Your Complete Guide to the Chicago Blues Scene

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Blues on the Fox 2017
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Chicago Blues Guide HOT shows
John NemethApril 29: John Nemeth at Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago

CLICK for more HOT shows this week and beyond
coco montoyaSpring 2017 Contest

Win CDs from Alligator Records by Coco Montoya, Shemekia Copeland, plus Alligator's 45th Anniversary Collection and more


Art of the Blues book cover smallFEATURE: The Art of the Blues

The Art of The Blues:
A Visual Treasury of Black Music's Golden Age by Bill Dahl is a lavish, stunning book that truly lives up to its title and then some. Read our review.
Lonnie BrooksNEWS: Lonnie Brooks dies at age 83
RIP: Dec. 18, 1933 - April 1, 2017

We at CBG send our sincerest condolences to the Baker family.

(photo: Jennifer Noble)

Read our:
Interview with Lonnie

Review of his 80th Birthday Concert
National Blues Museum neon signFEATURE: National Blues Museum in St. Louis Gives Chicago a "Blues" Print for Success

A trip to St. Louis' year-old blues museum provides a lesson in how Chicago can live up to its title as the "home of the blues."
William BellEVENTS: Chicago Blues Fest 2017 moves to Milliennium Park
June 9-11
Here is the complete lineup, plus a map of Millennium Park

photo: William Bell
Corky Siegel by Jenn NobelFEATURE: Corky Siegel Interview

Harp virtuoso features familiar friends on new Chamber Blues CD.

photo: Jennifer Noble
Ronnie Baker Brooks by Howard GreenblattFEATURE: Ronnie Baker Brooks: The Interview

Greg Easterling caught up with the busy Chicago blues star, who had just stepped off the Blues Cruise in time to celebrate his birthday and his new CD, his first in 10 years!

What took Ronnie so long? Read the story to find out.
Toronzo CannonLIVE REVIEW: Toronzo Cannon at Buddy Guy's Legends, w/ opener Jimmy Nick

This rising blues star closed out the year with a hometown set that showed why he is becoming an international favorite who can name Buddy Guy among his fans.
Maurice John Vaughn by Jenn NobleLIVE REVIEW: 2016 Frederikshavn Blues Festival, Denmark
Now in its 11th year, this major international blues fest, known as Blues Heaven, easily earns that title with acts like Ruthie Foster, Corey Harris, Robben Ford, The Original Chicago Blues All Stars w/Holle Thee Maxwell, Roy Rogers & more.
Joanna ConnorFEATURE: Interview with Joanna Connor

Chicago's guitar goddess has played around the world, recorded for multiple labels and backed everyone from Jimmy Page to Buddy Guy. Still she remains under the radar. But a viral video and new CD shine a light on this remarkable artist.
Charlie Love on guitarLIVE REVIEW:
Chicago Blues Party w/ Jeff Stone, Charlie Love
(photo), Tomiko Dixon & guests at Penny Road Pub

Since he moved back to Chicago, ace harp blower Stone has been bringing South Side blues to the 'burbs. Maurice John Vaughn & Demetria Taylor joined the party, too.
Henry Gray headshotFEATURE: Interview with Henry Gray

At age 91, the piano legend is a true blues survivor who continues to defy the odds and thrive

Delmark 55th DVDREVIEWS:

CDs: Mississippi Heat, Sharon Lewis, Ronnie Baker Brooks, James Cotton, Mud Morganfield, Dave Specter, Dave Weld, Charlie Musselwhite, Nick Moss Band, Cash Box Kings, Buddy Guy & more.

DVDs: Honeyboy Edwards, Muddy Waters, JJ Grey & Mofro, Tail Dragger, Delmark's 55th Anniversary, Maxwell Street, Son Seals, Jimmy Burns & more.

LIVE BLUES:  Stevie Wonder, Etta James, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Pinetop Perkins, Joss Stone, Ryan Shaw, Mavis Staples, Booker T & the MGs, John Nemeth, more.

