Author Archive for TCBX

Son Seals – On My Knees (from 80’s TV Show)

Longtime TCBX fans and even casual listeners know how much we truly loved Son Seals. The Bad Axe was a true bluesman and Cornbread and I spent countless incredible nights at clubs around Chicagoland and the Burbs watching Son and his band tear it up. Son almost always featured multiple horn players in his bands during that time period and it was great. Personally I would love to see more blues bands use horns today but unfortunately the economics of leading a band doesn’t always allow for those luxuries. Son was the complete package though, he grew up living behind his father’s Juke Joint and was exposed to all kinds of blues and musicians at an early age. I came across this video today from an 80’s era TV show and enjoyed it because it featured Son in a more traditional blues band setup without the horns. I know Snapper Mitchum is the bass player in this video but like the poster I am not sure of the other members. Can any blues fans name them?

Over the years we have had a chance to do many recordings with Son Seals and did dozens of interviews with him including one memorable remote broadcast where Son decided to stop by and sit in with us for most of the show spinning blues and telling stories. We’ll get some of those interviews up on the site soon but for now enjoy this look back at a Titan of Chicago Blues and one of my own personal favorites…the legendary Bad Axe….Son Seals.


If you are out tonight, this is one of the best lineups I have seen in years.


7:00 PM
We are happy to announce the Magic Slim tribute show, A NIGHT FOR MAGIC, a tribute to Magic Slim has been scheduled for March 28, 2013, at The Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626 beginning at 7 P.M. All proceeds will go to Magic’s family. Tickets are available in advance through the venue, at a cost of $25.00. Please spread the word to all your contacts and get your tickets while they last. Space is limited.

This All-Star blues tribute will include performances by Shawn Holt and the Teardrops, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Otis Clay, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Burns, Billy Branch, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Wayne Baker Brooks, Eddie Shaw, Nick Moss, Grana Louise, Big Time Sarah, Zac Harmon, Carl Weathersby, Linsey Alexander, Mike Wheeler, J.W. Williams, Steve Cushing, Zora Young, Lurrie Bell, Jimmy Johnson and the Chicago Blues All-Stars, Nalle (Denmark), Ronnie Baker Brooks, Lurrie Bell, Jimmie Johnson and Zora Young.


Freddie King live in Europe 1973-74

I still remember the first time I stumbled on a live version of Freddie King’s classic Goin’ Down….it was a late night and I was doing a 6 month stint in Telluride, CO and broadcasting TCBX on KOTO FM. I was previewing some tracks from an album and when he kicked into Goin’ Down it was like my jaw hit the floor. The stinging guitar, the emotion he puts into it, the intensity….it’s all there. Needless to say I played the track on the air almost immediately and from then on I started listening to all the Freddie King I could find. He was an incredible performer and a guy that left this world too soon like so many of the other blues greats.

I found this video of Freddie and thought it was a nice look at him and offered the rare chance to see a whole performance. Imagine what it must have been like sitting there in those front row tables enjoying dinner and a cocktail or 7 while Freddie King tore it up 10 feet away. Wow! If you had a chance to see Freddie King live feel free to share your stories. If you haven’t heard him before he is absolutely required listening when it comes to the blues.


Howlin’ Wolf – Legend of Chicago Blues

Born Chester Burnett he performed under the name Howlin’ Wolf and for many he defined the sound of Classic Postwar Chicago Blues. Along with Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Little Walter among others the Wolf helped lead the charge and brought blues to the forefront of music. Personally, from the second I heard Howlin’ Wolf sing his first lyric I was hooked….instantaneously and for life. So many great songs and legendary stories about his live performances. I like this video because it captures his sense of humor and shows him having fun with the camera and the viewers. Vintage stuff from a true titan of Chicago Blues History. To learn more about Howlin’ Wolf and his life story you can visit the official website here

Would love to see some Howlin’ Wolf stories posted in the comments if anyone has anything they would like to share.

