The 10th anniversary of Blues Camp was a huge success, highlighted by performances at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Navy Pier, Reggies, and Hard Rock Cafe. A huge thanks goes out to Fernando Jones and the folks at the Blues Kids foundation for always treating us so well and inviting us to be a part of camp each year. Being immersed in the blues for a full week along with other musicians from around the country is an invaluable learning experience and we are beyond grateful for the opportunity. In addition to the musical adventures with the camp, the Blues Project got to tour historic Bronzeville with Harold Lucas from the Black Metropolis Tourism Council and see ground zero for the great migration. It was especially exciting to see the home of Muddy Waters and talk about a possible collaboration in the renovation and restoration of that part of city. Mark your calendars for the first week of July in 2020 if you're interested in joining us for Blues Camp next year!
We couldn't have been more happy to celebrate Independence Day with the folks at Chess Records in honoring the late Willie Dixon. We sho' 'nuff pitched a Wang Dang Doodle in the Blues Garden outside the historic studios along with Big Lew and the Crew. I can't think of a better way to honor our county's heritage than to celebrate the blues, a truly American music, and the heroes that brought it to Chicago.
The Blues Project journeyed to Three Oaks, MI to party with the folks from Journeyman Distillery on June 29th for their annual Corsets, Whips, & Whiskey festival. It was a warm and beautiful afternoon for some putting, sipping, eating, and playing the blues. We were ecstatic to have been asked to play and really enjoyed their distillery. Looking forward to their new location coming soon in sweet home Valparaiso!
During the 1960's when the great heroes of the Blues were playing Chicago dive bars and generally unappreciated, Germans Horst Lippman and Fritz Rau organized a tour of Europe for these American musical legends. In 1962, the American Folk and Blues Festival emerged from their efforts, and it continued annually through 1972, packing European theaters and concert halls with adoring fans and giving giants like Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, and others their due. The AFBF introduced Europeans to the blues and helped to spark a blues-rock revolution in young rockers like the Yardbirds, Animals, and the Rolling Stones, changing the history of rock and roll. The Blues Project was honored to join with the Original Chicago Blues All-Stars and the Blues Kids Foundation in celebrating this Chicago-German connection on Saturday, April 27th in Daley Plaza in Chicago!
One of my favorite moments of the year is our time at Blues Camp in Chicago. The Blues Kids foundation puts on a week long camp that includes daily instruction and performance opportunities in really cool locations around the city. A huge thanks to Fernando Jones and everyone involved in the Blues Kids foundation for inviting us to be a part of the fun. Our Blues Project contingent managed to also sneak in some other fun and educational stops throughout the week like the Chicago History Museum's Blues Exhibit, The Dusable Museum of African American History, Buddy Guy's Legends, and Chess Records. Can't wait until next year!
The Blues Project was honored to be a part of the fifth annual Stars Over Valpo musical review to benefit WVLP this year. Representing the Blues Project were Isaiah Vargas and Jack Wilburn who performed a rousing rendition of the Robert Johnson classic, "Sweet Home Chicago." Other musical acts supporting the non-profit local radio station included Chad Clifford, Ripley Street, Nicole Lee, Waz, Jim Chaddock, and many others. Thanks to Paul Schreiner, John King, and everyone at WVLP for including us in this very special evening. Read more about the show and see photos from the event via ValpoLife: www.valpolife.com/entertainment/tv-movies-music/69379-local-radio-station-wvlp-and-dozens-of-local-musicians-play-to-packed-house-for-fifth-annual-stars-over-valpo-concert
The Blues Project was honored to be the featured performers at Blues For Beds this past Saturday night at Living Hope Community Church in Valparaiso. Living Hope's youth group organized this show to benefit Family Promise in Porter County and raised over $1700, doubling their goal. Its always a special thing when kids can put their time and talents together to make our community a better and more welcoming place. Kudos to Annalee Cvelbar, Amanda Allen, Lexi Hisaw and all the kids from the Living Hope youth group who worked so hard to make this event happen.