Sunday, April 17, 2016

Corky Siegel | Blues | Chamber Monday Series


Corky Siegel perfomed as part of the Chamber Monday concerts series. Chamber Monday concerts are presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Chamber Monday concerts are Free of charge. They are held at 12:15 pm in the stunningly beautiful Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center.

The Corky Siegel show was fantastic! Corky is an amazing entertainer as well as a talented musician. He is funny, charismatic and can still blow the roof off of any venue he plays his harmonica in. He had the entire audience captivated from the moment he began his show. Every note he played on his harmonica oozed the blues with an intensity that I've rarely seen before. At over 70 years old he plays the blues as good as anyone alive. My wife and I had a great time. You won't be disappointed if you attend a Corky Siegel show!

Chicago Blues musician Corky Siegel playing his harmonica during the Chamber Monday concert series in the Chicago Cultural Center | Photograph by Tom Bowser Chicago Blues musician Corky Siegel playing his harmonica during the Chamber Monday concert series in the Chicago Cultural Center | Photograph by Tom Bowser

Who is Corky Siegel?

Do you like listening to pop, rock, country music or heavy metal? Corky Siegel along with other Chicago Blues music legends like him helped to shape modern music as we know it today. What? Really? Corky began playing harmonica and blues music in the Chicago blues music scene during the 1960's. His playing and performance style is heavily influenced by Chicago area blues legends of the time including Muddy Waters, Charlie Musselwhite, Howlin Wolf, Buddy Guy, Eddie Boyd, Luther Allison, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley and many more.

One of Corky's early gigs was playing with guitarist Jim Schwall at a blues bar called Pepper's on the south side of Chicago. Blues greats like Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and others would occasionally sit in and play with them during their shows at Pepper's. Corky and Jim would eventually form the blues rock styled Siegel-Schwall Band. The fusion of blues and rock music became influential in the music of many American musicians and bands. Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and many others were all heavily influenced by American blues music.

Bands coming to America from England during the 1960's through the 1970's were heavily influenced by American blues music coming out of Chicago at the time. British bands including The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple infused American blues music into their sound. Listen to the guitar playing of David Gilmore of the band Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones or Tony Iommi of Black Sabbbath and you hear the influence of American blues on their style and sound.

Author Paul Merry has an interesting 2 part series of books that discuss the evolution of American blues music and it's influence on the the blues rock bands of both America and the UK. Read How Blues Evolved Volume One and How Blues Evolved Volume Two. These books are available as Kindle Edition ebooks. I believe they may also be available in a larger format paperback. Lots of cool, rare photos, interesting facts and information. Visit Paul's Blog to read interesting articles he's written about music.

Corky Siegel - Now and the Future

Corky Siegel keeps himself very busy. Corky performs as a soloist and as a member of the Siegel-Schwall Band. He has played as a soloist with internationally acclaimed symphony orchestras to include the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. He is a composer and a teacher working with musicians at all levels to improve their understanding of music and their ability to create and perform it. Corky's project "Chamber Blues" is particularly interesting to me. He blends classical chamber music with his brand of American, Chicago styled blues music. What will Corky Siegal do next?? Visit Corky Music to learn more!

The 2016 Chicago Blues Festival is June 10 to the 12th. The 2016 Chicago Jazz Festival is September 1st through the fourth. My wife and I will be attending both festivals again this year. We will also be attending some of the preview events leading up to both festivals. I'll be posting pictures of some of the bands and musicians who perform.