“Howlin’ Wolf and Hubert Sumlin at Big Duke’s Blue Flame Lounge, Chicago 1971” – Photo by Amy Van Single
Back in the heyday of Chicago Blues, there were bar lined streets that blared blues music throughout the neighborhoods. Why? Because, when you had nothing else to do, you could walk from club to club, and catch some of the greatest blues legends performing within a few feet of the patrons.
These clubs also brought in the type of musicians that learned to play the blues through generations of blues masters like Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and many more.
Musicians featured in the photo:
Howlin’ Wolf was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player, originally from Mississippi. With a booming voice and imposing physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago Blues artists still to this day. Many of his songs, including “Smokestack Lightnin”, “Killing Floor” and “Spoonful”, have become blues and blues rock standards. In 2011, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked him number 54 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”
Hubert Charles Sumlin was a Chicago blues guitarist and singer, he’s best known for his “wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions” as a member of Howlin’ Wolf’s band, He was ranked number 43 in “Rolling Stone’s” “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
Keeping the Blues Alive
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