Talk:Chicago blues

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Characterizing the Style[edit]

Can anyone explain the difference in Chicago blues and Detroit blues? Neither article contains enough detail to tell the difference. Rmhermen 18:53, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC)

For that matter, the article gives great history, but nothing characterizing the style of this genre of music, and what differentiates it from say St. Louis Blues, Detroit Blues, or Delta Blues (the reason I came to this article). Contrast this article with the Wikipedia article on Heavy Metal: "With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are often associated with masculinity, aggression and machismo." If I'd never heard heavy metal, I'd now have a sense of it. Not so after reading the Chicago Blues article. I know it would be in keeping with the spirit of Wikipedia to now go and write it, but I genuinely don't know -- that's why I came to the article. So this is a request to those who are more knowledgeable. --Rico (talk) 15:45, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Development story[edit]

Here's a story that adds some background regarding development of the Chicago blues. While writing "Where Rebels Roost: Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited" I interviewed a blues historian in Drew (Sunflower County) and was told of a 1923 all-night gunfight in downtown Drew, a small town near the Dockery plantation that featured a busy blues alley. (Dockery had established his plantation in 1895, when the Delta was still a wilderness, by clearing and planting forty square miles of land near Drew and Rulville and employing hundreds of black agricultural laborers and sharecroppers. Henry Sloan, who in the 1890s began experimenting with new musical patterns on his guitar, was hired by Dockery and in 1897 the Patton family, including a sixteen-yearold son, Charley, moved to Dockery's.) Joe Pullen had returned to Drew from WWI and the veteran was in no mood to be taken advantage of. Hence, Pullen killed a Drew planter in an altercation over a pay dispute. A relative of Archie Manning participated in the all-night gun battle that ended when a machine gunner from nearby Clarksdale loaned his equipment to the sheriff's posse. Perhaps dozens of townfolk were killed and wounded before Pullen was taken down by the machine gun. Soon the town's sheriff announced a 7 p.m. curfew that included bluesmen and their jukes. For several days the curfew was followed but then the music started up again into the early morning hours. The sheriff and his "deputies" (night riders) tore into the jukes and shot a number of musicians. A day later, suitcases were packed by many of those surviving "Drew tradition" musicians who headed out for Chicago. Susan Klopfer 67.137.247.153 12:34, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Rolling Stones[edit]

I remember reading somewhere (don't remember where) that the Rolling Stones use Chicago blues in their style. Mr. C.C. 20:28, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Reply:

The Rolling Stones took their name from a song by Muddy Waters. As the story goes, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards teamed up after a chance meeting at London train station, during which each noticed the other was carrying a Chess LP. On their first visit to the U.S. in 1964, the Stones visited and recorded at Chess Studios. Their song, "2120 S. Michigan Avenue," is the address of the Chess Records building.

intro text not sourced[edit]

The introduction currently contains the following "making the harmonica louder with a microphone and an instrument amplifier, and adding electrically amplified guitar, amplified bass guitar, drums, piano and sometimes saxophone and trumpet. " There is no reference. This all sounds kind of intuitively reasonable but I'm currently reading the book The Devil's Music: A History of the Blues and the author doesn't mention this in the section on urban blues or chicago blues. In fact in talking about urban blues he talks about how electric guitars were added but he explicitly mentions that the amplification was not like modern guitars. I'm considering changing or deleting this text. If anyone has comments or refs please edit or comment. MadScientistX11 (talk) 19:36, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Plan to remove two red lined names from list of chicago blues people[edit]

There are two names right now Harmonica Hinds and Little Ed Williamson that are red lined. I plan to remove them shortly unless anyone objects and wants to write at least stub articles for them, going by Wikipedia:Write_the_article_first BTW, I changed my user ID, used to be MadScientistX11 RedDog (talk) 03:01, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

