6:20pm – Vance Kelly (60 min)
6:40-8:00pm – Lurrie Bell (80 min)
Saturday, September 18, 2021
50th Anniversary of Alligator Records
Millennium Park 201 E. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60602
Wednesday, September 1- Monday, September 6, 2021
CHICAGO BLUES CLUB CITY TOUR
The City of Chicago and CIVL (Chicago Independent Venue League) will partner to present and promote a FREE city-wide Blues club tour with 20 shows in 10 venues. Programs will be free-admission, first-come, first-serve. COVID protocols and social distancing to be implemented and followed, as needed, per CDC guidelines.
B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted, Golden Dagger, Martyrs’, Reggies, Rosa’s Lounge, Taylor Street Tap, The GMan Tavern, The Hideout, The Promontory, The Quarry.
B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted – 2519 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Thursday, September 2 Joanna Connor 9:30pm FREE 21+
Saturday, September 4 Rico McFarland 9:30pm FREE 21+
Golden Dagger – 2447 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Martyrs’ – 3855 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
Saturday, September 4 Mud Morganfield (75-90 min) Chicago Bound Blues Band (45-60 min) START/END TIME TBD FREE 21+
Reggies Music Joint – 2105 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616
Rosa’s Lounge – 3420 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Wednesday, September 1 Pete Galanis Band featuring Dave Herrero (75 min set) 9pm FREE 21+
Thursday, September 2 Chicago Wind featuring Matthew Skoller (75 min set) 9pm FREE 21+
Friday, September 3 Nora Jean Wallace 7:30pm (75 min set) FREE 21+
Sunday, September 5 Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular featuring Matthew Skoller, Billy Flynn, Bill Dickens, Michael Caskey
7:30pm (75 min set) FREE 21+
Taylor Street Tap – 1358 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607
Friday, September 3 The Kinsey Report (75 min set) 8pm FREE 21+
The GMan Tavern – 3740 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613
Saturday, September 4 Gerry Hundt 4-8pm 2-40 min sets with intermission
Sunday, September 5 The Smiley Tillmon Band featuring Kate Moss4-8pm 2-40 min sets with intermission
The Hideout – 1354 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
The Promontory – 5311 S Lake Park Ave W, Chicago, IL 60615
The Quarry Chi – 2423 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60649
Sunday, September 5 Freddie Dixon’s Chicago Blues Allstars (75 min set) 5pm doors open, 6pm start
Monday, September 6 Michael Damani 5pm doors open, 6pm start
June 8, 2021
It started years ago, towards the end of the 60’s, before I graduated from my high school. Our radio stations in – communist at that time – Poland never played the blues or any other music from the other side of the Iron Curtain. However, we were somehow able to listen to the American radio station The Voice Of America. Its show „The Jazz Hour” was the source of all the great music that I discovered back then. I’ll never forget hearing Julian “Cannonball ” Adderley playing “Why Am I Treated So Bad” at the DeLisa club in Chicago! The ambience was simply hypnotic… but I didn’t hear it in Chicago where I couldn’t go at the time — I first heard it on the radio!
This is also how I came across fashionable songs of the day by Chubby Checker, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and many others. I immediately knew that I wanted more of this refreshing and appealing music so I actively looked for it. I investigated the people who inspired the bands that I was listening to, which is how I learned about Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, and many others. I bought my first foreign record at a black market (which was the only place to get them at the time) for a half of my month’s pay when I started working at a coal mine (I’m a mining engineer by education). It was “The Rolling Stones” — the band’s debut album. I still have it!
I first went to Chicago in 1998. I still vividly remember three extraordinary events I experienced then. They were: the fantastic show of Vance Kelly & The Backstreet Band at the Taste Of Chicago Festival in Grant Park; my first visit at the Blue Chicago Club where I saw John Primer with Pat Scott, and a Sunday morning walk through the legendary Maxwell Street that was soon to disappear. I returned to Chicago many more times, mostly to go to the Blues Fest, but I also remember well numerous other places connected where I encountered unforgettable music: Starlite Lounge, Lee’s Unleaded, Artis’s Lounge, Bossman Blues Center, Guess Who Water Hole, Highway 290 Sport And Juice Bar, Checkerboard Lounge at 43rd Street, Rosa’s Lounge, Mr Lee’s Pub, Katie’s Village Lounge, Wallace’s Catfish Corner, T-Zer’s Club, blues brunches at the Delmark Store or a jam session in Elmore James Junior’s garage. Chicago is one of my favorite places in the world. Going back to Chicago never gets old!
Andrzej Matysik Founder & Editor of „Twój Blues” Magazine (Poland) www.twojblues.com
June 8, 2021
Letter from the editor- My name is Paul Natkin. I have been a professional photographer for about 40 years in Chicago. I started out as a sports photographer, working with my father as the team photographer for the Chicago Bulls. But I always had an interest in music, especially Blues and folk. Growing up in my house, the radio was always tuned to WFMT, Chicago’s classical station- EXCEPT for 3 hours or so starting at 10:30 on Saturday night, and rebroadcast at 1PM on Wednesday afternoon. The show was called the Midnight Special, named after a Big Bill Broonzy song of the same name. It was a wonderous show of folk music, with a little bit of blues mixed in. Soon blues became a bigger part of it, as the Newport Folk Festival started bringing in more blues programming. As I listened to this great music, I realized that I had to meet and photograph these artists! The first concert I ever shot was by an barely know blues slide guitar player named Bonnie Raitt.(1976) After that I was hooked. I started bringing my camera to blues clubs and concerts, meeting managers and agents, who introduced me to record companies, and I was soon photographing my heros!! Two people helped me along this path, more than any one else:
- Scott Cameron- a manager in town who managed Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon and later Buddy Guy. He liked my work and started inviting me to Muddy shows.
- Bruce Iglauer, owner of Alligator Records- I cold called him one day and he agreed to see me. He liked my work also, and soon I was shooting album covers for him
I soon became very interested in the history aspect, through many conversations with Buddy Guy, one of the great storytellers of all time. I met him by accident while working with the rock band Journey, and we became friends. There were many priceless nights before his shows, where we sat around and talked about everything from politics to how to cook a squirrel. He told me about his arrival in Chicago from Louisiana, when after driving a tow truck during the day, he would grab his guitar, get on the bus and go to any number of blues clubs on the south side and ask to sit in for a few songs. Then he would walk to the next club and repeat. One night he met Muddy Waters outside the 708 Club and Muddy told him he would give him enough money to buy a sandwich if he got up and played. Soon established artists, most notably Otis Rush, were asking him up and a legend was soon built,
As I heard these stories, I started wondering where all of these clubs had gone. The answer seems to be that the music started to be marketed to a white, north side audience who weren’t prepared to go to the south side to hear the music that they loved. My hope with this website is to shine a light on the history of blues in Chicago, and also shine a light on the present and the future. If you are reading this and love the blues, this space is open to you to write a blog post about your experiences in the blues, or a news post about an upcoming recording or show that you are involved with. Just send it to me. PAUL@NATKIN.NET And I will post it.