Chicago--Was: Re: NBC: kerry's old bandmates on Wolf Blitzer

Chas Winans
Sun Oct 31 17:36:29 EST 2004

I'm back from my honeymoon in Santa Fe, New Mexico, thrilled to have been host to the coolest wedding that ever was held in a Chicago living room.  My house is a mere two blocks from where the old Maxwell Street Market was held each Sunday until 1995.

In attendance at my wedding, among many family and friends, were photographer Jef Jaisun, blues legend Jody Williams, author/agent/photographer Dick Waterman, Ottawa Blues Society president Liz Sykes, my great friend and blues knowledgable fan extraordinaire Deb Lubin and quite a few others who made this wedding an event to be treasured and remembered for all time.

The night before the wedding was spent stagefront at Shaw's Crab House Oyster Festival, catching Pinetop Perkins, Dave Specter, Willie Smith, Bob Stroger, Marcia Ball and fellow-zeller Pay Boyack.  As we all know now, Hubert Sumlin was scheduled but had to cancel due to some health problems that were not life-threatening.  He was supposed to be a guest at my wedding, too -- Hubert, you were missed all the way around.

Lisa and I are eternally grateful to all who made our wedding special.  As we venture into married life and into new business ventures, we look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Chuck Winans, President
Portraits In Performance Photography, Inc.
Chicago, Illinois

Debra Lubin <> wrote:
I just got back from 5 (well, 4) blues-filled days in Chicago. I can testify that our own chas winans is indeed a married man (no live blues this day). It was wonderful to see fellow zellers el jefe, jinxblues, and Liz. As you can imagine, lots of talk about the merits of film vs digital--yes, even at the wedding (Lisa is a gem), as well as talk of the WORLD SERIES CHAMPION RED SOX (sorry Dick--not). (BTW, how does any team competing only in the US and Canada get to be "world" champs?)

One of the highlights of my trip was seeing and hearing Dave Specter (who was a replacement for Hubert Sumlin) with Bob Stroger, Willie Smith, Little Frank, and later, Pinetop and then with Pinetop AND Marcia Ball. I was really looking forward to seeing Hubert, but I was more than thrilled to be able to hear Dave. I'd only seen him once before with Steve Freund at a local dive I've grown to love (the Ivy Room in Albany, California)--and the synergy between the two guitarists, who are also friends, was awesome (okay, I know I'm prone to hyperbole, but it's how I feel). Individually, they are also awesome. This summer they recorded a CD together--coming out on Delmark November 16. It should be a good one. Those of you in Chicago should check Dave out when he plays around town. Try Nick's some Saturday night.

Another highlight was a band I hadn't seen before, although they frequently play all over Chicago--Big James and the Chicago Playboys. I saw them at B.L.U.E.S., which has a very small stage. This band has 6 pieces--two horns and keyboards, a leader called "Big" for a reason (big voice too), an active bass player and a good drummer (Leo ?), and Mike Wheeler (the only other name I know) on guitar. The stage was just as crowded as the club, which was PACKED (it was a Friday night). Lots of original material; excellent vocals and arrangements. They need to come to the West Coast. Thanks for the suggestion, Jef.

And last but certainly not least, John Primer. Finally, I got to see his band do a full night--3 sets--of blues. Ahhh. The definitive Chicago blues today--for the most part. I was a very happy person. Toward the end of the night, the band did Rhinestone Cowboy. It took me aback, although, surprisingly, I really got into it, along with the rest of the packed house. Still seems weird, but it worked. Can you imagine if a "fan" requested that song? Most band leaders would not react very well.

I didn't want to leave Chicago and I can't wait to go back.

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