Search The Blues Historian Website With Google


Send Me Your Blues News

Contact me at

Link Exchange

If you have a website, and would like to exchange links just email me at the above address.

The Iowa Blues Showcase is on the AIR

Download the latest podcast on ITUNES

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chicago Big Show Alert!!!!!

From Kevin Johnson of Delmark

Hey Hey Chicago Blues Fans

JUST ANNOUNCED!!! We'd love for you to attend this special night of live Chicago blues from some of the most talented artists the city has to offer - Please spread the word! Come see Koester dance!

Delmark All-Star Blues Concert and new Delmark DVD screening ("It Ain't Over! 55 Years of Blues) at Buddy Guy's Legends-

Friday, July 24, 2009 - 5:30 pm til 2 am!!
Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash, Chicago, south Loop -
Who: Live performances from Delmark All- Stars, including
Aaron Moore, Quintus McCormick, Michael Coleman with special guests Shirley Johnson, Zora Young, and Jimmy Johnson! The rhythm section will be Merle Perkins on drums, Roosevelt "The Mad Hatter" Purifoy on keys, and Andre Howard on bass.

A very special live concert featuring many all-star blues performers from Delmark's celebrated roster, and this night will also include a showing of our recently released, much celebrated DVD and CD documenting Delmark Records' 55th Anniversary Concert from last year at Legends,
IT AIN'T OVER! 55 Years of Blues (Delmark 800/1800)

5:30 - 6:30 pm
Aaron Moore -(vocals, piano) solo piano acoustic set - one of the last of the boogie woogie blues masters - this classic style has become almost impossible to find these days!
7:00 - 8:30 pm Delmark DVD screening,
It Ain't Over ! 55 Years of Blues - Have you seen this incredibly entertaining DVD yet??!! A historic night of classic Chicago Blues captured live at Legends last year!
9:00- 10:00 pm
Quintus McCormick (vocals, guitar) - Look for Quintus' studio debut- HEY JODY, soon on Delmark! - A much anticipated blues/soul recording from the ever popular, hard working, young talent.
10:30 til close
Michael Coleman (vocals, guitar) with Zora Young (vocals) , Shirley Johnson (vocals), and Jimmy Johnson (vocals, guitar) as special guests! Funky Blues with Feeling and Soul!!

Artist Details/bios below....

5:30 - 6:30 pm
Aaron Moore -(vocals, piano) solo piano acoustic set - one of the last of the boogie woogie blues masters - this classic style has become almost impossible to find these days!
Aaron's Web page (Earwig Records) :

Aaron Moore is one of the survivors of the classic boogie-woogie piano style that permeated the 1950s Chicago blues scene. Known primarily as a backing musician, Moore provided accompaniment for such greats as
Little Walter, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Hound Dog Taylor, Howlin’ Wolf, Honeyboy Edwards and Lonnie Brooks in a career that spans more than forty years.

Born and raised in Greenwood, Mississippi, Moore was encouraged in his piano playing by his mother, who was a music teacher and church piano player. Early influences included
Curtis Jones and Memphis Slim, but much of his distinct sound comes from boogie-woogie legend Roosevelt Sykes, whom he learned from and frequently performed with upon moving to Chicago. Moore focused on his career and family, working for many years and retiring from a job with the City of Chicago, playing many local club dates on weekends from the 1950s through the 1980s.
Upon retiring, Aaron has made playing his full-time interest. After backing up local bluesman
Brewer Phillips on his Delmark debut, Moore gained the attention of producer Pete Nathan, who requested Aaron finally release his first solo album. His critically acclaimed debut, Hello World, and the subsequent Boot ‘Em Up (both on Chicago’s Delmark Records) solidified Moore’s place among the hierarchy of blues piano masters.

