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  • Andre Williams free show at Milliennium Park May 30 Chicago
    as good but it doesn t have as much glue The hit songs nowadays don t hang around very long It doesn t give you a chance to really tour the songs out Before in the rhythm and blues days you could go two years and still be hot with the same song But now if you get a hit and don t jump right on it in six months you re almost like a brand new artist Q The songs from that time seem to have a lasting appeal There you go They were more wordy and the stories had more depth Now the stories are quick It s that quick knock out punch Q You wrote the song Shake A Tail Feather A lot of artists have covered the song including Ray Charles and Ike and Tina Turner Do you have a favorite cover I think I like Ike and Tina s the best Q What do you think they brought to it Energy Where Ray Charles brought more feeling to it It had pain in it But on Ike and Tina Turner s album it had the OK let s get it on feeling Q What was your inspiration in writing that song OK since you asked that question I knew there had to be a way to say Come on and shake your ass At that time there was a lot of censorship So I had to say Shake your tail and then I put the feather in it to clean it up Andre Williams go go girl photo Michael Kurgansky Q Yeah I like Ike and Tina s version because it makes you want to get up and dance Yes exactly And Ray Charles version makes you want to listen Q In 1998 you came out with the album Silky Some people called it the world s sleaziest album ever What do you think of that description Silky came out during a period in my life where I was doing everything wrong Whatever you could figure that was wrong Andre was doing it It wasn t hard to make Silky because I was in that sleazy way of life I was doing everything sick dirty unacceptable But sometimes that type of situation sells It wasn t because I was trying to figure out the market It was just that I was being Andre and I was in a real dirty stage in my life Q You made that album with members of garage punk bands Demolition Doll Rods and the Dirtbombs It seems like everyone wants to work with you from all these different genres of music Why do you think that is Well that s another good question I think it s because I try to bring something to the table that all musicians want to put in their medicine bag When you re traveling you want to make sure you ve got the aspirins or make sure you ve got the comb or

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/andre-williams-interview/andre-williams-interview-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • RONNIE BAKER BROOKS, interview with the son of blues legend Lonnie Brooks
    you ve got to almost leave it like it is We added a little more energy to it It was almost like an updated version of it photos Michael Kurgansky Q Do you see yourself as a bridge between audiences who grew up listening to your dad and your own audiences How do you see yourself You hit it right on the head I always try to be a bridge I latch on to what my dad Buddy Guy B B King Junior Wells Luther Allison all those guys what they laid down What I try to do is keep that authenticity in today s sound I try to stay true to the music and true to myself because I love that stuff too and I love what is going on today Hopefully I can be that bridge for the younger generation to come on over and listen and also get the approval of the older generation to come on over and listen to what the younger cats are doing Q Do you see people like Jonny Lang bringing younger people to the blues Yeah Jonny s done that Kenny Wayne Shepherd has done that along with Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks They ve all done that and are still doing it Their crowds getting older with them and my crowds get older with me But Jonny and them have gotten into the mainstream a little more than I have and of course they brought some of those young audiences into the blues And we need that And we also need the ones that are keeping it alive playing to the generation before me Q And of course we keep losing the great ones Pinetop Perkins recently passed away along with Lacy Gibson It s sad to hear all that but you know it s a part of life Buddy Guy has a song out now that says Everybody s Got To Go It s so true That dash in between when you were born and when you die is what you want people to remember Not the day you died not the day you were born but what you did while you were here Pinetop laid down some serious stuff for us to follow photo Michael Kurgansky That s why it s an honor to play on this record and showcase it on this record with people like James Cotton Buddy Guy Billy Branch Magic Slim all these great blues musicians Q This isn t the first time you ve rubbed shoulders with some living legends You were also on The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue CD with the likes of Magic Dick How was that experience That was cool It started out being the cruise the blues cruise We would jam on the boat sometimes until 5 or 6 a m Tommy Castro was smart enough to take that concept onto land It was a great idea and I wanted to be a part of it We recorded

