National Recording Registry adds two blues songs

Elmore James

Library of Congress National Recording Registry has added its required 25 songs for 2013 and two are blues songs:

Caldonia by Louis Jordan (1945) and
Dust My Broom by Elmore James (1951).

    The National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 requires the addition of 25 recordings each year that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and are at least 10 years old. The Registry now totals 400 recordings, which is a very small part of the Library’s complete recorded sound collection of more than 3.5 million items.

    The Library is currently accepting nominations for the next registry at the NRPB website ( A quick spin through the list tells me we have some work to do. Little Walter and Willie Dixon are both on the list for the same song, but I didn’t see Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor, etc., etc. etc. The public can vote, so go ahead and nominate some of your favorites.




    Posted 4.10.14 by Karen Murphy

    Chicago Music Summit 2013 online

    Without the blues, there wouldn’t be any Chicago music.

    —Janice Monti
    Dominican University

    If you were not able to attend the Chicago Music Summit 2013, audiotapes of all the panels are now online. There are 23 interesting tracks, including the one that I attended: Blues Impurities: The Contemporary Chicago Scene and What Lies Ahead. This panel, moderated by Dominican University’s Janice Monti, featured Matthew Skoller, Sharon Lewis, Wayne Baker Brooks, Nellie “Tiger” Travis and Sugar Blue, who introduced himself as “the angry black man on the panel.” Despite what the website says, Oman Coleman was not on the panel.

    Too bad that the live performances that followed the panels are not also online since there was a particularly great performance by Eric “Guitar” Davis and the Troublemakers in the blues room.

    Check ‘em out.

    Posted 4.4.14 by Karen Murphy


    City of Chicago announces
    2014 Blues Fest Lineup

    The City of Chicago has released the full lineup for the 2014 Chicago Blues Fest, which will be held June 13 – 15 in Grant Park. There also is a full schedule of events leading up to the Fest in May and early June.

    Check it out right now.

    Posted 4.2.14 by Karen Murphy

    Harvey Mandel’s Birthday Benefit Bash

    WXRT DJ Tom Marker will host a Birthday Benefit Bash on Wednesday, March 12, to celebrate legendary Chicago guitarist Harvey Mandel’s 69th birthday. As everyone should know by now, Mandel is battling cancer and, like many people faced with huge medical bills, needs a little help from his friends.

    The event will be at Suite LiveLab Studios in Chicago’s River North neighborhood and will include a SuperJam featuring “The Snake” himself along with a few of his super-talented friends. There also will be a silent auction, a raffle and, of course, cocktails. Get out and show your support for one of Chicago’s true local legends.

    WED, MAR 12 | 7-10pm
    Suite LiveLab Studios @ Wells and Huron
    $20 in advance; $25 at the door



    Posted 3.7.14 by Karen Murphy

    Get Ready for Fat Tuesday

    Photo couresty of Jean-Paul Gisclair and

    It’s not New Orleans, but Chicago has quite a few options for getting into the Mardi Gras spirit. Don’t forget to bring your beads! As they say in the Big Easy, Laissez les bons temps roulez!!!!

    MON, MARCH 3
    Jambalaya Cookoff with Marcia Ball
    @ FitzGerald’s,Berwyn

    FAT TUESDAY (aka MAR 4)
    C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band
    @ FitzGerald’s, Berwyn

    Smiley Tillmon Band and Coyote Riot
    @ the Beverly Arts Center

    Low Down Brass Band
    @ Untitled

    Brother John Band
    @ Heaven on Seven, Naperville

    Pat Smillie
    @ Heaven on Seven, Rush St.

    The Mudcats
    @ The Maple Tree Inn, Blue Island

    Herman Hines and the Chicago Blues Angels
    @ Moe Joe’s, Plainfield

    Creole Stomp
    @ the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Arlington Heights

    Chicago Diamond Trio
    @ Municipal Bar + Dining Co.  7-9pm
    NOTE: This band just won a 2014 Chicago Music Award for Best Jazz Entertainer.

    Rockin’ Johnny Band
    @ Tin Fish, Tinley Park

    SUN, MARCH 9
    Buckwheat Zydeco
    @ S.P.A.C.E.


    Dr. John

    Here’s a little music from the Big Easy that will get you in the Mardi Gras mood or maybe planning a trip down there.

    Dr. John
    Mardi Gras Mambo

    Professor Longhair
    Go to the Mardi Gras

    Rockin’ Sydney
    Don’t Mess With My Toot Toot

    Boozoo Chavis
    Johnny Billy Goat

    Zachary Richard and the Zydeco Rockers
    Johnny B. Goode
    There is something about this one that reminds me of the Superbowl Shuffle…really.

    Who Stole My Monkey

    Clifton Chenier
    Mardi Gras Zydeco

    Queen Ida and her Zydeco Band
    Hello Josephine

    James “Sugar Boy” Crawford

    Bo Dollis and The Wild Magnolia Mardi Gras Band
    Handa Wanda

    The Meters
    Hey Pocky A-Way

    Professor Longhair and the Meters