Living Blues #265 January/February 2020


Leon Blue

Leon Blue Is His Real Name

By Billy C. Wirtz

Eighty-eight-year-old Leon Blue has had a remarkable, though mostly under the radar, musical career. Through run-ins with Bob Wills, recording with Lowell Fulson, and touring with Ike Turner and Albert Collins, Blue has seen it all. 

Smilin’ Bobby Smith

As Long as I Play . . . 

By Justin O’Brien

Chicago club stalwart Smilin’ Bobby Smith has been playing the blues since the early 1960s and yet many fans may not have heard of him. Smith plays live most nights, but his lack of recordings has made his career a local one. And he likes it that way.

Clarence Spady

Another Trip Around the Sun

By Scott M. Bock

Pennsylvania-based bluesman Clarence Spady exploded on the scene in the 1990s but personal issues put his career on hold. Over the last decade he has been rebuilding his career and tearing up the local festival scene and New York club scene.

Let It Roll

Baby Face Leroy Trio and Little Walter Trio 

By Jas Obrecht

In January 1950 Baby Face Leroy Foster, Muddy Waters, and Little Walter recorded a series of sides for Parkway Records that captured a new, raw energy infiltrating the early postwar blues era.

Rollin’ and Tumblin’ . . . The Story of a Song 

By Jas Obrecht

Perhaps the grittiest song of all recorded by Foster, Waters, and Walter was their version of Rollin’ and Tumblin’. We trace the history of this classic blues song.

Celebrating 50 Years of Living Blues 

A visual tour of 50 years of Living Blues. Plus, the first of a series of “50” lists from Jim DeKoster.

Record Reviews

  • New Releases:  Jimmy Johnson, Johnny Rawls, and Lucky Peterson 
  • Reissues: Sam Cooke, It’s the Best Stuff Yet!, and Freddie King


Blues News 

Artist to Artist with E.C. Scott 

Breaking Out with Dexter Allen 


LB Radio Charts 2019 Top 50 Releases 

Radio Charts

Cover photo by Joseph A. Rosen

Leon Blue on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, February 2019.




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