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/ronnie-baker-brooks-2011/ronnie-baker-brooks-interview-2011-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Interview with Marcia Ball
    Yeah it was actually I just started writing The album s producer Gary Nicholson is a relentless writer He just loves to write We had written some songs together and he had listened to the songs that I had And before you know it we had a record full of material and then some Q How did the collaboration happen Well I ve known Gary for a long time We go on the Delbert McClinton Cruise together every year I love him as a songwriter He is inspiring and interesting and we just started talking about it We ve written together before too It just seemed right that we should do this Q What other goals did you have for the album The bottom line is that I m glad to get out there with a record full of material that we enjoyed playing and that people are apparently enjoying hearing That is gratifying photo Michael Kurgansky Q I understand that you view Roadside Attractions as a series of stories It s pretty autobiographical The songs might not be totally true but it could have happened like that That s what writing is It s just somebody s version of the truth So I guess the album is my version of the truth Q Would you say that it is your most personal album to date Well yes What concerns me is when you start talking about doing a biographical autobiographical personal sort of album how much and how long can you mine this same load of material I ve been talking about growing up in a small town in Louisiana for a long time The first record I wrote a lot of my songs on was Gatorhythms and it has some people s favorite songs like La Ti Da and The Power of Love You have to really come up with another way of saying some of this stuff I guess Or you have to write about a universal truth something that is larger than your neighborhood something about your neighborhood that is more universal And the great writers can do that You don t want to write the same story over and over again You want to draw people into your world Gatorhythms Gatorhythms is a blues album by Marcia Ball it was released in 1989 by Rounder Records Track listing All songs written by Marcia Ball except as noted How You Carry On 2 42 La Ti Da 3 42 And then there are the issues that we all deal with A song on the album called This Used To Be Paradise has its relation to the BP oil spill and beyond Q But Roadside Attractions ends on a hopeful note Do you think the album s last song The Party s Still Going On kind of summarizes where you are at these days with your career I guess so That s kind of true too You can look at me and say Lord how long has

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/marcia-ball/marcia-ball-interview-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Your Complete Guide to the Chica
    PHOTOS CONTACT FEATURES Black History Month 2011 Illustrated History of The Blues courtesy of artist Dan Bellini Visit his site Murals by Bellini Dan Bellini s Blues Mt Rushmore mural at the original Buddy Guy s Legends is known to blues fans from all over the world The beloved mural was carefully removed and is now in storage Hopefully it will find a place of honor in the new Legends

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/black-history-month/bellini-tampa-art-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  •  Louisiana Swamp Stomp, the benefit CD
    Buddy Flett Our own Windy City heroes a play a big part too drummer Kenny Beady Eyes Smith harp player singer Omar Coleman who performed with Kinsey Report John Primer and Chico Banks as well as legendary veteran bass player Bob Stroger and Billy Flynn on guitar Together our Chicago musicians perform Slim Harpo s Scratch My Back on the first track and Lightnin Hopkins Mojo Hand Louisiana blues musician Buddy Flett and his near deadly bout with encephalitis was the catalyst for the creation of Louisiana Swamp Stomp CD His miraculous recovery mirrors Louisiana s strength and ability to survive despite insurmountable odds such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill Inspired by these events and Flett s struggle Kenny Beedy Eyes Smith and harp player Omar Coleman reached out to Northern Louisiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Foundation board member and Honeybee label owner Dr Paul McCarthy and offered their time and talent to help with this project photo Connie Kenny Kenny Beady Eyes Smith son of Willie Big Eyes Smith a native Chicagoan co produced this CD along with Dr McCarthy This remarkable CD and the reason for its creation were intriguing Kenny was kind enough to grant a phone interview immediately after bringing home from the hospital his brand new daughter Mae Lily who was born on Monday January 31 st 2011 Below Kenny talks about the CD and the inspiration that created it Q Whose idea was it to create this CD to benefit the Northern Louisiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Foundation Kenny It was Paul McCarthy s idea He was the main start He got everyone together Paul and I were just talking and I got really excited about this and wanted to be on board right away My whole motivation for