There is a Wikipedia article about LIl' Ed Williams. I corrected the red line. A quick search revealed that Harmonica Hinds was Koko Taylor's harmonica player also known for acoustic guitar and active in Chicago since the 1970s. Please don't remove Harmonica Hinds - a Wikipedia article will follow.--Wpwatchdog (talk) 16:09, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Being Koko Talyor's harmonica player is not nearly noteworthy enough to have your name included in an article about Chicago Blues IMO. By that standard the page would end up with hundreds of names on it. Do we have every player who ever played in Koko's band? And how could we justify just stopping with her, we would surely need the Harmonica player(s), drummer(s), bass guitarist(s) from every one of Muddy Waters' bands and Albert King, etc. I realize that everyone has their favorite artist but that's not what Wikipedia is for, its not a fan page its an encyclopedia and if there are names here that are not noteworthy in the history of Chicago Blues they should be removed. I'm getting some books on the subject which I want to review before I make any edits but I just want to be clear I'm not convinced that all the names that are there currently deserve to be. RedDog (talk) 16:35, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
OK. Now I understand it is a subjective opinion of each Wikipedia editor. I agree that the article shouldn't turn into a fan page for a person's favorite artist but it looks to me like Harmonica Hinds has been hard at work for years. I wasn't aware of him until I entered this discussion.--Wpwatchdog (talk) 20:20, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Criteria for Notable Chicago Blues Musicians[edit]

Please clarify. What are the criteria for notable Chicago blues artists? Who decides whether the artist meets the criteria?--Wpwatchdog (talk) 15:47, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

I replied to this question when you put it on my Talk Page. Sorry, I assumed since you left the question on my talk page you would be monitoring that page for the response. Or perhaps you just want to move the discussion here, which I agree makes sense. Anyway, the two points below are copied from my original response to you on my Talk page
This is one of those questions that is clearly a judgement call and most people who know the topic won't agree about who exactly is notable and who isn't. There is a List of Chicago blues musicians that included RBB and that makes sense to me. But for someone to be mentioned in the actual article I think they should be not just a blues musician from Chicago but known for some major achievement, innovation, recordings, influence, etc. So Muddy Waters, Albert King, Junior Wells, etc. There is no way I think Ronnie Baker Brooks is in that league. I had never heard of RBB although of course I had heard of his father. I wouldn't say I'm an expert on the topic but it is definitely a personal passion. If you can describe some way that RBB is known for some major influence that I'm not aware of perhaps it's worth more discussion but what I'm trying to avoid is what happens a lot on Wikipedia, people edit a page and just add their favorite artist. Also, RBB didn't start recording until the 80's. By that

point I think the Chicago Blues style was already very well defined. In fact it had been almost turned into a cliche it was bastardized, sorry I mean copied, so often by white bands, a few good many not so. Anyway, that was my thinking. I actually think some of the names that are currently in the article shouldn't be there either but until I have some time to do serious editing and get my hands on some reference books I didn't want to start editing but for now I think cutting down more bloat is a good idea but if you still aren't convinced let's discuss some more. One thing we have in common I'm sure is a love for this neglected form of great music :)