7:00 - 8:30 pm Delmark DVD screening,
It Ain't Over ! 55 Years of Blues - Killer All Star Chicago Blues Concert captured live on DVD/CD from Buddy Guy's Legends - March 7, 2008

Delmark's 55th Anniversary Blues Bash at Buddy Guy's Legends featured most of Delmark's local blues roster, a Delmark Day proclamation from Mayor Daley, and a GRAMMY Hall of Fame Award for the groundbreaking HOODOO MAN BLUES album from Junior Wells and Buddy Guy. Live performances by Lurrie Bell, Tail Dragger, Zora Young, Jimmy Johnson with Dave Specter, Aaron Moore, Eddie Shaw, Shirley Johnson, and the late Little Arthur Duncan (his last recorded performances!) - sizzling live Chicago blues - there was truly something magic in the air that night! This historic BLUES PARTY was thankfully captured live at Legends on March 7, 2008. The featured band most of the night was Lurrie Bell (guitar) Bob Stroger (bass) Roosevelt "Mad Hatter" Purifoy (keys) and Kenny Smith (drums)

"I have a lot of respect for "thoroughbred" Bob Koester; he has brought a lot of sweet music to the soul and heart of this city they call Chicago!" -
Eddie Shaw - Blues Legend

9:00- 10:00 pm
Quintus McCormick (vocals, guitar)

Look for Quintus' studio debut-
HEY JODY, out soon on Delmark! - A much anticipated blues/soul recording from the ever popular, hard working, young talent of Chicago's Quintus McCormick! Featuring the Chicago Horns!

Quintus McCormick has toured the world with some of the most successful and important blues artists of our time:
James Cotton, Otis Clay, A.C. Reed, and Lefty Dizz to name a few. Working as a sideman, Quintus’ reputation as a brilliant guitarist, gifted songwriter and astonishing vocalist spread like wildfire throughout the music community. His ever-evolving musicianship simply became too powerful to harness. Born and raised in Detroit, Quintus moved to Chicago where music legends Buddy Guy and James Cotton encouraged Quintus to form his own band. Thus, in 1994, he rounded up the best of Chicago’s elite musicians and established The Quintus McCormick Band. Quintus and his “on-fire” musical group have been a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene, appearing frequently in the city’s world-renown nightclubs. Quintus and his band have also performed at countless festivals and concerts.

10:30 til close
Michael Coleman (vocals, guitar) with Zora Young (vocals) and Shirley Johnson (vocals) and Jimmy Johnson (vocals, guitar)!

Michael Coleman is one of the FUNKIEST guitarists on the Chicago area scene -
Michael's MySpace
Voted one of the top 50 bluesmen in the world by Guitar World Magazine, and certainly one of Chicago's hottest guitar slingers, Michael Coleman has been a staple on the Chicago music scene for more than 30 years. A gift discovered at the age of 4 by his mother, at 8 he was performing with his father
Cleo "Bald Head Pete" Williams; at 13 with the top 40 band Midnight Sun in the afternoon and with Johnny Dollar and Aron Burton at night; at 14 with Johnny Christian; at 21 on the road with Muddy Waters, and at 22 touring Europe with Eddy Clearwater. In 1979, at the age of 23, Michael began his ten year tenure with The James Cotton Band. Since 1991, with the Backbreakers backing, Michael's opened for such greats as B.B. King, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, John Lee Hooker, and Luther Allison, to name just a few. With 8 albums of his own, and having arranged some of the top blues hits and albums in the world, Michael brings a lifetime of experience to his professional, high energy, funky, bluesy, crowd-involved show. He recorded his American debut release, Do Your Thing!, for Delmark Records, who released the album in 2000, and Michael also led a various artists follow up for Delmark in 2006, a live concert, Blues Brunch at the Mart.

Shirley Johnson
*Shirley's current Delmark CD, BLUES ATTACK is currently #1 on the LIVING BLUES radio charts!! CD release party this weekend (July 10, 11 at Blue Chicago, 736 N. Clark)
*Shirley Johnson just headlined the first night of the Chicago Blues Fest, Friday Night on the Petrillo Main Stage
* Shirley Johnson is nominated for 2 categories in the 2009 Blues Blast Music Awards!
Best Female Artist and Best Traditional Blues Recording for Delmark's Blues Attack!
you can vote here for the
2009 Blues Blast Awards -