Willie DixonLIVE REVIEW: Big Head Blues Club w/ Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Erica Brown presents: The Songs of Willie Dixon, Nov. 2, 2016, Arcada Theater

What's a blues lover to do when the Cubs are playing Game 7 of the World Series at  the same time as one of the best shows of the year? Check out our review for the answer.
Magic Dick & Shun NgFEATURE: Magic Dick & Shun Ng Interview

J. Geils harp master Magic Dick teams with young guitar whiz Shun Ng for new CD and tour into new musical territory.
Matthew Skoller small picFEATURE: Matthew Skoller Interview

Blues harp master Skoller's new CD, Blues Immigrant tell modern epic blues tales and more.
Mike Wheeler small photoLIVE REVIEW: Mike Wheeler Band at FitzGerald's

The hardest working blues man in Chicago and his killer band pulled out all the stops, with help from special guests, for "Bluesday Tuesday" in Berwyn.
LIVE REVIEW: European Blues Cruise 2016
European Blues Cruise
Set sail for a trip around the Mediterranean with Billy Branch & Sons of the Blues, Carlos Johnson, Stacy Brooks, Mitch Woods, Bill "Howl-N-Mad" Perry & Shy Perry and more. Won't you let us take you on a sea cruise?
Holle Thee Maxwell small photoLIVE REVIEW:
Holle Thee Maxwell & The Original Chicago Blues All-Stars at Motor Row Brewing

It's always cause for celebration when a new venue books authentic blues acts, especially when they are a part of music history.
John Mayall by JennFEATURE: Interview with John Mayall

At nearly age 83, the "Godfather" of British blues shows no sign of slowing down, while keeping up a hectic pace of touring and recording.
Guy King at SPACE by Jenn NobleFEATURE: Interview with Guy King

Blues star on the rise: from the Holy Land to Blues Capitol Chicago, King comes full circle.

photo: Jennifer Noble
Derek TrucksLIVE REVIEW:
Blues on the Fox 2016

The Aurora blues festival celebrated its 20th anniversary in style with no rain-outs and a stellar lineup: Robert Cray, Marcia Ball, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, Larry McCray & Leland.

photo: Jennifer Noble
Otis Rush grabs mic at Chicago Blues Fest 2016LIVE REVIEW: Chicago Blues Festival 2016: Tribute To Otis Rush, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater

photo: by Jennifer Noble
Otis Rush cowboy hatFEATURE: So Many Roads

George Kalamaras pays poetic homage to living blues legend Otis Rush
Heart photo by Roman SobusLIVE REVIEW: Heart with Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers at Genesee Theater

The royal ladies of classic rock sounded and looked timeless for a night of women power. Openers Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers with Sweet Pea Atkinson turned in a powerful set and made many new fans.
Nick Moss Band CD artFEATURE: Nick Moss Band to release new double CD

CBG takes you behind-the-scenes for a sneak preview/CD review of the Nick Moss Band's new concept album, From the Root to the Fruit, that pays homage to the band's blues roots while taking the blues into modern realms; a splendid musical journey that rates 5 STARS.
The RidesFEATURE: Interview with Barry Goldberg

About to embark on a new tour with his bandmates in The Rides--Stephen Stills and Kenny Wayne Shepherd-- Goldberg keeps Chicago and the blues close to his heart.
Jorma Kaukonen smallFEATURE: Interview with Jorma Kaukonen

The venerable folk-blues-roots guitarist discusses his new CD, Rev. Gary Davis, John Lee Hooker, Fur Peace Ranch and Hot Tuna. He pays homage to his recently departed bandmates from Jefferson Airplane, Paul Kantner & Signe Anderson.
Otis Clay by Jenn NobleNEWS: Otis Clay dies at age 73

Chicago soul, blues, R&B, gospel singer suffered a heart attack on Jan. 8, 2016.
R.I.P. Otis Clay; you will be greatly missed.