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/louisiana-swamp-stomp/louisiana-swamp-stomp-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Interview with Eric Bibb
    very momentous This was the instrument that Booker had for years and used to made music that I listened to on records It was a guitar that B B King called the holy relic And then to actually play it was wonderful It is a great sounding instrument Acoustically it has a lot of volume and richness There s a lot of National Guitars from that time the early 1930s that look cool but don t necessarily sound great So this is really a rich sounding instrument and it thrilled me just the sound of it and knowing that it had been his companion for years There was a set list taped to the side in his handwriting Q Wow that s cool What songs were on the set list Fixin to Die Blues Aberdeen Mississippi were on there along with someother stuff that really wasn t that legible to me It s a really cool looking guitar He had it re chromed so it was pretty shiny and all that stuff But the neck and the wooden parts were pretty weathered Q I understand that you listened to his music growing up What do you appreciate about his music He was a different kind of player than I am First of all I don t play bottleneck and he was a really robust bottleneck player who got a lot of volume out of his guitar He would get really physical He had that slapping thing going on What inspired me most about Booker White was his total sincerity He was totally there when he performed He was very focused I got the sense that this wasn t just a guy who was entertaining people This was his holy grail He seemed very sincere and honest about what he was doing Q Did you feel like you were channeling Booker White when you were playing his guitar First of all I was wondering Why me I was just thinking why did it come to me I didn t think it was just a coincidence There was a reason behind this whole experience There was a reason why this man even told me he was in possession of it He liked my music a lot and he made some sort of connection between me and his friend Booker I felt chosen in a way without being too dramatic about it Booker s energy through his instrument had somehow been passed on to me photo Dianne Bruce Dunklau Q Did you get inspired by the guitar to write the songs for the album I did I really feel the whole experience kind of told me Man you re on the right track Trust your intuitions I think writing blues tunes in an old country blues type of format is really not the easiest thing in the world to do Simpler songs are harder It s essential you are truthful and that you are not being kind of a cartoon reflection of your

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/eric-bibb-interview/eric-bibb-interview-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound interview
    was first made It was just a really tumultuous time and I think the environment inspired that sound It s touching it s deep That s why people are still harkening to it I m trying to describe it without using the word soul But it is something that touches your soul Not that other things can t but it seems like a type of music that is designed to get in and do that Q Growing up what music did you listen to I ve listened to a lot of different stuff over the years My favorite band for the past 10 years has been Steely Dan Q Why s that Good songwriting Unexpected chord changes and great lyrics And it s also catchy I wouldn t trade my band for anything but I love how they recorded I would love to go through the archive of every studio performance of a Steely Dan song Q Some people might say you are obsessed Well I love the music I really do Beyond Steely Dan I like a lot of music from the 70s I really connect a lot to songwriters from then Q I guess that makes sense because your music does have a 70s vibe to it By ERIC SCHELKOPF Whether you call them indie soul or punk and funk Chicago band JC Brooks the Uptown Sound is one band that will definitely get you out on the dance floor The band www theuptownsound wordpress com has been getting attention for its fresh take on Wilco s song I Am Trying to Break Your Heart with more than 100 000 people checking out the video on YouTube JC Brooks the Uptown Sound will open for Fitz And The Tantrums on Feb 5 at the Metro 3730 N Clark St Chicago The show starts at 9 p m and tickets are 14 available at www metrochicago com I had the chance to talk to frontman JC Brooks about how the band got its start and its plans for the future Q You guys had a pretty busy year last year Are you looking forward to this year being busy as well I hope so We re releasing a new album and we re doing a show called Passing Strange It s a musical I haven t gotten to do a show in a while and it s a perfect opportunity for the band to still be able to work and make money while I get to do one of the things that I miss Q Do you see yourself being able to juggle acting with your band duties Absolutely The band is first right now Every entertainer nowadays seems to be a renaissance man and I would like to join their ranks Q You guys seem to be a good word of mouth band Do you think your live shows really sell the band I do And a lot of people said about our first album Beat of Our