Shirley's All Music Guide Bio

Like so many African-American vocalists,
Shirley Johnson started out singing in church and then went on to embrace secular music. The Chicago resident, whose influences range from Mahalia Jackson to Koko Taylor, Etta James, and Ruth Brown, is a gritty, big-voiced blues singer who can also handle soul and gospel. Although Johnson has spent much of her adult life in Chicago, the Windy City is not her hometown; she was born in Franklin, VA, on June 7, 1949, and raised in Norfolk, VA. Johnson came from a very religious family and she was only six when she started singing gospel in a church choir. Johnson's family didn't think much of either the blues or R&B, which are considered sinful in some of the stricter, more fundamentalist Christian churches. Nonetheless, she managed to hear the blues as a little girl and fell in love with secular black music; despite her parents' disdain for the blues and R&B, she developed a healthy appreciation of Brown, James, and Taylor, as well as male bluesmen like B.B. King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Little Milton, and the late Z.Z. Hill. None of those artists have been blues purists and James, in fact, is primarily a soul singer who often detours into the blues and listening to them obviously taught her that the blues and classic soul often go hand in hand. When Johnson reached adulthood in the late '70s, she was free to pursue a career in secular music, so she made her presence felt in Norfolk's blues and R&B circles and went on to become an opening act for Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, Z.Z. Hill, and other well-known artists who were passing through town. In the early '80s, she recorded some singles for two regional labels in Virginia and those recordings caught the attention of a man who was planning to start a label in Chicago. The aspiring record man expressed interest in recording Johnson and sent her a plane ticket to Chicago, but when she arrived in the Windy City she learned he didn't have enough money to pay for a session. Nonetheless, she decided to remain in Chicago and became active on the city's blues circuit, where she has performed both blues and soul. The people she worked with in Chicago included Little Johnny Christian, Artie "Blues Boy" White, and keyboardist Eddie Lusk (who took Johnson on the road with him on international tours). In the '90s, Johnson made some recordings for the Appaloosa label, including her 1996 album Looking for Love. Then, in the early 2000s, she signed with the Chicago-based Delmark, which released Killer Diller in May 2002, following it up with Blues Attack in 2009.

Zora Young
Zora's All Music Guide bio and MySpace

- Despite the prominent presence of celebrated blues artist Howlin' Wolf in her family tree, singer Zora Young grew up singing not blues, but gospel. Even when the Mississippi native shook off her roots at the age of seven to relocate with her family to Chicago, she attended the Greater Harvest Baptist Church and continued to sing gospel. It wasn't until later that she switched over to R&B, and evolved into a powerhouse blues vocalist with three decades of experience behind her. She has performed with a long list of artists, including Junior Wells, Jimmy Dawkins, Bobby Rush, Buddy Guy, Professor Eddie Lusk, Albert King , and B.B. King . Her recording credits include collaborations with Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Mississippi Heat, Paul de Lay , and Maurice John Vaughn among others.

Her own recordings as a solo artist include releases from the labels Deluge, Black Lightning, and Delmark. Young has also performed on both stage and television. She is a veteran of more than 30 tours of Europe, and has been a featured performer three times at the Chicago Blues Festival. She has performed throughout North America, and on stages in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Greece, Austria, Tai Pei, and Turkey. Her albums include 1991's
Travelin' Light from Deluge Records and two releases from Delmark Records, Learned My Lesson in 2000 and Tore Up from the Floor Up in 2005. Zora just released a new CD this year on Sam Burckhardt's Airway Records, a tribute to Sunnyland Slim, and look for a new CD this September on Delmark, The French Connection, recorded in France!

