In the more than 15 years I’ve been writing the Secret History of Chicago Music, I’ve often tried to give props to the past and present venues and labels that support the underappreciated musicians I cover. Local label Delmark Records is the epitome of such an institution. The infamous Bob Koester ran the label from […]
Blues bassist Calvin ‘Fuzz’ Jones made Muddy Waters sound his best
Calvin “Fuzz” Jones, who spent most of his five-decade career in Chicago, was one of the most prominent sidemen in electric blues.
Bassist Eric Revis works at the conflux of the mainstream and its far-out tributaries
The quartet that bassist Eric Revis brings to Jazz Fest is packed with inside-outside explorers: pianist Kris Davis, reedist Ken Vandermark, and drummer Chad Taylor.
Bluesman Benny Turner has spent decades as a sideman—including to his brother, guitar god Freddie King
Benny Turner has often seemed content to stay 20 feet from stardom, but 60 years into his career he’s finally making a name for himself.
Karissa Talanian of Eye Vybe Records on a new online mecca for Chicago underground music
Current musical obsessions of Eye Vybe Records founder Karissa Talanian, singer-songwriter Drea Smith, and Reader associate editor Kevin Warwick
Ruido Fest announces its 2017 lineup
This year’s Ruido Fest spans genres and generations, with Intocable, Bomba Estéreo, Molotov, Julieta Venegas, Titán, El Guincho, Ruido Rosa, and many more.
The Chicago blues pantheon needs more women—and Queen Sylvia Embry deserves a spot
Queen Sylvia Embry’s bass playing and warm, soulful singing made her a hit in local clubs and on transatlantic tours.
‘There’s no one sadder than someone who’s sat on their own violin,’ says a Chicago luthier
Ryan McLaughlin makes and repairs stringed instruments.
Tinkerbelles return home from their Guinness world-record attempt on Sunday
Their flawless jam “Rotten Tanx” is today’s 12 O’Clock Track.
In Rotation: The Owl’s Aaron Dexter on his soundtrack to endless winter
Current musical obsessions of the Owl’s Aaron Dexter, the Sueves’ Joe Schorgl, and the Reader‘s Luca Cimarusti
In Rotation: Saxophonist Nick Mazzarella on John Coltrane in his own words
Current musical obsessions of saxophonist Nick Mazzarella and drummer Frank Rosaly
Best Fallout From a Breakup
No matter what these weirdos get up to, it’s worth your time.
Bassist Jason Roebke in musical conversation
Ubiquitous Chicago bassist Jason Roebke makes himself heard on a strong new duo album with reedist Tobias Delius.
The Secret History of Chicago Music: Athanor
Obscure psych-pop duo Athanor split the difference between the British Invasion and Amon Duul II on three mid-70s singles.
Wire’s gooey-sweet Change Becomes Us and 15 more record reviews
Reviews of 16 fresh releases from all over the map: Wire, Aosoth, Julia Kent, DJ Koze, Pedrito Martinez, Sax G, and lots more