Folks often ask me how I’ve come up with subjects for the Secret History of Chicago Music month after month. I have lots of answers, all of them true, including digging in record bins, falling down Internet rabbit holes, and cultivating knowledgeable friends. I’m tight with experts in several genres well represented in Chicago: big-city […]
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 […]
The Aces are best known as a backing band, but they took the lead when it came to the future of the blues.
Most of Lucille Spann’s recordings were with her spouse, blues pianist Otis Spann, but she released a great solo album in 1974.
Downstate frat rockers the 4 Taus split in 1964 but reunited periodically for almost 50 years.
Guitarist George Freeman and harmonica player Billy Branch demonstrate the common roots of the sounds they love.
Blues great Otis Rush been sidelined by a stroke, but more than 25 musicians will pay tribute to him at this year’s festival.
Jazz saxophonist Johnny Griffin isn’t exactly obscure, but he’s been unjustly overshadowed since his heyday in the 50s and 60s.