Longtime blues radio personality Scott “Hambone” Hammer has hosted “Hambone’s Blues Party” for 14 years on WDCB, Chicago’s west-suburban NPR outlet, including having bands play live in the studio almost every show. He’s featured in an interview in the northwest-suburban Daily Herald: http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=297109
Koko Taylor, the powerful vocalist who was one of the top draws on the blues circuit for years, and arguably the most popular artist on the Alligator Records roster, died after complications from recent surgery. During her career, she had won more Blues Music Awards than any other artist, and had been nominated for 9 Grammy Awards, winning 1. She ran two different Chicago blues lounges during the 80s and 90s, and she was a mentor to many on the Chicago blues circuit, in addition to quietly assisting in the creation of a foundation which helped performers overcome substance-abuse problems.
A full review of her career was posted on the Alligator website shortly after the announcement of her death: http://alligator.com/index.cfm?section=news&newsID=397
This information passed along by Kevin Johnson from Delmark Records:
Chicago bluesman Lester “Mad Dog” Davenport passed away last Tuesday, March 17th after battling prostate cancer for years. Our friend, the legendary guitarist Jimmy Dawkins told us about Lester’s passing Saturday night at Rooster’s Palace, where Delmark was recording a wild Tail Dragger performance on the West Side (with Rockin’ Johnny and Kevin Shanahan on guitars, Martin Lange on harp, and the legendary Jimmy Dawkins sittin’ in for a few!)
Lester was born in Tchula, MS on January 16, 1932 (same home town as his Chicago buddy, Jimmy Dawkins). Davenport is cousins with Chicago greats Big and Little Smokey Smothers, and also related to Lee Shot Williams.
Mad Dog was a great blues multi-instrumentalist, mostly known for his tough harmonica playing (with Bo Diddley!) , but was also a great bass, guitar, and piano player! Lester recorded 2 CDs as a leader, When the Blues Hit You (Earwig ’91) and I Smell A Rat (Delmark ’02) and guested on many albums, from Bo Diddley, Willie Kent, Johnny B. Moore, Aron Burton, Kinsey Report, and Big Jack Johnson.