One other thought, if you can find a reference in some credible book or prominent article that says something like "RBB epitomized the later years of Chicago Blues" or something else, something besides just saying that RBB was a Chicago Blues musician but that he was notable for some achievement, that would definitely settle the case as far as I'm concerned. Some references that I'm currently trying to get to improve this article are: Chicago Blues my Mike Rowe and The Devil's Music: A History of the Blues. A sentence or two in a book like that about RBB would be what I think is required. RedDog (talk) 16:29, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not advocating for Ronnie Baker Brooks (I didn't know who he was) but I did want clarification of "notable". Your definition, "[N]ot just a blues musician from Chicago but known for some major achievement, innovation, recordings, influence, etc." works for me. I have no doubt that editors will also argue over what constitutes a major achievement. Thank you for the clarification.--Wpwatchdog (talk) 20:30, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good. As you say, the whole question over "what counts as notable?" is still going to be something we will debate, I mean it's obvious that Muddy Waters counts but for example I was surprised to see Mike Bloomfield in the list but when I looked up his bio it seems he is known not just for being an awesome guitar player (which I knew and agreed with) but for being significant as specifically doing Chicago Blues. BTW, if anyone knows of any other good books on Urban Blues in general and Chicago Blues in particular other than the two I mentioned above please drop me a note here or on my Talk page. I'm trying to find some references, the refs in the current article are pretty thin and I think we should add more. RedDog (talk) 20:53, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Got curious and found that RBB comes up in at least 10 books on Google Books. He might qualify as notable by "carrying the torch".--Wpwatchdog (talk) 21:08, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Were there any that were particularly good? Either for what they said about RBB or about chicago blues in general? If so please feel free to list the names of the books or of course URLs if they are available online. RedDog (talk) 15:31, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Here's a list with links that let you read the content in the books:
1. Today's Chicago Blues by Karen Hanson (2007) [1]
2. Children of the Blues: 49 Musicians Shaping a New Blues Tradition by Tipaldi, Art (Jan 1, 2002) [2] - includes a chapter about the Brooks family.
3. Soul of the Man: Bobby "Blue" Bland (American Made Music) by Farley, Charles (Feb 7, 2011) [3]:
4. The Rainy Winters Band by Graham Arlett (2010) [4] - describes RBB opening for B.B. King
5. Elwood's Blues: Interviews with the Blues Legends & Stars by Dan Aykroyd, Ben Manilla (2004) [5] - a paragraph that includes RBB--Wpwatchdog (talk) 18:11, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I hate to say it but if anything those quotes convince me more that RBB should not be included. To paraphrase all they said was that RBB is the son of a famous Chicago Blues musician and that he like his father also plays the Blues. To me that is not nearly enough to be included in a paragraph with people like Muddy Waters or Lonnie Brooks. What I think is required is a quote that says Ronnie Baker Brooks is known for some contribution to Chicago Blues besides just being the son of a great Chicago Blues Man. RedDog (talk) 18:04, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Adding back Harmonica Hinds as he meets Material Scientist's criteria - please see Wikipedia article. Will request arbitration if unable to agee.--Wpwatchdog (talk) 17:15, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't see how Harmonica Hinds is in the same league as people like Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Elmore James, etc. I know Chicago Blues pretty well and I've never heard of him. I've read two of the major source books for this article and as far as I can recall his name wasn't even in the index of either one. I could actually see a good case to trim out some of the other names that are there already These articles are supposed to be about the most well known and noteworthy Chicago blues artists not for each editor to add their personal favorite. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 21:42, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
I was not the original editor to add Harmonica Hinds to the article. It seems you may be defining "notable" as world famous. I would like to request a Wikipedia: Third Opinion unless you prefer more formal dispute resolution. I will abide by a third opinion. I will wait for your response before proceeding. Thank you.--Wpwatchdog (talk) 12:36, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
There is a difference between saying someone is notable in the sense of meriting their own Wikipedia article and notable in the sense of being famous enough to merit inclusion in an article about Chicago Blues. I'll concede that Hinds is notable in the first sense but I hope you would agree that everyone that is notable in that sense shouldn't be mentioned in the article. If we did the article turns into a list rather than an article. This IMO is a common problem with articles on music, everyone wants to add their favorite name to various articles and the article ends up being diluted. See for example the edit history on on Power trio I think at a minimum if you think that Hinds is notable in that sense you should give some references that list him in the same league as Muddy Waters, Elmore James, etc. As far as I know Hinds main claim to fame was that he was the harmonica player for Koko Taylor. Why not include her guitar player as well? What about the guy who played harmonica for Muddy Waters? The article ends up being diluted to just a list of whichever names are the favorites of the editors who take the trouble to add them. That's not responsible editing IMO. I know Chicago Blues pretty well. I used to live in Chicago and I went to clubs both on the North and the South side. I've read several books on Chicago Blues. Before I started watching this article I had never heard of Harmonica Hinds. If you have some information that says I'm wrong, and that he was famous enough to be mentioned in the same breath as other truly great Chicago Blues artists then please provide it. If you don't then we have nothing left to talk about but I would prefer a formal arbitration at that point. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 16:57, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
It looks like we have a difference of opinion. A musician who is regarded as one of the best musicians on the Chicago blues scene respected by the Blues greats and who remains active after 5 decades meets my definition of notable. I will follow your preference and request formal arbitration.--Wpwatchdog (talk) 17:18, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Upon reviewing the guidelines for formal arbitration process, I found that it is used for more serious disputes. Since this is only a simple content dispute, I placed a request at Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard.--Wpwatchdog (talk) 18:19, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
You say "A musician who is regarded as one of the best musicians on the Chicago blues scene respected by the Blues greats" but you've not provided a single reference to back that up. As I said in books like The Devil's Music: A History of the Blues or Chicago Blues the City and the Music I don't recall even seeing the name Harmonica Hinds anywhere in the book. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 13:33, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Here is the reference about Hinds being regarded as one of the best musicians on the Chicago blues scene (it was included in the Harmonica Hinds article): [6]. Hinds has played with many greats and he is a regular artist at the Legends and the Chicago Blues Festival. The points are moot as I will abide by the decision from the dispute resolution. I think we are both more interested in Chicago Blues than in an edit war.--Wpwatchdog (talk) 18:01, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Agree. What matters is creating an article worthy of something as awesome as Chicago Blues, even if we may not completely agree on some details. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 18:56, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Reader feedback: my one suggestion would be t...[edit]

