The Chicago blues is a form of blues music that developed in Chicago, Illinois, by taking the basic acoustic guitar and harmonica-based Delta blues, 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. The music developed in the first half of the twentieth century as a result of the Great Migration, when Black workers moved from the South into the industrial cities of the North such as Chicago.
Chicago blues was street corner-based music. But after the music quickly gained popularity, it became a giant commercial enterprise. Soon the new style of music reached out and touched Europe, which led many famous English rock n’ roll bands to get their inspiration from the Chicago blues.
At first, the blues clubs in Chicago were filled with black performers, and the music itself was aimed for black audiences. Most of the blues clubs were on the far south side of Chicago, so white people did not visit them. Later, however, more and more white audiences visited the clubs and listened to the music. This caused clubs to open up on the north side. In addition, more white men started playing the blues after it became popular.
We Know Chess Records was home to some of the greats, but there were others too that took the sorrow, pain and soul of the Delta and made it home in Chi-town.
Buddy Guy – Damn Right I Got The Blues
Earl Hooker – Anna Lee
KoKo Taylor – I’m A Woman
Earl Hooker – Two Bugs And A Roach