We won’t know the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for many years, not least because they haven’t stopped piling up. Bodily sickness, mental illness, financial loss—everyone seems to have been afflicted differently, and the effects on our medical, political, social, and economic systems compound those individual misfortunes. New variants, vaccine updates, and long COVID are […]
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 […]
Snowstorms, cold snaps, the most contagious wave of COVID-19 yet—it’s clearly time for the Secret History of Chicago Music to begin its yearly Winter Blues series. That’s where I cover the city’s great unheralded blues artists, many of whom gigged constantly but barely had the means to get by, let alone record their music. Many […]
Bluesman Johnnie Temple cut dozens of sides for Decca, including several with famous Chicago jazz band the Harlem Hamfats.