“Blues had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going.” By Langston Hughes
Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.- Charlie “Bird” ParkerI’m a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration- joy and pain sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll. – Cornel West.
The blues are the roots and the other musics are the fruits. It’s better keeping the roots alive, because it means better fruits from now on. The blues are the roots of all American music. As long as American music survives, so will the blues.
Once you discover that you can, then you must. And it’s not easy. You have to take direct steps. You really have to count your blessings and you have to make a decided effort to not get seduced by the blues.
So on my way driving to Minneapolis I stopped off in Chicago. It has been about 25 Years since I’ve been back. I was going to go the same place I went last time I was in Chicago. I was headed over to Buddy Guy’S Legends. One of the best blues bars in the world owned by Chicago’s very own Legend, Buddy Guy. He has always been a blues hero for me. I was hoping he would be there, it was ten days before Christmas so he could very well be there. Good news he was! The last time I went to Legends 25 years ago he was there as well. Just standing against the wall. I didn’t even notice him until he smiled and then I saw his gold BG ring and I realized who he was. There was a private CD release party going on and I kind of crashed it.
Any Way the first time I went I had no camera but I stayed at this Russian owned hotel called the spa motel. Very cheap, very clean. I got to Legends, different location but Buddy’s Bar and I got to Chicago B.L.U.E.S and saw Son seals. I went to Kingston Mines and saw Magic Slim and the teardrops. I also went over to the historic Maxwell Street to soak in some Blues history. Here’s some vintage pictures of Maxwell Street. When I was on Maxwell Street is was like a glorified swap meet and I it was very cold so there were a lot of garbage cans fires burning strong.
This time I didn’t have a lot of time but I made sure to spend a night at Legends. The staff was amazing, the wings were so good and the Buddy Guy Beer hit the spot after driving 500 miles. I saw three acts and then Buddy graced the stage with the Lindsey Alexander Band. It was super lucky to have met Buddy Guy and take this picture. I cannot express how much Joy I got from his music and performances.