William Bell singing into a microphone on cover of Living Blues magazineLiving Blues #289 features one of the greatest living soul men on the cover. William Bell released his first single for Stax back in 1961. Over the next six decades he has poured out a string of hits including winning a Grammy in 2017. We take a deep dive into the legendary vocalist’s long career. Bass player Snapper Mitchum has played behind dozens of Chicago’s great guitarists including over ten years with Son Seals. His funky bass drove the sound of Chicago blues in the 1970s to new heights. Mitchum also served two tours in Vietnam as a paratrooper and was awarded the Bronze Star. He tells his story to LB. Chicago-based Downtown Charles Brown started his first band in 1995 on keyboards and then picked up the guitar about ten years ago. His live shows now range from full band to trio to solo acoustic. This issue’s Let It Roll focusses on Lead Belly and his Library of Congress recordings at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, circa July 1, 1934. Lead Belly was serving time in Angola for assault with intent to murder when, in July 1934, John and Alan Lomax of the Library of Congress arrived to record. They recorded 14 powerful tunes from the 12-string guitar master with the booming voice. One of the songs even secured his release from prison.
All of this plus Breaking Out with Hill Country artist Cedric Burnside, the latest in Blues News, and over 50 record and book reviews!