Bluesman Johnny Shines spent the late 30s on the road with the great Robert Johnson, then lived long enough to win a W.C. Handy Award in the 90s.
The Aces are best known as a backing band, but they took the lead when it came to the future of the blues.
Chicago blueswoman Mary Lane has been making music for more than 70 years. She should be a legend, but she can barely pay her bills.
John Littlejohn’s raw slide-guitar style grew from the same soil that produced Elmore James, but he never became a star outside the Windy City.
From Glencoe to Monterey Pop to oblivion: Michael Bloomfield’s huge talent and unique style changed rock guitar forever, but while Clapton and Hendrix entered the canon, he faded away.
Calvin “Fuzz” Jones, who spent most of his five-decade career in Chicago, was one of the most prominent sidemen in electric blues.
For 90 minutes, the Cooley High alum will sing the blues with utter absorption.
By the time Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi recruited him, Murphy had worked as a sideman for the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Memphis Slim, and James Cotton.
Sharp-dressed drummer Sam Lay has played with Dylan and Howlin’ Wolf, and in 2015 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
No-nonsense west-side veteran Mary Lane, who’s shared stages with the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Buddy Guy, is raising money to finish her long-awaited second album.
As a house drummer for Chess Records in the late 60s, Morris Jennings kicked off a five-decade career that never brought him into the spotlight himself.
The seminal Chicago Imagist artist talks about his encounters with Howlin’ Wolf, Maxwell Street memories, and what inspires him to keep drawing and painting.
Guitarist Big Smokey Smothers wrote for Muddy Waters and partnered with Freddie King, but his traditional style of Chicago electric blues didn’t help him make his own name.
Blues harpist Forest City Joe might be a legend today if he’d recorded more—or lived long enough to enjoy the 1960s blues revival.
Current musical obsessions of singer-songwriter Adam Gottlieb, blues musician Andy Willis, and Reader writer Leor Galil