For nearly 70 years, Bob Koester owned the Jazz Record Mart and Delmark Records—and though his businesses could be “crazy town,” they helped nurture thriving communities.
Blues guitarist Jimmy Johnson, still going strong at 91, released his newest album just four months ago.
The guitar and harmonica master from the Aces played with Junior Wells, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, and many more.
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.
Sorely underrecognized guitarist Smilin’ Bobby cut his teeth on Chicago’s west side, learning from the likes of Magic Sam and Magic Slim.
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.
Johnny B. Moore launched his career as a full-time bluesman in 1975 with the great Koko Taylor, and he’s still kicking today.
Pianist Little Brother Montgomery straddled blues, boogie-woogie, and jazz—and bridged prewar southern blues and the electric Chicago style.
Blues great Otis Rush been sidelined by a stroke, but more than 25 musicians will pay tribute to him at this year’s festival.
Andrew Brown cut his teeth alongside Magic Sam and Freddie King, but despite his distinctive talent he spent much of his life working in a steel mill.
Guitarist Luther Allison learned his craft in Chicago, but he spent much of his career in Europe when American interest in the blues waned.
Blues guitarist Magic Slim was a giant who combined furious power with keen expression.
Reader readers build their very own jukebox.
A terrific new 54-track CD set collects bluesman Freddie King’s complete singles for King Federal.