Long before his first album, Bobby Long acquired a
following due to his friendship with a certain sparkling vampire and
writing a song for one very popular soundtrack. Soon after, he released A Winter Tale.
After well over a quarter century, Lil Ed and the Blues
Imperials are now seasoned veterans but they still spit and snarl with
unbridled energy, tossing off blistering slide guitar runs and
red-meat-raw riffage with the same intensity that marked their fake
For Chicagoan Frank Blinkal, a day-and-night club job at
Buddy Guy’s Legends gave him a front row seat and unprecedented access
to some of the greatest names in Blues — Otis Rush, Lonnie Brooks and
Junior Wells, not to mention Legends’ illustrious owner.
Trixie Whitley was destined for a creative life. She's the
daughter of acclaimed Blues/Folk singer/songwriter Chris Whitley and his Belgian wife Helene Gavaert, whose Gypsy lineage
brims with painters, sculptors and musicians.
Sometimes it only takes a well-placed reference to bump an
artist up to the next level. French-born guitarist Stephane Wrembel was
already enjoying an acclaimed career when director Woody Allen tapped
him to score the theme of his 2011 Academy Award-winning film Midnight in Paris, which he performed live to the millions who tuned into the ceremony’s telecast.
A native Texan, Ruthie
Foster’s family tree was ripe with Gospel singers, but she quickly
absorbed the Lone Star State’s other musical identities, like Folk,
Blues, Country and Rock, to which she added her own soulful spin.
Very few people fit the true definition of prodigy, but
Joe Bonamassa could be the poster child for prodigies. By age 7, after
three short years of playing guitar, Bonamassa was regurgitating
note-perfect renditions of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound’s sophomore album, Want More,
might sound like some lost artifact from Otis Redding’s archive, but
the Chicago quartet is young enough to be Redding’s grandchildren and
have only been working their Indie Rock corner of Chicago Soul since