Living Blues #270 January/February 2021
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.
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.
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.
- New Releases: Sonny Green, Steve Washington, and Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson
- Reissues: The Harry Smith B-Sides, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and Pee Wee Crayton
Cover photo by Peter Hurley
Mike Wheeler at Rosa’s Lounge, Chicago, August 4, 2020.