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$120 pledged of $30,000 goal
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By Dave Herda
$120 pledged of $30,000 goal
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About this project

The Radio Show

For more than 10 years TCBX - The Chicago Blues Explosion broadcast blues on the radio and online in and around Chicagoland.  Our weekly afternoon-drive time broadcast (a first for a Chicago Blues program) on 92.7FM WCBR exposed us to a lot of music fans who appreciated a chance to hear the blues...both the classics and the stuff that was new at the time. One popular feature of the radio show was when we would go out and record live performances at blues clubs and then air a song or two on the radio the following week along with an interview.  Eventually this feature proved so popular that TCBX launched a second weekly broadcast which was hosted each week live at Kingston Mines and featured a full set of music from the stages of Chicago's oldest and largest blues club.  For more than 200 weeks in a row the show broadcast different bands from the stages of Kingston Mines.  

Detroit Junior greeted us each and every Thursday at Kingston Mines
Detroit Junior greeted us each and every Thursday at Kingston Mines

These archives have never been rebroadcast and never been available on CD but they deserve to be heard again and they certainly provide a snapshot of what the blues scene was like in Chicago from 1997 - 2006.  In addition to the shows recorded live at Kingston Mines and in other blues clubs around the city, the archives also feature 100's of interviews with some of the biggest and best known performers in the world of the blues. 

Exclusive Live Chicago Blues on CD

We'll be hand picking some of our favorite live recordings from the 1000+ plus we have to choose from and putting them on a series of CDs in order to better share them with blues fans around the world. Upon reaching our goal we'll be able to release Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 of Live Chicago Blues along with a bonus CD containing some interviews we have done over the years.

Marty Sammon (keys) and Giles Corey (guitar) tearing down the house on TCBX Live at Kingston Mines
Marty Sammon (keys) and Giles Corey (guitar) tearing down the house on TCBX Live at Kingston Mines


When choosing the songs for these CD's it won't be easy because we have a lot of great music to pick from. Just off the top of my head (after 10 years away from them) some of the artists recorded in no particular order include: Big Jack Johnson, Mem Shannon, John Primer, Billy Branch, Carlos Johnson, Son Seals, R.L. Burnside, Li'l Ed, Magic Slim, Detroit Junior, Byther Smith, Jimmy Johnson, Shirley Dixon, Bonnie Lee, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, A.C. Reed, Carl Weathersby, Joanna Connor, Lurrie Bell, Eddie Shaw, Tom Holland, Alberta Adams, Mike Wheeler, the Marty Sammon Band, and so many others. These musicians deserve to be heard and these recordings provide a great feel for what it was like inside a blues club on any given evening during that time in Chicago. Sometimes they are gritty and raw but hey, this is the blues and some people will argue that is the best way to listen to it.  We'll be working with the musicians and their families in order to ensure that royalties are paid and we hope this project will generate some extra income (along with exposure) for some of our favorite blues musicians.  

RL Burnside - The Reverend of the Blues was a good friend and an inspiration - many good nights spent watching RL perform at clubs and jukes from Chicago to Mississippi
RL Burnside - The Reverend of the Blues was a good friend and an inspiration - many good nights spent watching RL perform at clubs and jukes from Chicago to Mississippi

The Chicago Blues Explosion live broadcast

Upon hitting our goal in addition to the CD's we will also host an online broadcast from Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted.  We'll broadcast this show  at bluesexplosion.com   The date of this broadcast will be announced once we have reached our funding goal and all supporters will be updated so that they can watch online or join us live if interested.  We hope to establish future live broadcasts and a 24/7 webcast stream of live blues in the future in order to give the blues musicians around Chicagoland a place to promote their shows, play their CD's, and share their talents with the world.

Son gave us this photo of him and Muddy during one of the many interviews we did with him
Son gave us this photo of him and Muddy during one of the many interviews we did with him

If we raise more funds than our goal we will be able to broadcast more live shows from more clubs around Chicagoland and produce additional CD's in the future.  The musicians featured on all of the recordings will receive a portion of the proceeds and that is a big inspiration for us launching this initiative in the first place.  Without the musicians who call it home, Chicago couldn't be the World Capital of the Blues and we are always looking for additional ways that they can earn income doing what they are so good at (playing and singing the blues).  

Alberta Adams had the crowd in a frenzy this night at Kingston Mines
Alberta Adams had the crowd in a frenzy this night at Kingston Mines

Risks and challenges

There are some technical challenges to overcome but we have done extensive beta testing on the software and broadcast practices. We have money budgeted for dedicated computer equipment and bandwidth to be used for the online broadcast so this should not be a problem. I have space being donated to be used as a studio and plenty of access to mics, etc.

