Harvey “the Snake” Mandel is a guitarist’s guitarist. Born in Detroit in 1945 and raised in Morton Grove, he moved to the west coast in his early 20s to launch his career. He never became a household name like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Eric Crapton, but beginning with his debut LP, 1968’s funky fuzz classic […]
Chicago native Paul Natkin is a prolific concert and portrait photographer who’s shot more than 4,300 musicians and celebrities since he started his career in 1975. He’s also worked as road manager for the likes of Brian Wilson and Alice Peacock and tour photographer for the Rolling Stones. His images have appeared in so many […]
In these dark days, when counterculture heroes of the 60s and 70s are dropping at an alarming rate, it’s important to take a break from mourning and assess who’s still standing—and who’s still creating vital art. By all rights, singer-songwriter Marianne Faithfull could have left us long ago. She rose to fame as much for […]
If you have the money to help Chicago’s record stores stay in business long enough to reopen, here are your options.
I remember a time in the 90s when certain critics just didn’t believe that Jon Spencer’s impassioned retro-rock stage presence wasn’t some sort of ridiculous gimmick. Though some derided his band the Blues Explosion as a second-rate mimic of Canned Heat fronted by a white guy with Mr. Dynamite-era James Brown aspirations, for others his […]
I was at a wedding last week when a rowdy, intoxicated record collector cornered me and exclaimed, “The Rolling Stones! Name another band that’s been going as long!” Usually I don’t play these sorts of games, especially at weddings, but this time I had to admit he’d stumped me—I don’t count reunion tours with only […]
Details about discounts, giveaways, in-store performances, and more at three dozen shops—with an interactive map and alphabetized listings
Even when Willie “Big Eyes” Smith won a Grammy at the end of his life, he shared it with pianist Pinetop Perkins.
Guitarist Lefty Dizz toured abroad for decades, but even in his home base of Chicago he was never the star he played like.
A new exhibit at Navy Pier doesn’t add much to the band’s legacy.
Also, an 18,000-square-foot Rolling Stones exhibit will open at Navy Pier in April.
Digital downloads haven’t yet driven box sets extinct—and this year the best include Paul Bowles’s Moroccan field recordings, vintage Ray Charles in mono, a 50-year NRBQ retrospective, and ten discs of foundational 40s bebop from Savoy Records.
Forty-seven years after Harvey Mandel played Woodstock with Canned Heat, Snake Pit could be the record that finally gets the guitarist his due.
Guitarist Luther Allison learned his craft in Chicago, but he spent much of his career in Europe when American interest in the blues waned.
The new reissues of Red Red Meat’s first two albums sound as great as ever.