To see Dave Specter's video interview with Otis in 2013: click HERE
photo: Jennifer Noble
Webb WilderFEATURE: Interview with Webb Wilder

Eccentric roots rocker, known for songs like "Human Cannonball," pays homage to his home state with new CD and a local show.
Dave Weld by JennFEATURE: Interview with Dave Weld

A true blues survivor, who has done it all and seen it all, Dave Weld and his band The Imperial Flames are back with a sophomore CD for Delmark Records. Weld has paid his blues dues and lived to tell us about it.
Shemekia Copeland by JennFEATURE: Interview with Shemekia Copeland

Blues star Shemekia Copeland returns to home base with a new CD on Alligator that captures her artistic maturity and social conscience.

photo: Jennifer Noble
Toronzo Cannon by JennFEATURE: Interview with Toronzo Cannon

This rising star just signed with Alligator, plays all over the world and drives a CTA bus. How does talented Toronzo manage his seemingly double life?

photo: Jennifer Noble
Mavis StaplesLIVE REVIEW: Blues on the Fox 2015

Mavis Staples, North Mississippi Allstars, Otis Taylor, Royal Southern Brotherhood & more.

photo: Jennifer Noble
Lazer LloydFEATURE: Interview with Lazer Lloyd

Israel's Lazer Lloyd is not your usual blues-rock guitarist. He had many career choices in the U.S. but ended up "Rockin' in the Holy Land" and beyond to spread hope around the world. He will perform at Buddy Guy's Legends on Nov. 4.
Otis on guitarFEATURE: Interview with Shuggie Otis

Musical prodigy and the son of late legend Johnny Otis, Shuggie's early music influenced the likes of Prince and Lenny Kravitz. Always ahead of his time, the multi-talented artist has been rediscovered and is hitting the comeback trail. He will perform at City Winery on July 17.
NEWS: R.I.P. Riley B. King:
Sept. 16, 1925 - May 14, 2015

B.B. King & Peter Frampton
Blues fans around the world mourn the passing of the King of the Blues.
Photo: Dianne Bruce Dunklau captured a tender moment with B.B. King holding Peter Frampton's hand at RiverEdge Park, Aurora in 2013 for Frampton's Guitar Circus Concert.
Devon Allman by Roman Sobus smallFEATURE: Interview with Devon Allman

Although his tenure with Royal Southern Brotherhood winds down after four years, Allman has plenty in store as he returns to his solo career. His new CD, Ragged & Dirty, displays his "love affair" with Chicago and the blues.
Mavis Staples wails by JennLIVE REVIEW: I'll Take You There: Celebrating 75 Years of Mavis Staples

A star-studded cast from many musical camps descended upon Chicago to pay homage to one very special lady.
Jarekus SingletonLIVE REVIEW:
Jarekus Singleton at SPACE

What makes this rising young star so special that Alligator Records snatched him up? Roving reporter Liz Mandeville scoped out this uniquely talented artist to find the answer.
Blues in Modern Days book coverFEATURE: Book Review/ Blues in Modern Days: 31 Artists in Their Own Words

Authors Terry Mullins & Bob Kieser have interviewed and photographed dozens of today's living blues artists from all corners of the U.S. Here are 31 of them "in their own words."
Johnny Winter B&W horizontalFEATURE: Winter in July

Indiana's poet laureate George Kalamaras pays tribute to the late Johnny Winter. Exclusive photos!
Nick Moss & Michael LedbetterLIVE REVIEW -- Nick Moss Band, Kevin Purcell & The Nightburners

What do you get when two great hometown blues bands are jammin' on the same stage on the same night?  Blues on the Prairie Concert proved to be a family style night of soul satisfyin' music and more.
Charlie Love by JennFEATURE: Inside the Blues with Liz Mandeville

Charlie Love heads to Durban, South Africa as Blues Ambassador.
Charlie recalls his long journey from Chicago's South Side to this premiere international blues festival.
Selwyn Birchwood smallFEATURE: Interview with Selwyn Birchwood

It's no wonder this rising young blues star never stops smiling; his career is on a roll and for good reason.
Dave Specter verticleFEATURE: Interview with Dave Specter

Specter spent his youth learning and performing with blues legends. His new Delmark CD features one of them, Otis Clay. "Spec" recalls the lessons he learned from teachers Hubert Sumlin, Sam Lay and more.
Tom MarkerFEATURE: Interview with Tom Marker

WXRT DJ and Blues Breakers host has been keeping the blues alive since 1984. Tom explains how the blues bug first bit him and recalls legends he's met over the years.
Bobby Rush kicksFEATURE: Interview with Bobby Rush

The ever youthful soul-blues legend tells the truth about his life in show biz along with tall tales about preachin', sellin' cotton, playin' the chit'lin' circuit, Chicken Heads, other heads, shady record deals and the list goes on...
Bobby Rush small photoFEATURE: Bobby Rush's Grammy nod: A victory for The Blues

Muddy Waters tunesmith Terry Abrahamson celebrates Bobby's Grammy nomination with a nostalgic remembrance of "Chicken Heads". PART 1

Delmark 55th DVDREVIEWS:

CDs: Junior Wells, James Cotton, Mud Morganfield, Dave Specter, Dave Weld, Charlie Musselwhite, Holmes Bros., Nick Moss, Cash Box Kings, Big James, Buddy Guy, Magic Slim & more.