For the CD part of the project there is always the risk of a production delay. I will stay in touch with Backers and they wil have advance notice of any delays. The final tracks for the CD's will all be mastered to ensure the best quality possible but part of the beauty of these recordings is that they are live and put you in the middle of a crowded blues club on any given night in Chicago.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thanks for dropping something into our open guitar case as we play the blues for you

    you have our personal thanks and the satisfaction that you are helping to spread the blues and bring additional awareness to some of the most talented musicians in Chicago. If you plan on visiting Kingston Mines or B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted and I am there that evening I'll gladly say hello and chat about the blues.

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    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    In addition to the above you'll get a brand new "TCBX - This is the blues....Are you listening" static window decal. Non-permanent and easy to move.

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    In addition to the above rewards you'll also get access to the digital downloads of 10 bonus live tracks recorded around Chicagoland. We'll select 10 of our favorites and give you a chance to download them to your favorite listening device

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    In addition to the above rewards you'll also receive the first CD released - Live Chicago Blues Vol 1. featuring 10-12 tracks of exclusive live blues recorded at some of Chicago's best blues clubs.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    In addition to the above rewards (sticker and digital downloads of additional live tracks) you'll receive Vol. 2 of Live Chicago Blues featuring more exclusive live blues from the clubs of Chicagoland and a second bonus CD featuring interviews with some of the greatest blues legends of all time from the archives of The Chicago Blues Explosion (TCBX).

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Long time TCBX listeners know the show was famous for the "Blues Booty" they would give away to lucky listeners. In addition to the above rewards we'll also throw in 6 additional CDs from the legendary "Blues Booty" archives of TCBX. That means you'll receive a 6 pack of Blues Booty CD's along with Live Chicago Blues Vol. 1 + 2 and the bonus interview CD, The additional CD's will be hand picked from our collection that includes some great stuff and some pretty random stuff. If you're a blues fan though, you will dig it and we thank you for the extra support.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    In addition to Live Chicago Blues Vol 1 & 2 plus the bonus interview CD you will receive 2 tickets to Kingston Mines and 2 tickets to B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted giving you the unique opportunity of enjoying blues alley and seeing 3 blues bands in 2 great clubs on any night of the week . If you are interested I will set it up so you can meet the bands and take pictures onstage before or after the set and with the performers giving you an unforgettable experience of getting up close and personal with some of the best blues musicians on the planet.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    In addition to Live Chicago Blues Vol 1 & 2 plus the bonus interview CD and 2 tickets to Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted you'll also have access to select concerts from the TCBX archives featuring more than 20 live blues shows recorded in Chicago - these are full sets and often include interviews from some of the best known blues performers of all time. You'll be able to download and enjoy them at your convenience on whatever listening device you use. These recordings are audio only and were recorded between 1996-2006 at clubs around Chicagoland. Some incredible tunes from some of the biggest and best known names in the blues and recordings that make you feel like you are sitting in the front row. These are not always fully mastered and in some cases are raw and gritty but if you have been to the blues clubs of Chicago you know that's often how it sounds in person. The real deal recorded live in and around Chicagoland.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    In addition to Live Chicago Blues Vol. 1 & 2 plus the bonus interview CD and tickets to Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted we'll also give you the chance to be a producer on one of the live albums for a day. This means you can either visit us in Chicago or work remotely to help us choose a live performance and song from our archives to include on the CD. If you are in Chicago you will be invited to join a listening session or mastering session on the song you choose. If you've ever wanted to contribute to a great CD project this is your chance and your work will be recognized with producer credits in the liner notes. If you're an artist and want to contribute some art to the CD design that could be a possibility as well.

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    Pledge $9,000 or more About $9,000

    Besides our eternal gratitude and thanks you will receive 5 copies each of Live Chicago Blues Vol. 1 & 2 plus the bonus interview CD. In addition you'll have a chance to live out a blues lovers dream weekend. We'll fly you and guest (extra charge may apply for International airfare) to Chicago for 3 days and 2 nights of blues fun. Your trip will include two nights of accommodations near blues alley (Lincoln Park area of Chicago) along with transportation & admission to the clubs. We'll visit blues Alley on Friday where we'll go to Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S. and you'll get a chance to meet the musicians and get up close and personal to the action. On Saturday we'll spend the day in a listening/mastering session where you will get a chance to hand pick a song that we will include on Live Chicago Blues Vol 1 or 2 - you will receive producer credits. On Saturday night we'll head back out to the clubs and take you on a blues tour checking out the best shows Chicago has to offer that night. The tour will be hosted by TCBX and you'll get a chance to experience the Chicago blues scene like you have never seen it before. Meet the musicians, see the best shows, visit 4 or 5 clubs in a single night of unforgettable blues fun. To complete your VIP weekend we'll also make sure you get a good breakfast on Sunday and provide transportation back to the airport.

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Funding period

- (30 days)