Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Ann Rabson RIP April 12, 1945 – January 30, 2013. We’re saddened to report the passing of Ann Rabson, a friend and motherly figure to the entire blues community. She was known as a blues singer, pianist and guitarist and founding member of Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women.  Ann recently colloborated with Muddy Waters alumni Bob Margolin on a recording of duets titled Not Alone. It has been nominated for a Blues Music Award as Acoustic Album of the Year. She is has also been recognized for her first solo album for Alligator Records Music Makin’ Mama. She will be remembered fondly for personifying a woman’s perspective of the blues, and her warm smile and universal kindness. For more information about the wonderful life of Ann Rabson click here.
  • International Blues Competition going on now in Memphis! As you read this, the Blues Fountation’s International BluesCompetition (or IBCs) is in full swing in Memphis, Tennesse. Hundreds of bands, industry folks and blues fans come together for this week of blues celebration that started Tuesday January 28, and will end Saturday February 2. Prior to this event, blues societies from all over the world have run regional contests and from each a winner advances to the IBCs! It is an exciting time as you see the many talented artists give heartfelt performances, hoping to advance their blues careers. On top of that, blues fans and industry people gather for what is secondarily a musical convention of sorts. Along with that week is the presentation ceremony for the Keeping The Blues Alive Awards (or KBA’s) which happens this year at a Friday afternoon brunch, and will formally honor some amazing people who have devoted their lives to advancing the cause of the blues. Add to that, numerous showcases, and nightly jams, and you have a fun filled program of blues activity. Bob Corritore will arrive on Wednesday night and will will participate in the VizzTone Showcase on Friday after hours at the Rum Boogie hosted by Gina Sicilia and Dave Gross with an impressive list of guest performances. To see the poster for theVizzTone Showcase click here. To read more about the IBCs click here. To read more about the KBA’s click here.
  • Historic Chicago residence of Muddy Waters in danger of being torn down. Chicago Blues father Muddy Waters held a famous residence on Chicago’s South Side at 4339 S. Lake Park Drive form 1954 until he moved to the suburb ofWestmont two decades later. This was truly a home of the blues as a number of his band members such as Otis Spann,James Cotton and Paul Oscher found a home in the basement. One can only imagine some of the glorious gatherings at that house in the heyday of Chicago blues! Now it seems that this building is in danger of being torn down when it should berenovated and made into a national monument. We pray that someone will start a petition or a movement to stop such an atrocity. To read an eye-opening article on this subject by Heather Gillers, click here.
  • John Primer & Bob Corritore to release collaboration on Delta Groove Records! The Delta Groove record label has anApril 16th release date for John Primer & Bob Corritore / Knockin’ Around These Blues. This collaborative effort will provide a program of deep Chicago blues from two artists steeped in that tradition. Produced by Bob Corritore, this CD includes an all star cast of players; Barrelhouse ChuckChris James & Patrick RynnBob StrogerKenny SmithBilly Flynn and Brian Fahey. Look for program of hard-hitting Chicago blues on this CD!
  • RIP Chicago Bob Nelson – July 4, 1944 to January 17, 2013 Louisiana Born, Atlanta based Chicago Bob Nelson was a masterful harmonica player and vocalist who merged his Louisiana roots with his love of Chicago Blues. He was 69. The following information is quoted from Reverend Keith A. Gorden‘s blog at;

Nelson would play anywhere and with anybody during this time, gigging with well-known bluesmen like Howlin’ WolfBuddy GuyEarl Hooker, and Muddy Waters, his sound a unique mix of Southern blues, zydeco rhythms, and urban Chicago blues. It was Waters that gave him his “Chicago Bob” nickname after saying that he saw the young harp player “all over Chicago.” Nelson would later tour extensively with Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson and John Lee Hooker. Nelson formed the Heart Fixers with guitarist Tinsley Ellis in 1981, recording two albums with the band – 1981’s The Heart Fixers and 1983’sLive At The Moon Shadow – the latter for the Landslide Records label.

  • Sometime during the early 1980s, Nelson relocated to Atlanta, where he would become part of the regional blues scene, performing at the Atlanta blues club Blind Willie’s when he wasn’t touring the Southeast United States or Europe. Poor health eventually sidelined the talented harp player, although he continued to perform locally. Nelson recorded sporadically throughout his career, and is perhaps best known for two albums recorded during the 1990s for King Snake Records, 1992’sHit and Run Lover and 1996’s Back to Bogalusa. During the latter part of his life, Nelson hooked up with the folks at theMusic Maker Relief Foundation, which released his final album, Tell Me Mama, a collection of acoustic blues that displayed a different facet to the Chicago bluesman’s talents, in 2009. Our thoughts go out to Nelson’s family, friends, and many fans around the world.
  • Eddie C. Campbell suffers stroke and heart attack. Sad news about our dear friend Eddie C. Campbell from our friendDick Shurman: “Send your kind thoughts and prayers to Chicago bluesman Eddie C. Campbell, who suffered a stroke and heart attack in Germany last weekend. He’s improving, but it’s going to be a hard road back. His wife Barbara is doing a good job from afar of staying on top of things but any support, if only in thought, is appreciated.”
  • Unreleased Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup 1969 session forthcoming on Delmark! How grand that Delmark Records has announced the late February issue of a previously unreleased 1969 studio session from the legendary Arthur “Big Boy”Crudup. The CD is titled “Sunny Road” and features backing from Jimmy Dawkins and the late Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. This much anticipated session also has Crudup’s guitar amped through the rotating Leslie speaker, Ala Buddy Guy on “Hoodoo Man Blues”! Very exciting!
  • Eddie Taylor photos needed! We are compiling a photo page honoring the late Chicago blues guitar master Eddie Taylorwho sound helped to define the music of Jimmy ReedJohn Lee Hooker and Chicago blues in general. Eddie Taylor‘sbeautiful guitar work masterfully transitioned his deep Mississippi country blues upbringing into a vibrant, electric, city sound. If you have any photos, handbill’s, or posters relating to this subject and would be willing to share them with the world please send to We look forward to presenting this photo page soon!
  • Amos Milburn, Cab Calloway and Big Joe Turner on YouTube! Please enjoy this classic footage of a 1954 variety show featuring three fantastic rhythm & blues vocalists; Amos MilburnCab Calloway and Big Joe Turner. To see this clip, clickhere.


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