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Chicago Blues Guide Launches New Website

New Contest: Win prizes from Alligator Records!

L to R: Linda Cain, Jennifer Noble, Jennifer Littleton (manager, B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted) are photobombed by Alligator artist Toronzo Cannon at FitzGerald's, Summer 2020.

DATELINE: January 1, 2021

Chicago Blues Guide is proud to present the new, improved 2021 version of the complete guide to Chicago’s blues scene.

Designed by multi-talented graphic artist and blues musician Kate Moss (Moonshine Design), CBG’s pages are far more stunning and contemporary looking, with new branding and user-friendly format.

The original Chicago Blues Guide website will be preserved as an archive to document Chicago blues from 2008-2020. You can view it at

To help us celebrate our launch, Alligator Records has put together a prize package for CBG’s new contest/giveaway. One lucky winner will receive four CDs, plus a copy of Bruce Iglauer’s fascinating autobiography Bitten By The Blues.

Tinsley Ellis: Ice Cream in Hell

Roomful of Blues: In A Roomful of Blues

Shemekia Copeland: Uncivil War

Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite: 100 Years of Blues

Bitten by the Blues: The Alligator Records Story by Bruce Iglauer and Patrick A. Roberts

Chicago Blues Guide was launched on May 1, 2008 (which also happens to be Little Walter’s birthday) by Founder/Managing Editor Linda Cain. Linda had served as the publicist for Blue Chicago and other clubs for over 20 years. She also wrote for and edited countless music magazines, which she saw go out of business due to rising printing costs. She realized that online publishing would be the wave of the future.

Flashback to 2008 when we still used flip phones and the only social media was Myspace. The entire country was in a recession while Chicago conventions and tourism were way down. Chicago blues clubs and bands had almost no online presence and business was slow.

Linda Cain decided to create Chicago Blues Guide during this time in order to support our unique blues scene and reach out to fans the world over, providing them with a complete guide to Chicago’s current blues scene. The Guide section includes listings for clubs, bands, radio shows and record labels, along with a weekly HOT shows events calendar and more.

Linda reached out to fellow blues lover and photographer Jennifer Noble, who provided her with the photos to create CBG’s original Blues Magic logo, designed by Chicago drummer Dave Ambrose. Jennifer also introduced Linda to many talented writers, photographers and musicians who offered to lend their talents to create a high quality online Chicago blues resource and webzine with news, features, interviews, CD reviews, live shows reviews and stunning photography. Jennifer serves as CBG’s director of photography.

CBG’s mission statement:

Our goal is to promote and preserve Chicago’s blues music and culture in all of its forms, from traditional to contemporary blues, soul and R&B.

We strive to unite Chicago’s blues community and to connect with blues fans all over the world who share our enthusiasm for the city’s great blues music and heritage. We also hope to inspire a younger listening audience for the next generation who will enjoy and carry on this worthy musical tradition that is, indeed, the root of nearly every form of music that is popular today.

As the late, great Muddy Waters once said, “The blues had a baby, and they named the baby rock and roll.”

Chicago Blues Guide launched on May 1, 2008. Shortly thereafter, Editor Linda Cain started to hear from photographers and writers from around the country and Canada who wished to contribute their work. Now that Chicago blues had an online presence, CBG started getting readers from all over the world, from Tahiti to Hungary, proving once again that Chicago is still the World Capitol of the Blues!

The New York Times included a quote from Chicago Blues Guide in an article about the late Matt “Guitar” Murphy, of Blues Brothers fame, thus recognizing CBG’s status as an authoritative resource for blues music.

In 2014 Chicago Blues Guide was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame, while Linda and Jennifer were inducted for their individual contributions and talents. That same year, Linda received the Chicago Women in Blues Award of Distinction.

Since then, Linda and Jennifer have gone on to contribute their talents to supporting music in other ways as well.

Linda Cain

Linda Cain has been serving on the Cultural Commission for the Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg since 2005. In 2019, she was appointed to chair the committee. Ms. Cain has programmed, promoted and co-produced special blues shows at the Prairie Center including: Alligator Records All-Star Blues Revue (Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, Toronzo Cannon, Cash Box Kings), Alligator Records 50th Anniversary Blues Revue (Billy Branch & Sons of the Blues, Nick Moss Band, Toronzo Cannon), Delmark Records 70th Anniversary Blues Revue (Dave Specter Band w/ Jimmy Burns, Mike Wheeler Band w/ Demetria Taylor, Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames w/ Pierre Lacocque) and Muddy Waters 110th Birthday Celebration (Mud Morganfield, John Primer).

A graduate of Northwestern University’s journalism school in Evanston, IL, she is a long time music journalist who has contributed to major local and national publications. She has served as editor for many magazines and has interviewed a variety of musicians including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Gatemouth Brown, Stephane Grappelli, Gordon Lightfoot, and The Eagles, as well as Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks and many other Chicago blues artists.

She also worked as a publicist for several music venues, including Blue Chicago, and has written liner notes for blues CDs. She also volunteered as a publicist and event planner for the Chicago Peace Museum.

Her booking agency, Cain’s Music Connection, has provided bands to entertain for corporate events with clients like Google and Facebook.

In 2014, she was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame and was awarded the Chicago Women in Blues Award of Distinction. In 2018, she was invited to serve on the Chicago Blues Fest programming committee.

Linda is a drummer and has played with internationally known, Grammy-nominated blues luminaries.

Jennifer Noble

Jennifer first discovered the blues in her hometown of Westmont when the legendary Muddy Waters sat down on stage with only a guitar and an amp to perform for a community summer festival. During his final years, Muddy resided with his family in Westmont. From that day forward, Jennifer became a passionate fan of the blues, attending every show she possibly could on a weekly basis.

Eventually she started bringing her camera along to document Chicago’s blues scene. Jennifer created a comprehensive collection of blues artists from all over the world, especially once she moved to London. Jennifer and her husband Glenn have been covering European blues festivals, along with the European Blues Cruise, for Chicago Blues Guide for years.

Jennifer also hosted several blues shows over internet, using her DJ handle, Jukin’ Jenn’s Bucket of Blues. She volunteers as a docent at the Eel Pie Museum, which documents and displays British blues and rock history.

Jennifer’s photos have appeared on CD and DVD covers, most notably for Delmark Records, and in countless blues publications. In 2014, she was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame.

In 2019, Jennifer’s hardcover book 50 Women in The Blues debuted to critical acclaim; it stands as the crowning achievement for her years of dedication and hard work.



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