We had some cool new records to play on Blues Breakers tonight, and some Chicago Blues news.
Tom Marker’s Blues Breakers
Artist of the Week: Charlie Musselwhite
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CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE – THE WELL From Charlie’s record, The Well, released in 2010.
B.B. KING – YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU Get well, B.B.
CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE – THE BLUES OVERTOOK ME From the 2002 record, One Night In America. Mostly that’s G.E. Smith on guitar, but Robben Ford takes the solo.
STEVE EARLE AND THE DUKES – KING OF THE BLUES From Steve’s new record, Terraplane. Cover art by Tony Fitzpatrick. I love the opening line: “The day I was born the moon crossed the sun, Mama cried sweet Jesus what have I done.”
BUDDY GUY – 74 YEARS YOUNG – Buddy was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy’s last night. Buddy Guy will be at the Rialto Square Theater in Joliet on Saturday, March 21. If you buy tickets online be careful, Buddy is also playing a place called the Rialto in Arizona.
We are very proud of Buddy winning the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award last night. We are embarrassed for the Grammy’s stunningly bad decision to not have Buddy be a part of the show. He would have torn that stage up. People have just the opposite complaints about the Grammys as they do about the Oscars. The Oscars awards go to movies the critics love but often aren’t the most popular films. The Grammys tend to go too far the other way. They only award what’s popular, very popular. I don’t fault the Grammys for this, and they tend to nominate many good records for their awards. But the people who then vote for the nominees are far more likely fans of pop hit artists like Beyonce, Pharrell Williams and Taylor Swift then Dave and Phil Alvin and Bobby Rush. In fact, it’s likely that most Grammy voters have never even heard of most of the blues artists that are nominated. That’s all OK with me. I just consider other Blues awards to be more credible. And I usually avoid watching the Grammy telecast. Last night, instead, I went to see a live blues performance at an under the radar club with musicians who aren’t even in a named band. I had a great time and enjoyed some good blues at (Jimmy’s) Woodlawn Tap in Hyde Park. Included in the band was harp player Martin Lange who just so happens to have a new album out. It’s called, Chicago Harp Blues Sessions.
MARTIN LANGE – BABY, SCRATCH MY BACK From Chicago harp player Martin Lang’s new record, Chicago Harp Blues Sessions.
Today there was an ad in a Chicago paper congratulating Buddy Guy on his lifetime achievement award. The ad was placed by the Chicago Blues Experience. These are people behind a Blues museum in Chicago. This is a project that has been underway for quite awhile now and word about it is beginning to leak out. One of the rumors is that it will be at Navy Pier. While this is one of many places that this group has considered, nothing is final until it’s final, and we’re told that an announcement is not too far off. The best part of the news is that this group exists and is nearing a point when they will have an announcement to make. Until then you can visit their website at http://www.chicagobluesexperience.com/, and you can follow them on Twitter at @ChiBluesX.
In other news, there has been movement on Muddy Waters’ house. As you may know his one time home on S. Lake Park Avenue in Chicago is empty, boarded up and looks abandoned. It looks bad with a big red X painted on it and it’s in a state of deterioration. It has not, however fallen through the cracks. Not yet, anyway. The City of Chicago is aware of it’s plight and is hopeful. There may be news soon concerning a blues related future for the historic structure.
MUDDY WATERS – I’M A KING BEE Title track from the 1981 release.
POPS STAPLES – BETTER HOME From a brand new record, Don’t Lose This. Parts of this disc that will be released on February 17 were recorded in 1999, and parts were recently added by producer Jeff Tweedy with help from Mavis Staples.
CANDYE KANE with CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE – WHAT’S THAT I SMELL? This Big Bill Broonzy cover comes from Candye’s 2003 album, Whole Lotta Love.
CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE – GONE TOO LONG Charlie included this Billy Boy Arnold song is his set recorded live for his new Juke Joint Chapel album.
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* = new/current release
Next week we will feature the Blues and related music from New Orleans and South Louisiana in celebration of Lundi Gras and in anticipation of Mardi Gras the following day.