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/uptown-sound-interview/uptown-sound-interview-page.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Interview with Mississippi Heat's Pierre Lacocque
    was listening to the quartet The harmonica player compared to me was much older He was probably in his 50s He looked like an older man playing and I couldn t believe he was using an amplifier to play harp The notes he played were so deep I had never heard notes like that and it changed my life The next day was a Sunday I went to the store to buy a harmonica because I couldn t contain myself but of course the stores were closed on Sundays in those days So I had to wait until Monday So then I went to buy a Hohner harmonica and spent hours and hours a day I mean hours every single day trying to re create that sound CBG Do you remember any one particular song from that first time you heard Big Walter PL Yes absolutely it was La Cucaracha and I couldn t believe it You know I found out over the years that Big Walter is very famous for that song and has recorded different versions of it over time One was with Buddy Guy It actually was one of his masterpieces to include La Cucaracha within the blues genre I love melodies That s one thing about the harmonica I like It s a statement and not just jamming around to show you can do a nice note here and there For me I wanted to make a statement I don t like to repeat myself and when I record for example I always try to view a different angle So anyway listening to him I couldn t believe the melody the melody of La Cucaracha I was floored CBG A little while later you ended up leaving Chicago to do some academic studying in Montréal And when you returned to Chicago from Montréal I understand you weren t involved with music I am wondering what kinds of things you were doing prior to getting smitten with the blues again PL Well that s interesting I came to America at age 16 or 16 and a half I was born in October of 1952 I basically went to high school for a year in 1969 at the University of Chicago Then I went to Montréal for six years to study in French I wanted to finish my European Baccalaureate I stayed in Montréal until 1976 and I studied Psychology I was playing all along playing in bands in Montréal as often as I could We would work on weekends for 15 or something like this I was very much into playing and I was in the Bachelors of Psychology program at the time Later I also went for a Masters in Counselling at McGill University of Montréal I did two degrees over there and then I hit bottom I had unfinished issues from my childhood I was not much of a verbal guy and I had a lot of emotion that came with playing music It was a lot of emotion that I had not yet mastered or understood first of all So I was what 18 19 or 20 and I had an identify crisis We were a Christian family We went to a Jewish school It s a long long story in my childhood We travelled a lot There was a lot of existential stuff that was overwhelming to me and the more I played the worse I felt I couldn t believe it because I thought I had found my task My father and grandfather were both highly intellectual and well educated PL I was raised that way too I just couldn t believe that the more I played the worse I got Then I experienced depression sadness and I hit bottom Then I made a decision I said you know what I need to get my head together and I got to stop playing music It was like a necessity that I had to stop because it was just sucking me into a void which is interesting because now it s exactly the opposite but at the time I had to stop So I went the psychology route and started reading like a maniac I read about philosophy psychoanalysis theology existentialism Judaism and so forth which were all extremely appealing to me PL I continued to have an attraction to the harp but I didn t have a passion for it for many years So I kept going with my studies I went all the way to receiving a Doctorate in Psychology and I became a Psychologist I was writing a lot and was being published a lot I thought that maybe that was my path a family tradition you know Then maybe 14 years later I hit another bottom It was another essential void where I felt I was getting old too fast with studying and the publishing I was married and I had two kids yet something was missing That was in the 80s I think it was the harmonica that called me back to music I don t know what happened It was like a divine gift Ever since then it has been an uplifting and powerful journey I have played in different bands until I formed my own in early 1991 when I founded Mississippi Heat My brother helped me with that and the rest is history CBG When you found the harp again for the second time as you are describing now was there a song that you heard that just drew you back to the harmonica again PL I think it was more of the cry of the harmonica that was very appealing to me and it was for some reason healing and therapeutic I had to catch up because I had lost track of all the masters for over 14 years One of them was Kim Wilson who I had never heard of It was an internal call really It is very hard to explain I

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/features/miss-heat-pierre-interview/miss-heat-interview-page.html (2016-02-15)
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