4 September – In Chicago how can I not visit the Chess Records studio at 2120 South Michigan Avenue? It was a working studio between 1957 and 1967 and was home to classic recordings by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Koko Taylor and Buddy Guy amongst others. In 1964 the Rolling Stones recorded most of their 12X5 album here, including the instrumental 2120 South Michigan Avenue.
It’s now home to the Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation and houses a growing collection of Chess memorabilia. They’re also talking about reinstalling recording equipment to become a working studio again. If you’re a music fan and are ever in Chicago you should pay it a visit.
Here’s a Spotify Chess playlist.
27 September – Back from holiday and the GLW and I are at the Brudenell Social Club to see Smoke Fairies. We first saw them almost three years ago supporting Richard Hawley. This is the third time I’ve seen them and every time they seem more confident. They played a lot of songs from their latest album Blood Speaks and, while that fascinating mix of swamp blues and pastoral English folk is still in place, at points they were almost rocking out! The Bass player was funny though – he looked as if he’d escaped from the Rockin’ Berries in about 1968.