Mojo Working - The Story of Chicago Blues

$166 Limited inc GST / $149
Mojo Working - The Story of Chicago Blues

<p>Originating in the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s, the Chicago Blues became the cultural outlet for Black workers who had moved to industrial Chicago. A thriving club scene flourished on the South


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Originating in the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s, the Chicago Blues became the cultural outlet for Black workers who had moved to industrial Chicago. A thriving club scene flourished on the South Side and the urban electric blues genre developed. Artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy and Sonny Boy Williamson 1 and 2 produced distinctive and influential musical styles. In this short four-week course, we will take a musical tour of the Chicago Blues. Starting with the roots of this music we will explore the development of this music in an urban setting. We will examine innovators such as Muddy Waters and then trace the Blues' developmental path with the distinctive sounds of Little Walter, Otis Rush, Elmore James and many others. We will also have a firsthand tour of the famous Chess studio in Chicago. This course will feature many rare tracks and footage of these artists. Each student will receive a CD of this great music and some surprises.


  • The Development of Chicago Blues: We will begin with the Delta influences of Blind Lemon and Robert Johnson. We will then move north to Clarksdale Mississippi and Memphis to meet John Lee Hooker; the transitional form of Blues and the electric B.B. King. We will look at the importance of Muddy Waters and the development of the Chicago Blues Band. The class will also examine the influences of all Muddy Water’s original band members. They really began Chicago Blues. We will also hear Paul Butterfield and the white Blues Bands of Chicago as well as the later British influences. Excerpts from the famous award-winning films “Chicago Blues” and “Maxwell Street”, which includes the only known footage of Robert Nighthawk and was just reissued last year, will be shown.
  • The Classic Chicago Artists: Blues greats such as Sonny Boy Williamson I and II, Howlin Wolf, Elmore James and his electric slide guitar and many others will be discussed. The class will also see Little Walter’s only existing video footage. On this night we will explore the West Side sound including the electric guitar stylings of Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, Freddie King and Otis Rush.
  • A Night with Muddy Waters: This week we will feature a retrospective on the career of Muddy Waters', the most famous Chicago Blues musician. We’ll examine his life, band members and his influences on this music. DVD performances will include the Newport Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and several rare European appearances. This night will also include rare colour footage of Howlin' Wolf and other Chicago Blues greats.
  • The Future of Chicago Blues: In our final week we will look at the current club situation and see some of the post-West Side Blues artists who frequent the Blues scene and some of the few veterans who still play on the Chicago scene. We will look at the northside clubs and famous Blues Halls such as Legends, Rosas and others. Some artists will include Robert Cray, Walter Trout, John Mayall, Taj Mahal and Keb Mo.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the place of the Chicago Blues genre in the development of modern music.
  2. Recognise the value of these early pioneer artists on popular music and Rock and Roll.
  3. Identify the various sub-styles and characteristics of this musical form.
  4. Discuss the development of Blues from its earlier country acoustic roots.
  5. Encourage students to continue their interest in this music into the future.