Living Blues #270 January/February 2021

WHAT'S INSIDE:



Mike Wheeler  

You Have to Know Who You Are

By David Whiteis

Chicago bluesman Mike Wheeler has been building a career for himself for over 30 years. He plays his blues with ease and an obvious joy in what he is doing. 


Stevie J 

Let the Blues Expand and Breathe 

By Mike Stephenson

Jackson, Mississippi–based Stevie J has been a go-to guitarist for gospel bands and blues acts in the City with Soul. After nearly a decade with Bobby Rush, Stevie J is now exploring his solo career.


John “Blues” Boyd 

Even after a 50-year Detour, the Blues Was Still Calling 

By Bill Kopp

John “Blues” Boyd was born in Greenville, Mississippi, but his music career took nearly 50 years to get rolling. Now based in California, Boyd has two critically acclaimed records under his belt and is ready for an exciting post-pandemic career.


Mother Station 

WDIA and the Rise of the Blues

By Michael Streissguth 

For over 70 years, WDIA has played a central role in the life of African Americans in Memphis and North Mississippi. The first all-Black-oriented radio station in America, its role in popular culture cannot be underestimated.


Let It Roll 

Bessie Smith, RCA Photophone, New York City, mid-June 1929

By Jas Obrecht

In 1929, Bessie Smith was at the peak of her popularity and prowess. We explore her appearance in the film St. Louis Blues and the history of this famous W.C. Handy song.


Record Reviews

  • New Releases: Sonny Green, Steve Washington, and Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson  
  • Reissues: The Harry Smith B-Sides, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and Pee Wee Crayton  

Books

Editorial 

Blues News  

Obituaries 

Radio Charts 


Cover photo by Peter Hurley
Mike Wheeler at Rosa’s Lounge, Chicago, August 4, 2020.

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