February 11, 1918 – November 27, 2013
Aaron Moore is one of the survivors of the classic boogie-woogie piano style that permeated the 1950s Chicago blues scene. At age 87, he had just begun to gain the notoriety that eluded him throughout most of his career. Known primarily as a... Read more
Albert’s resume doesn’t read a whole lot like anyone else’s. He started out singing rock and roll and playing guitar as a teenager, traveled the globe as drummer for one of the most bizarre rock bands of the 1970s, and recorded as a sideman with a passel of blues legends. Now Albert is prepared to launch his solo career by... Read more
Alice McGill is an American children’s writer and professional storyteller. In many of her books have African American protagonists or deal with African American issues. Molly Bannaky, the story of a young British girl in 17th century America who became the grandmother of Benjamin Banneker, the first black... Read more
Allen is a keyboard player perhaps best known as a member of Albert Collins’ original Icebreakers, touring with Albert and playing keyboards on four of the Icebreakers’ Alligator releases. He has also worked with Lacy Gibson, Eddie Clearwater, Shirley Johnson, Willie Kent, Maurice John Vaughn, Jody Williams and Lester Davenport. Allen moved to Hope, Arkansas about 10 years ago and... Read more
Andy Cohen is a virtuoso finger-style guitarist who has been described as “a walking, talking folk-blues-roots music encyclopedia.” He grew up in a home with a piano and lots of Dixieland Jazz records. During the Sixties Folk Revival, he got hooked on the music of Big Bill Broonzy and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. When Andy was 16, he heard... Read more
June 15, 1938 – February 29, 2016
Aron Burton spent over fifty years securing his place in musical history as a master of the blues and becoming one of the most sought-after bass players in the business. Born in Senatobia, Mississippi on June 15, 1938, Aron took interest in music at a very young age, when his gospel voice was... Read more
Pittsburgh, PA native Barbara Blue doesn’t remember life without music. Her answer to the question “When did you start singing?” will always be “since the day I was born and my plan is to exit this life the same way”. Early childhood years were spent singing in church choir, school choir, school band (flute), piano lessons, school plays and with... Read more
July 10, 1958 – December 12, 2016
Barrelhouse Chuck was the only Chicago blues pianist to have studied under Pinetop Perkins, Sunnyland Slim, Blind John Davis, Detroit Junior and Little Brother Montgomery. He drew on this distinguished lineage to create a blues, boogie-woogie and barrelhouse piano style that placed him at the forefront of this celebrated tradition.
Electric bass player extraordinaire Bernard Reed is one of music’s unsung heroes, a gladiator who has survived more than 50 years in a cutthroat business. Born in Chicago and raised on the west side by his grandparents, Reed began his long career playing bass as a teenager at school and private events, before graduating to gigs at Chicago’s famous Regal... Read more
July 30, 1940 – March 14, 2011
Big Jack’s inventive, energetic, Delta-rooted guitar, rich, confident vocals, down-home songwriting, and larger-than-life stage presence made him one of the most celebrated bluesmen of Mississippi. His long music career included much national and international touring, many amazing record releases, and a huge amount... Read more
Award-winning trombonist/composer/arranger Bill McFarland leads The Chicago Fire Horns, a jazz band that demonstrates a high level of artistic merit and is cohesive and improvisational in its concert performances. Bill has performed with, arranged for, and recorded with blues greats Albert Collins, Son Seals, Fenton Robinson, Lonnie Brooks, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Koko Taylor and Otis Clay.
If blues harmonica has a long-term future on the Chicago circuit, Billy Branch will likely play a leading role in shaping its direction. Educator as well as musician, Branch has led the Sons of the Blues, his skin-tight quartet, since the late ’70s. Despite numerous personnel changes, the SOBs have never wavered in their dedication to pure, unadulterated Chicago blues.
Bobby grew up a shy child in North St. Louis with a debilitating stutter. Son of an elevator operator and confectionery clerk, Norfolk’s future was hazy when he was young. As a youth, Bobby wondered “What could a lost, lonely, discouraged kid from the low-rent blocks of St. Louis do with the rest of his life?”
Strictly judging from the lyrical sentiment of his recordings to this point, it might be wise not to make Chicago guitarist Byther Smith angry. Smitty’s uncompromising songs are filled with threats of violence and ominous menace (the way blues used to be before the age of political correctness), sometimes to the point where his words don’t even rhyme. They don’t... Read more