April 16, 2021

‘Blues is a feeling’.  The words, the sound, the vibe - visiting Chicago Blues.


In his book, ‘Fat Man Blues’, Richard Wall says:-


‘Blues is not about which notes or chords are played, or even which song, Blues is a feeling.’

 Fat Man Blues

Although this is a work of fiction, in Fat Man Blues, Richard Wall has encapsulated the ‘Spirit’ of the Blues in every sense of the word.  His hero, Hobo John, is on a modern day pilgrimage to the birthplace of the Blues, when he finds himself making a deal at the Crossroads at midnight.  From here he embarks on an afterlife journey to ‘live’ the real world of 1930’s Blues.  The story takes us on a journey through the Deep South. You can taste the dust, feel the heat and tap your feet to the pulsating rhythm of the Delta Blues.  If you have the soul of a Blues Man, this book is for you.



In Fat Man Blues, we meet many players of the day, including Jacob, a fictitious harmonica player.  Here is  the scene where Hobo John first  encounters Jacob onstage at a Juke Joint:


“I looked over at Travellin’ Man, his eyes closed and his feet stamping as he nodded his head to the beat. Next to him, Jacob stared at me, pulled a harmonica from his bandolier and raised his eyebrow.  I nodded imperceptibly as I did my best to honour the song by one of the finest slide players ever recorded. “Nobody’s fault but mine” 

 Jacob wandered across, his swagger nonchalant but his eyes locked onto my guitar as he counted himself in and joined in with a harmonica riff that sounded like it was growling from the very depths of hell.

 The resonator screamed and the harmonica howled and people leapt to their feet and began to fill the space in front of the stage until soon almost everyone in the room was dancing.  Jacob looked cool, mantling his harmonica like a bird of prey over a fresh kill as have cavorted around me, every fibre of his being, every twitch of his performance focussed on dragging the soul of Blind Willie Johnson back into the room.” 


Sonny Boy Williamson II

Richard tells me Jacob is based on Sonny Boy Williamson II. Alex or Aleck Miller, known later as Sonny Boy Williamson, was a blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter. An influential exponent of the blues harp recording in the 1950/60’s.  



To help you create the sound of Chicago Blues, check out Kinubi Audio PSV. With your technique and our harmonica effects pedal, you can recapture those Juke Joint days.


For info: www.kinubiaudio.com


For Info:Fat Man Blues Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B017F1O62E/








Fat Man Blues Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B017F1O62E/

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