"Chicago's Zora Young skillfully engages in the tug-of-war between force and restraint that marks great singing." - LIVING BLUES
"…Young is a dynamic, thrilling, and expressive singer with a style all her own. Various shades of blue are represented here- traditional, slow, shuffle, acoustic, soul, ballad, funk.. -BLUES IN BRITAIN
"Zora has steadfastly battled her way into the top echelon of Chicago's female blues belters….attractively spotlighting her gritty, soul-streaked pipes on an uncommonly wide variety of material. - BLUES REVUE
"Young demonstrates confidence and fire on the bandstand, and can also be sentimental, sultry, and suggestive. She's an ace performer, and this is her best work yet.- NASHVILLE CITY PAPER
"Zora's records are at times soothing, sweltering, joyful and sad, but most of all it is a joyous reminder of her wonderful talents…" -BLUES BYTES

Jimmy Johnson (voc, guitar)

"The Bar Room Preacher" The ageless (is he really 80?!) Johnson continues to be on top of his game - He's one of the most original, distinctive bluesmen around, the master at tasteful, funky soul blues!
All Music Guide bio from Bill Dahl

Chicago guitarist Jimmy Johnson didn't release his first full domestic album until he was 50 years old. He's determinedly made up for lost time ever since, establishing himself as one of the Windy City's premier blues artists with a twisting, unpredictable guitar style and a soaring, soul-dripping vocal delivery that stand out from the pack.

Born into a musical family (younger brother Syl Johnson's credentials as a soul star are all in order, while sibling Mack Thompson was Magic Sam's first-call bassist), Jimmy Thompson moved to Chicago with his family in 1950. But his guitar playing remained a hobby for years -- he toiled as a welder while Syl blazed a trail on the local blues circuit. Finally, in 1959, Jimmy Thompson started gigging with harpist Slim Willis around the West side. Somewhere down the line, he changed his surname to Johnson (thus keeping pace with Syl).

Since there was more cash to be realized playing R&B during the 1960s, Jimmy Johnson concentrated on that end of the stylistic spectrum for a while. He led polished house bands on the South and West sides behind Otis Clay, Denise LaSalle, and Garland Green, cutting an occasional instrumental 45 on the side. Johnson found his way back to the blues in 1974 as Jimmy Dawkins' rhythm guitarist. He toured Japan behind Otis Rush in 1975 (the journey that produced Rush's classic Delmark album So Many Roads -- Live in Concert).

In 1977 Jimmy recorded what was to be his first full LP, but it wasn't released stateside until Delmark released it as Pepper's Hangout on CD in 2000. With the 1978 release of four stunning sides on Alligator's first batch of Living Chicago Blues anthologies and the issue of Johnson's Whacks, his first full domestic set on Delmark the next year, Jimmy Johnson's star began ascending rapidly. North/South, the guitarist's 1982 Delmark follow-up, and the 1983 release of Bar Room Preacher by Alligator continued to propel Johnson into the first rank of Chicago bluesdom. Then tragedy struck: on December 2, 1988, Johnson was driving his band's van when it swerved off the road in downstate Indiana, killing bassist Larry Exum and keyboardist St. James Bryant.

Understandably, Johnson, himself injured in the wreck, wasn't too interested in furthering his career for a time after the tragedy. But he's back in harness now, cutting a solid set for Verve in 1994, I'm a Jockey, that spotlights his blues-soul synthesis most effectively.Every Road Ends, recorded in France and released on Ruf, followed in 1999. A collaboration with his brother Syl appeared in the summer of 2002, the cleverly titled Two Johnsons Are Better Than One.

Jimmy most recent recordings are on Delmark, as part of guitarist Dave Specter's live revue, LIVE IN CHICAGO (on CD and DVD) from 2008 and the new CD/DVD, IT AIN'T OVER, 55 Years of Blues (on CD and DVD.)

Coming soon on Delmark in September!
Quintus McCormick - Hey Jody (Delmark DE 801)
Zora Young - The French Connection (Delmark DE 802)

"The importance of Delmark and its founder, however, transcend the music itself. Bob Koester is not only one of Chicago’s most influential label owners and music retailers; he has served as a guide and role model for generations of aspiring jazz and blues fans and businesspeople." - David Whiteis, from
Ain't It Over liner notes

Kevin Johnson
Delmark Records, director of promotions
773-539-5001 office
773-539-5004 fax
Blues and Jazz since 1953!!

"If Chuck Berry was the ROCK, and Fats Domino was the ROLL, what the @#$% was Bo Diddley?!"

Bob Koester in the New York Times -

"Happily Seduced By The Blues"

No comments: