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Friday, 8 April 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 99 - Chicago Blues

The Blues, like many musical genres has many Sub-Divisions and each has their own distinctive characteristics, not that I could personally tell you all of them myself as I'm not as knowledgeable about these things as are others, though some are quite obvious.

The Sub-Divisions are:
    Acid blues
    African blues
    British blues
    Canadian blues
    Chicago blues
    Classic female blues
    Contemporary R&B
    Country blues
    Delta blues
    Detroit blues
    Dirty blues
    Electric blues
    Gospel blues
    Hill country blues
    Hokum blues
    Jazz blues
    Jump blues
    Kansas City blues
    Louisiana blues
    Memphis blues
    New Orleans blues
    Piano blues
    Piedmont blues
    Punk blues
    Rhythm and blues (R&B)
    Soul blues
    St. Louis blues
    Swamp blues
    Texas blues
    West Coast blues

From that list you can see how difficult it would be to grasp the eccentricities of each one!

I do apologize to any lovers of the blues for my simple take on these matters. Maybe I should go and spend some time with someone who knows what they are talking about! I wonder if Hugh Laurie is free!

Well-known Chicago blues players include singer/songwriters such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Earl Hooker, Slim Harpo and Koko Taylor; guitar players such as Freddie King, Otis Rush, Luther Allison, Magic Sam, Magic Slim, Syl Johnson, Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Guy, Robert Lockwood Jr., Bo Diddley, Mike Bloomfield, Homesick James, Johnny Shines, Johnny Young, Floyd Jones, Eddy Clearwater, Mighty Joe Young, Phil Guy, Lil' Ed Williams, J. B. Hutto, and Elmore James; harmonica players such as Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Butterfield, Junior Wells, Corky Siegel, Billy Branch, James Cotton, Jimmy Reed, and Sugar Blue; keyboardists such as Otis Spann, Lafayette Leake, Blind John Davis, and Erwin Helfe.

There's also a number of Record Labels that are generally associated with Chicago Blues

Bluebird Records - a sub-label of RCA Victor, a kind of budget label that in the 1930's was recording Blues artists.

Many blues artists were brought to the label by talent scout and record producer Lester Melrose, who had a virtual monopoly on the Chicago blues market. The records were recorded cheaply and quickly, often using a regular pool of Chicago musicians including Big Bill Broonzy, Roosevelt Sykes, Tampa Red, Washboard Sam and Sonny Boy Williamson. They produced a characteristic small band style which became known as the "Bluebird sound" and which, when electric amplification was added, became hugely influential on R&B and early rock and roll records. However, Bluebird all but ceased making blues records in 1942.

Chess Records: Is probably one of the most famous Blues labels and it's talent pool is very impressive. Howlin' Wolf spent his entire career on the label right up until his death. Add the likes of Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley to name but a few.

Cobra Records: Cobra Records was an independent record label that operated from 1956 to 1959. The label was important for launching the recording careers of Chicago blues artists Otis Rush, Magic Sam, and Buddy Guy. It signaled the emergence of a distinctive West Side Sound.

Cobra Records was started on Chicago's West Side in 1956 by Eli Toscano (a record store and television-repair shop owner). When his previous record label, Abco Records, failed to generate much interest, Toscano approached Willie Dixon about working for Cobra. Dissatisfied with his arrangement with Chess Records, Dixon joined Cobra. There he served in many capacities, including talent scout, producer, arranger, songwriter, and bassist, as well as guiding its artistic vision.

Delmark: Delmark was formed when Bob Koester moved his Delmar label from St. Louis to Chicago in 1958 and remains active today. They are still known for jazz and blues. Artists recorded by the label include Roscoe Mitchell, Junior Wells, Robert Lockwood Jr. and Sonny Boy Williamson II.

Alligator Records: Bruce Iglauer, a former employee of Delmark, formed Alligator Records in 1971. Alligator Records remains a premier blues label to this day. They have recorded Chicago blues musicians such as Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Hound Dog Taylor and Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater.

Chicago Blues has played a major factor in many different strands of music influencing such acts as The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Yardbirds, Jim Hendrix Experience, Cream and Rory Gallagher. Chuck Berry signed to Chess Records and many Bluesmen like Willie Dixon played on his early releases.

The 75 track compilation below brings together many of the best exponents of Chicago Blues. Hope you enjoy it.

Definitive Chicago Blues (3CD Set)
Not Now Music
Released September 2012

Track Listings
Disc: 1
  1. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie - Muddy Waters
  2. Spoonful- Howlin' Wolf
  3. Dust My Broom- Elmore James
  4. Cut That Out- Junior Wells
  5. Sit and Cry (The Blues)- Buddy Guy
  6. Country Boy- Freddy King
  7. I'm A Man- Bo Diddley
  8. Sweet Old Chicago- Roosevelt Sykes
  9. All Your Love- Magic Sam
  10. On The Road Again- Floyd Jones
  11. Later On- Jimmy McCracklin
  12. Don't Start Me Talkin'- Sonny Boy Williamson
  13. West Winds Are Blowing - Walter "Shakey" Horton
  14. 29 Ways- Willie Dixon
  15. I Can't Quit You Baby- Otis Rush
  16. You're The One- Jimmy Rogers
  17. Third Degree- Eddie Boyd
  18. Glory For Man- Robert Lockwood Jr
  19. Baby What You Want Me To Do- Jimmy Reed
  20. Shake It Baby- Sunnyland Slim
  21. I'm Mad- Willie Mabon
  22. Junker's Blues- Champion Jack Dupree
  23. Walking Alone- Memphis Slim
  24. Checkin' Up On My Baby-
Sonny Boy Williamson
  25. Smokestack Lightnin'- Howlin' Wolf

Disc: 2
  1. My Babe- Little Walter
  2. Come On In This House- Junior Wells
  3. Things 'Bout Comin' My Way- Tampa Red
  4. I'm Ready- Muddy Waters
  5. Double Trouble- Otis Rush
  6. Keep It To Yourself-
Sonny Boy Williamson
  7. Dirty Mother For You- Memphis Minnie
  8. Easy Baby- Magic Sam
  9. Chicago Bound- Jimmy Rogers
  10. Make My Dreams Come True - Elmore James
  11. Early Morning- Floyd Jones
  12. Say Man- Bo Diddley
  13. Woman Trouble- Sunnyland Slim
  14. How Many More Years- Howlin' Wolf
  15. Vicksburg Blues '51- Little Brother Montgomery
  16. I Know- Jimmy McCracklin
  17. Poison Ivy- Willie Mabon
  18. The Sun Is Shining- Jimmy Reed
  19. Junior's Wail- Junior Wells
  20. You're So Fine- Little Walter
  21. Free And Easy Mind- Jimmy Nelson
  22. Try To Quit You Baby- Buddy Guy
  23. Truckin' Little Woman- Willie Nix
  24. Are You Out There?- Percy Mayfield
  25. Walkin' The Blues- Willie Dixon

Disc: 3
  1. Pretty Thing - Jimmy Reed
  2. Who Do You Love- Bo Diddley
  3. It Must Have Been The Devil - Otis Spann
  4. Six Three O - Robert Nighthawk
  5. The Red Rooster- Howlin' Wolf
  6. So Nice And Kind- St. Louis Jimmy
  7. Two-Headed Woman- Junior Wells
  8. Trouble No More- Muddy Waters
  9. Broken Hearted Blues- Buddy Guy
  10. Big Town Playboy- Johnny Jones
  11. Black Gal- Walter 'Shakey' Horton
  12. Five Long Years- Eddie Boyd
  13. Juke- Little Walter
  14. That's What You Think- Jimmy Rogers
  15. Cry For Me Baby- Elmore James
  16. I Don't Know- Willie Mabon
  17. Joliet Blues- Johnny Shines
  18. I Asked For Water- Howlin' Wolf
  19. Be Mine Alone- Sunnyland Slim
  20. Eyesight To The Blind -
Sonny Boy Williamson
  21. So Many Roads, So Many Trains - Otis Rush
  22. I Can't Be Satisfied- Muddy Waters
  23. I Could Cry- Junior Wells
  24. That's Alright- Jimmy Rogers
  25. This Is The End- Buddy Guy

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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