DVDs: JJ Grey & Mofro, Tail Dragger, Delmark's 55th Anniversary, Maxwell Street, Son Seals, Jimmy Burns & more.

LIVE BLUES:  Stevie Wonder, Etta James, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Pinetop Perkins, Joss Stone, Ryan Shaw, Mavis Staples, Booker T & the MGs, John Nemeth, more.

Chicago Slim wails guitar smallFEATURE: The Blues Doctor is in! Good guys wear black.

Dr. Dan Ivankovich, a.k.a. Chicago Slim, mends bones in the city's poorest 'hoods by day and plays the blues at night.
Mud Morganfield by JennFEATURE: Interview with Big Bill Morganfield

Blues is in the blood of this multi-talented award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist who happens to be the son of Muddy Waters.
Donald KinseyFEATURE: Interview with Donald Kinsey

From Gary to Jamaica and back, musician Donald Kinsey keeps the music moving forward. The celebrated artist talks about his family band, Big Daddy, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Albert King and more.
Joanne Shaw Taylor live shotFEATURE: Interview with Joanne Shaw Taylor

British blues-rock artist Joanne Shaw Taylor is currently touring as part of Ruf Records Blues Caravan Tour.

The multi-talented young lady talks about her dream career so far, with more to come.
Liz Mandeville with frattoireFEATURE: Interview with Liz Mandeville

Renaissance woman Liz Mandeville was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2013. A year, prior she started her own record label and began a new path in her career as a blues singer, songwriter, guitarist, record label owner, author, speaker and painter.
Pierre LacocqueFEATURE: Interview with Mississippi Heat's Pierre Lacocque

Miss. Heat founder and harp player Lacocque isn't your typical blues man. He's lived all over the world, but never felt at home until he discovered the blues in Chicago. The band celebrates its 20th anniversary with a new CD on Delmark, and sets at Blues Fest 2013 and Delmark's annual Blues Brunch.
Buddy & Hopkins comic headshot FEATURE: Welcome Buddy and Hopkins!

The further misadventures of Buddy and  Hopkins are featured regularly on our website, thanks to talented artist Jason Nocera. Click on the photo to find out what kind of trouble they get into this month.
Magic Slim old photoLIVE REVIEW: A Night For Magic -- A Tribute to Magic Slim

It was a magical night at the Mayne Stage for one of the finest blues all-star lineups in recent memory, all playing to honor the late Morris "Magic Slim" Holt.
Alvin Lee smallFEATURE: Poetry by George Kalamaras

Our resident blues poet  pays homage to the recently departed guitar great Alvin Lee
Belly of the Blues book cover
FEATURE: Book Review
Terry Abrahamson's In the Belly of the Blues

 The author's life changing musical journey into “The Belly of The Blues” is chronicled through his iconic B&W photos and his written memoirs in this very enjoyable hardback.
J.B. RitchieFEATURE: Interview with J.B. Ritchie

 J.B. Ritchie has been playing the blues for nearly five decades. His wild ride of a life story would make a great screenplay.

Lonnie Brooks small FEATURE: Interview with Lonnie Brooks

 Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010, Lonnie Brooks is an international blues star. In Part 1 of a lengthy interview, he reminisces about his childhood in Louisiana and details a recent  recording session with his sons Ronnie and Wayne in Nashville.
Big Llou Johnson FEATURE: Interview with Big Llou Johnson

 "Bringing sexy back to the blues"

 The voice of B.B. King's Bluesville radio network releases his debut blues CD.
Momo Mama Blue Chicago
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Book a blues band & more with Cain's Music Connection
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Hambone's Blues Party on WDCB 90.9 FM
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