B.B. King to Launch Line of Signature Wines in the US

The King of Blues has a new Signature Wine - B.B. King

The King of Blues has a new Signature Wine – B.B. King

(HAMDEN, CT) Blues music legend B.B. King, in collaboration with Votto Vines Importing, is proud to release a new line of signature wines bearing his name across the United States.

The Rock and Roll and Blues Hall of Famer will debut the B.B. King Signature Collection in the strategic markets of Memphis and Nashville with roll-out planned to the B.B. King’s Blues Clubs and in retail stores, wine bars and music clubs throughout the country; roll-out began this week.

Exemplifying the grace and elegance of the blues, the B.B. King Signature Collection represents the tradition, quality and excellence of B.B. King and his music. At 87 years old, B.B. King has won over 15 Grammy awards, has performed in 88 countries and still frequently tours all over the world. With hundreds of performances throughout Europe under his belt, the emerging region of Spain was selected as the source for this signature collection. A fitting choice for the wines of one of the most-beloved musicians of all time, Spain was also the host of the original all-star “Guitar Legends” concert series, which in 1991 gathered and celebrated 27 of the world’s best guitarists, including B.B. King, over 5 days of completely sold out shows.

The B.B. King Signature Collection will be comprised of a red wine and a white wine for music fans and wine lovers alike. Both wines are sourced from the award winning Bodega Santa Cruz Winery, which has been producing wine for over 60 years and is located in the up-and-coming D.O. wine region of Almansa, Spain. B.B. King Signature Collection Red 2010 is a Crianza blend made from Garnacha, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and B.B. King Signature Collection White 2011 is comprised of 100% Verdejo grapes. Both wines are food friendly and meant to be enjoyed as everyday drinking wines.

The wines will first launch in Memphis and Nashville, and soon thereafter the B.B. King Signature Collection will be available through select national, regional, local and online outlets. The suggested retail price of the wines is $13.99.

Big Jack Johnson Live at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted 12.6.98

Hard to believe it has been 2 years since Big Jack passed away. Great times seeing Jack in clubs all over Chicagoland and the South. One of my all time favorites and a TCBX regular from the beginning. Always tough to figure out who we saw more often back in the day…R.L. Burnside, Mem Shannon, Big Jack Johnson, or Son Seals. This night at B.L.U.E.S. was unseasonably warm….I think it was 60+ in December and with the club packed as tight as possible it was a HOT night in more ways than one. I think Jack, Hooter, Chet and Chris had driven about 400 miles to get there and had another 500 to drive the next day but once they started playing you would never know. We’ll be play lots of other Big Jack in the future but for now get up off that desk chair and enjoy a listen into one of the most intimate clubs in the World Capital of the Blues.
Now like Big Jacks Bass Player Hooter says….”Time to Shake Your Booty People!”


Happy Birthday Eddie Shaw

Happy Birthday to Eddie Shaw who is celebrating his 76th birthday today. A true legend of the blues who has been on the scene in Chicago for more than 55 years and has played with all of the greats including spending time in the bands of both Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Over the years Eddie has probably shared a stage with just about every big name there is but just some of the people he has recorded or played with include: Eric Clapton, Otis Rush, Freddie King, Magic Sam, A.C. Reed, Ike Turner and so many others.

If you have never seen Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang get out and do it tonight. In fact the band is onstage right now at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted and I imagine they are on fire as usual.

We had the chance to have Eddie on the radio program a couple of times… is a song I’d like to share, a blues classic recorded live at Kingston Mines on 11.19.2000

R.L. Burnside Live at Double Door 3.20.99

RL Burnside recorded live at the Double Door on 3.20.99.  Whenever RL was in town the club was packed and the dance floor was rocking as people grooved along with RL, Kenny and Cedric.  RL was one of my favorites and a guy I will always miss.  Click the song below to hear the Reverend of the Blues as captured by The Chicago Blues Explosion.