From Phil's USA trip, 2014
Authentic Blues. The uncensored language of the soul. Write down a couple of places where Blues were born and raised, buy a plane ticket and GO. That was my plan, and now I’m immersed in Chicago Blues. (Photo at Jazz Record Mart, est 1959).
I don’t intend to start writing traditional blues music, but if you want to weave a fibre into your fabric, you need to find the best quality strands. Take me to the heart of it, sink me into the knuckle bones and from there I can build strong and true.
There is a compass beyond the logical mind for all of us, a pathway. A harder line to walk, but all the more rewarding, and always truest to who we are. For some reason I was guided to Chicago, so I listened, and here I am.
Time to immerse …
Rolled into an Open Jam Night at “Buddy Guy’s Legends”….about an hour into it Buddy Guy himself just walks on stage and sings a couple of songs! Unbelievable…Smooth operator, a lifetime artist. He was in no hurry to finish a song, he just sat back in it and drew you in, I dig that. Jam nights in Chicago are a little different to Australia obviously! Haha!
Since then I’ve seen a number of great guitarists, like Mike Wheeler who has the diversity in guitar solo’s you only get from spending decades as a blues guitarist (in addition to his creative talent). Talked to him afterwards and he’s words of advice were this…”play what you feel maaaan”. Will do bro.
Swung past “Kingston Mines”, one of Chicago’s Blues hubs to catch Joanna Connor. She shocked me, actually, she flipped my brain out! A relatively large white american lady, around 50 years old, didn’t really look like a musician. For those Aussie’s out there, at first impression she reminded of the fish and chip lady that puts “darl” at the end of all her sentences to make you feel at home. After the MC announces her 18 Album releases and various Blues Awards, she kicks off the band, closes her eyes and starts shredding like Van Halen! No exaggeration! After the first half an hour of watching her, it still felt surreal watching this lady effortlessly owning it. A real unique fusion of Chicago Blues rhythyms with an overtone of heavy metal guitar licks. Well impressed Joanna Connor, another lifetime artist and true musician. Thanks for opening my mind!
Till next time good people,