[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Little Walter[/lastfm], the undisputed King of the Blues Harp, the top blues harmonica player in the history of the blues, ever. He was there at the beginning of the post World War II blues explosion in Chicago, amplifying his blues harp and taking it places it had never been before. He was a major part of the legendary blues band of Muddy Waters of the fifties. From Maxwell Street to the very top of the R&B charts in the early 50′s with his hit, solo record, “Juke.” He was born on May 1, 1930, in Marksville, Louisiana and this Monday we celebrate the anniversary of his birth with the Artist of the Week tribute on Blues Breakers. More importantly to this post, Chicago’s top current blues harp player, Billy Branch will pay tribute to Little Walter this weekend in a 93XRT Show.
Sunday evening, beginning on the early side, 6:30, Old Town School presents Little Walter’s Birthday featuring Billy Branch and the Sons of the Blues. This is part one of a new series, “Chicago Blues: An Urban Experience (Curated by Barry Dolins.)” There are plenty of occasions to hear blues in Chicago in a night club setting, in fact two more chances to hear Billy Branch live just in the coming week, but a show at The Old Town School is different.The intimate theater setting allows a different listening experience. The crowd is quieter, listening more closely, and appreciating the music more intently. Don’t get me wrong, a blues bar is one of my favorite places to be, but at Old Town there are no tourists, no casual listeners, no waitresses/waiters (though there is a fine selection of beers available) and, simply very few distractions.
If you looking to go out on Saturday night, Billy Branch and the Sons Of the Blues (SOBs) will be at Buddy Guy’s Legends. Billy and the SOBs play every Monday that they’re in town at Artis’, and Billy and his band return to Legends on Little Walter’s actual birthday, Tuesday, May 1st, with two other exceptional Chicago blues harp players, Matthew Skoller and Harmonica Hinds in another Little Walter tribute performance. .
Go out and see some live blues this weekend!