75.22.23.192 posted this comment on 13 October 2012 (view all feedback).

my one suggestion would be to remove the 'far' from 'far south side of chicago'. most of the notable blues clubs were around 43rd St. which is not the Far South Side but just the South Side. You might also mention West Side bluesman, known for their rougher style. I don't know about those ninth chords either- in my brief experience onstage I always got a funny look if I played ninths. I have never heard of a trumpet in a chicago blues band, but that's me.

Any thoughts?

RedDog (talk) 18:08, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

I think the feedback suggestions should be followed.--Wpwatchdog (talk) 13:41, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I think so as well from what I know but I'm holding off making more edits for a while. I have what seem like two excellent reference books on order at my local library (it's part of a city chain so has lots of books available fast). I should get them this week and plan to read the relevant parts and make some more changes after that. Of course anyone else is free to make changes in the mean time, just remember to leave good references :) RedDog (talk) 15:35, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Great!--Wpwatchdog (talk) 17:38, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I think I've dealt with all these issues. The stuff about the palette I couldn't find in any of the source books I obtained so I deleted it. I also found a good reference to clarify where the blues clubs were, it wasn't the "far south" side just the south side and also some small black neighborhoods on the West side. RedDog (talk) 18:41, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Categorisation of Chicago Blues players[edit]

The categorization of Chicago Blues players here is obviously based either on simply the fact that the musician was based in Chicago or recorded with a Chicago based label, which is misleading. Muddy Waters, for example, was a Delta blues musician who moved up North and while he obviously would have met new influences there, his style nevertheless remained Delta more than anything else. Arthur Craddup may have recorded with a Chicago label but no one would seriously suggest he was a city blues musician. I admit that no such statement has been made here, but by listing him among Chicago blues label artists, an insinuation is made that he was therefore a Chicago blues musician. Even if BB King had never left Mississippi he would still have been a Chicago blues player, because that's what he plays. There are Chicago blues players in the South, just as there are Southern blues players in other places. Keb Mo, for example, was born and grew up in California but he has more of the Southern sound in his style than Buddy Guy, a Southern born musician. I know it may not be possible to come up with a categorization that will please everyone, but the mistakes are too glaring here.

Albert Khomani, blues maniac — Preceding unsigned comment added by Albert Khomani (talkcontribs) 16:17, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Everything you said sounded reasonable to me. Can you find a source that is widely accepted and that says the same things? If so please document the book or other source here and I will take a shot at revising the article. But of course without a source what you are saying is just wp:original research --MadScientistX11 (talk) 17:05, 8 September 2014 (UTC)