“An engaging, updated introduction to the world of Chicago blues… Captures the musical spirit of the city and traces its development through the past 50 years. This album celebrates the past by breathing new life into it. ” ~ PopMatters
On Sunday January 31st, 2010
they’ll be handing out the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. There are two categories: Best Contemporary Blues Album & Best Traditional Blues Album that for the most part relate to this blog… I wanted to briefly mention one of this year’s Grammy nominees – Raisin’ Music’s Chicago Blues: A Living History. Produced by Larry Skoller, this extraordinary and fresh voyage through blues history is sure to generate some cool moments for most fans of the blues. It’s also a terrific collection for those who are new to the genre and looking for a vibrant and entertaining reference to Chicago’s distinctive blues history.
During the late 40s and early 50s, a change of style from the Mississippi Delta sound was taking place which eventually saw the Chicago music scene as the dominant voice of the blues. This was mostly due to the migration of thousands of African-American farm workers from the south to the industrial cities of the north like Detroit and Chicago during World War II. In search of a better life, a number of talented blues musicians like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker were part of that historic trip north.
Chicago Blues: A Living History – Nominated For Best Traditional Blues Album
It all came together in April of 2009 when local veterans Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch and Lurrie Bell successors of the Chicago Blues landscape teamed up to pay tribute to the evolution of Chicago Blues from 1940-1991. Together they lead a fantastic group on songs made famous by legends like Big Bill Broonzy, Elmore James, Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy just to name a few. During this past summer of 2009, the band toured Europe and played to packed crowds at fifteen major music festivals in seven countries.
The Living History Band
Billy Flynn – Guitar
Matthew Skoller – harmonica
Johnny Iguana – Keyboards
Felton Crews – bass
Kenny “Beedy-Eyes” Smith – drums
Carlos Johnson – guitar and vocals
Mike Avery – vocals
I believe we can all learn something about life and communication by exploring the history of the blues. Any natural art forms’ roots should always be recognized and we need to acknowledge the historical context which blues developed. All popular music today is based on the blues and without that knowledge people are missing out on the fundamental aspects like jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and R&B which derived from it. Its down-home honest/raw energy is medicine for the soul. The music assembled on this disc can’t help but make you feel good…
I’ll resist the temptation to elaborate further and let the music and videos featured in this post speak for itself… I know I’ll be paying close attention to this category come Grammy time on Sunday January 31, 2010. If you’re interested in further information and band bios you can go to Chicago Blues: A Living History website by clicking here…
Do you have any favorite Chicago blues artists which are featured on this disc? Please feel free to add your comments below. Your input will further enhance the post and is always appreciated.
The Blues Blogger