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Local and State News

Danielle Nichole Performs at Token Lounge

BLUEStage Jams is pleased to announce, a musical performance by Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys.  Based out of Milwaukee WI the band will perform at the BLUEStage Jams venue on Saturday Dec 22nd.  Please join us for Original Blues and Traditional Grooves.  Doors at 7pm, music at 7:45.  Reserved table/seating of choice when tickets purchased at the box office.  All are invited for a night of music, dancing, food & beverage in an intimate venue w/excellent service, superb sound and lighting .  Tickets at box office/TC’s Garage or online w/CC at our website: bluestagejams.com/shows.  For more info call 517-536-8635, email tcsjams@gmail.com or visit bluestagejams.com 

National News and Beyond

Save the date International Blues Challenge #35: January 22-26, 2019

The International Blues Challenge represents the worldwide search for those Blues Bands and Solo/Duo Blues Acts ready to perform on the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. Each Affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band and a solo/duo act to represent its organization at the IBC.

Eddie C. Campbell, American blues guitarist and singer in the Chicago blues scene

Eddie C. Campbell (May 6, 1939 – November 20, 2018) was an American blues guitarist and singer in the Chicago blues scene wasn’t as widely celebrated as some of his West Side colleagues, such as Magic Sam and Luther Allison.

But considering that at age 12 Campbell sat in with Muddy Waters and later performed with Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and Willie Dixon, the singer-guitarist could be considered a fully pedigreed member of Chicago blues royalty.

Campbell was born in Duncan, Mississippi.  He moved to Chicago with his mother at the age of ten. They were part of the Great Migration of African-Americans to the north, including musicians who transformed rural, Southern acoustic blues via a tougher, harder, electrified urban sound By age 12 Campbell was learning from the blues musicians Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, and Otis Rush.

In his early years as a professional musician, he played as a sideman with Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Little Johnny Taylor, and Jimmy Reed.   In 1976, Willie Dixon hired him to play in the Chicago Blues All-Stars.  Campbell's debut album, King of the Jungle, featuring Carey Bell on harmonica and Lafayette Leake on piano, was released the next year.

In 1984, Campbell left Chicago for Europe, living first in the Netherlands and later in Duisburg, Germany, where he remained for ten years before returning to Chicago. He recorded “That’s When I Know” (1994) and, later, “Tear This World Up” (2009) and “Spider Eating Preacher” (2012), the last two produced by Shurman for Delmark Records.

His  last album was “Spider Eating Preacher” (Delmark, 2012). It was nominated for a Blues Music Award in 2013 in the category Traditional Blues Album.

In February 2013, Campbell suffered a stroke and a heart attack while on tour in Germany, leaving him paralyzed on the right side of his body. His wife, Barbara Basu, started the Eddie C. Campbell Assistance Fund to raise money to fly him back to Chicago for further medical treatment.  He died in Oak Park, Illinois on November 20, 2018, aged 79.

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Joseph Leon Williams American Blues Guitarists and Singer Passes at 83.

Joseph Leon Williams (February 3, 1935–December 1, 2018), better known as Jody Williams, was an American blues guitarist and singer. His singular guitar playing, marked by flamboyant string-bending, imaginative chord voicings and a distinctive tone, was influential in the Chicago blues scene of the 1950s.

In the mid-1950s, Williams was one of the most sought-after session guitarists in Chicago, but he was little known outside the music industry, since his name rarely appeared on discs. His acclaimed comeback in 2000 led to a resurgence of interest in his early work and a reappraisal as one of the great blues guitarists.[1] Williams was known for his imaginative chord selection, characterized by raised fives, and minor sixths and minor sevenths with flattened fives. He usually played with an unusual open E tuning, originally taught to him by Bo Diddley.

Joseph Leon Williams was born in Mobile, Alabama, on February 3, 1935, and moved to Chicago as a youngster. His first instrument was the harmonica, which he swapped for the guitar after hearing Bo Diddley play at a talent show where they were both performing. He eventually joined Bo Diddley to play the streets as a teenager and within a few years had honed his talent enough to become a valued session musician at Chess Records and other labels. His crisp fretwork enlivened such classic records as ‘Who Do You Love’ by Bo Diddley, ‘I Wish You Would’ by Billy Boy Arnold, and ‘Evil’ and ‘Forty Four’ by Howlin’ Wolf. He also accompanied Willie Dixon, Jimmy Witherspoon, Otis Rush, and Jimmy Rogers among others.

Williams also worked regularly in the Chicago clubs and toured with big package shows backing blues, rock ‘n roll, and doo-wop acts. The handful of early sessions on his own produced the influential instrumental ‘Lucky Lou,’ the model for Otis Rush’s ‘All Your Love’ and later the Fleetwood Mac and Santana classic ‘Black Magic Woman.’ Another instrumental, ‘Moanin’ for Molasses,’ was later covered by Sean Costello, and ‘Billy’s Blues,’ recorded with Billy Stewart, was lifted for the Mickey & Sylvia smash ‘Love is Strange’ in a case that went to court for copyright infringement.

Williams ended up with neither a composer credit nor royalties for ‘Love is Strange,’ and remained wary of playing his original un copyrighted music for anyone to this day. After a few more years of working the clubs, he married and learned electronics to find a suitable job to support his family. He worked for years as a technician for Xerox and as an ATM machine serviceman until longtime fan and producer Dick Shurman convinced him to bring out his guitar again. Williams began recording anew in 2002 and toured widely to warm receptions around the world.

Williams continued to perform around the world until 2014, mainly at large blues festivals, and often sitting in with the blues guitarist Billy Flynn at Chicago club appearances. Poor health later curtailed his musical activities. In 2013, Williams was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame. Williams passed away on December 1, 2018 at age 83.