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The first studio effort from The Bob Riedy Blues Band under their own banner, Lake Michigan Ain't No River features a mix of Riedy's arrangements in the urban blues style of the 70's, and the original traditional blues style. The album showcases performance contributions from some of the giants of Chicago Blues: Sam Lay, John Littlejohn, Jimmy Rogers, Carey Bell, and Johnny Young. Initially released in 1973, Lake Michigan Ain't No River has been painstakingly remastered by Riedy, recapturing the energy of the original recording session.
Originally released in 1974, Just Off Halsted was The Bob Riedy Blues Band's second studio effort under their own banner. As with each Bob Riedy Blues Band album, Just Off Haltsed is a faithful representation of the blues club sound of the early 70's. In an attempt to interest patrons from Chicago's north side (at a time when urban blues music was decidedly out of favor), Riedy incorporated brass into freshly arranged production numbers that attracted a new audience and allowed traditional blues artists to perform in a non-stereotypical atmosphere. Packed with carefully crafted interpretations of blues standards as well as soulful originals, Just Off Halsted is a veritable time capsule of the 70's Chicago Blues scene—a time when blues legends Carey Bell, Richard "Hub Cap" Robinson, and Eddy Clearwater performed in a tight Chicago Blues club circuit that was just off Halsted.
This newly remastered CD contains songs that, because of running time, could not be fit on the original vinyl album.
The blues record that nearly wasn't. Recorded in 1977 but never pressed to vinyl, Late Freight has been digitally remastered and is now available to the public for the very first time. Featuring covers from legendary blues writers such as Muddy Waters, Carey Bell, and Walter Jacobs, Late Freight also includes two original compositions from Bob Riedy. As one of the few studio albums of Chicago Blues music produced during this period, Late Freight is a must-listen for blues fans and historians alike.
Chicago Blues Shows of the 70's, a two-disk package, showcases Chicago Blues legends at the height of their artistic skills. The compilation is a faithful representation of a typical Bob Riedy (RMR Productions) blues show of the period. To ensure authenticity, Bob arranged these studio recordings both in chronological and in concert style order.
Virtually every blues artist in Chicago between 1966 and 1986 was either a member of, or a featured guest of the Bob Riedy Blues Band. Artists as well known as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, KoKo Taylor, and Buddy Guy-to very talented blues artists not even known beyond their neighborhoods- could be heard on a weekly basis. Because economics prevented more than a few established Chicago Urban Blues Artists from appearing with the band on a given night, Riedy would create multiple concerts within a club circuit, showcasing many artists in one night within his band and/or the artist's own band. This also served the purpose of further promoting Chicago Urban Blues.
Chicago Blues Shows of the 70's also includes never-before released material from Riedy's sessions with then-undiscovered, but now well known blues artists. The compilation features a hall of fame ensemble of Urban Blues performers including John Littlejohn, Johnny Young, Jimmy Rogers, Carey Bell, Magic Slim, Eddy Clearwater, Big Twist and Richard "Hub Cap" Robinson. Any listener of Chicago Blues Shows of the 70's will surely appreciate the variety and diversity of the material of this period, and the passion of the performances that defined this decade of blues music.
In the 1970's, Bob Riedy led one of the most disciplined and prolific bands of Chicago Urban Blues musicians ever established. Blues legends such as John Littlejohn, Johnny Young, Jimmy Rogers, Carey Bell, Magic Slim, Eddy Clearwater, and Richard "Hub Cap" Robinson all played with the Bob Riedy Blues Band.
As Riedy began to record with these legends, he quickly discovered that the artists typically gave even better and more inspired performances in the clubs than in the studio. Musicians played at the very edge of their capabilities in the clubs, with excitement and sometimes reckless abandon. Live From Chicago, a two-disk set, captures the band in an uninhibited live atmosphere that produced some of the best improvisational performances of the decade.
Live From Chicago is compiled from the raw tape Riedy originally recorded off the band's public address system, then used primarily for rehearsal purposes. Over the years, Riedy found himself listening to and appreciating more and more the authenticity of the performances captured on these tapes. Though not technically perfectly balanced or professionally recorded with a studio truck, these tapes are virtually an exact representation of what the patrons of the club heard. They are uncut from beginning to end, exactly as performed.
Now that these archival tapes have been digitally mastered, you can sit back and enjoy a night at the club, Live From Chicago.
Below are some of the few 1970s recordings released by other companies. You can purchase them through us or go to our LINKS page and purchase directly from the record label that is issuing them.
From the Delmark CD liner notes: Jimmy proved himself one of the best contemporary blues artists in the late seventies and early eighties with two killer albums on Delmark, Johnson's Whack's (Delmark 644) and North//South (Delmark 647). Jim O'Neil, founding editor of Living Blues, wrote, "Jimmy's fervent, high-register singing is just stunning; combined with his fluent, note-bending guitar work, those marvelous vocals invest the supercharged blues of Jimmy Johnson not just with deep emotion, but also with a rare, anguished kind of beauty." His original 1977 notes and new updated notes enclosed.
From the Delmark CD liner notes: In his early Chicago years, Carey Bell learned from maestros Little Waler Jacobs and Big Walter Horton, also working as a base player while refining his harp skills. His talent and adaptability led to dozens of sessions over the years backing up everyone from Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon to the Staple Singers. Carey Bell is a true Patriarch of Chicago Blues, and in the words of his longtime European promoter Horst Lippman, "the Senior Master of the Blues harp".
From the Delmark CD liner notes: Eddy Clearwater is rightly regarded as one of the toughest West side-rooted blues guitarists populating the Windy City, with a string of excellent albums to his credit. For the real germination of Clearwater's rise to Chicago blues stardom, check out the solid sides comprising this album.
Living Chicago Blues Volume Number 1 serves as an accurate historic record of the 1970's Chicago Urban Blues scene, a time during which blues artists played with passion and precision in small Chicago nightclubs. During this era, when funk was the rage of the urban culture, acts such as The Jimmy Johnson Blues Band, Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang, Left Hand Frank and his Blues Band, and Carey Bell's Blues Harp Band often played in obscurity for $25 to $50 a gig.
As an integral part of the original Muddy Waters' combo, Jimmy Rogers was instrumental in defining the Chicago Blues Sound. Yet, in spite of his own solo success with Chess in the 1950's (during which time he recorded such classics as "That's All Right," "The Last Time," "Sloppy Drunk," "Chicago Bound," and "Walking By Myself"), Rogers was rarely heard from throughout the 1960's.
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