Some things can only be felt with music... music with a blues feeling

Chicago Urban Blues Reunion Tour Documentary Film

In 1974 on the north side of Chicago the Bob Riedy Blues Band used to play through the early morning hours every week at a club called the Attic.

The club owner (Mike Siegel) saw something he thought should be documented for history. He contact acted a professor friend of his at Columbia College and together they may have involved PBS in some way to produce the film record of the performance of Bob Riedy and some early seminal Chicago Urban Blues Artists who were members of the band at that time. That included Johnny Young, John Littlejohn and Hub-Cap Robinson among others. What resulted was a small raw slice of the life and music of the early Chicago Bluesmen.

Johnny Young died within months of the performance and John Littlejohn became too sick to play for a time and died years later, and the film was set aside and forgotten by everyone. Fortunately Mike Siegel ran across the video while working on another project and got enthusiastic about it all over again. But it was the Archival Shed Syndrome danger that made him stop everything to get the video transferred to a new, safe digital medium.

This prompted Mike and his friends at Columbia and PBS to do a 35 year update documentary of the Bob Riedy Blues Band. Coincidentally BRBB was doing their 30 year reunion tour with all original band members and blues stars during the same time the video had come up. So the original core BRBB members picked their favorite club in the U.S. (the Rhythm Room in Phoenix) and as they started getting word from old band members now living outside of Chicago and outside of the country, the show started to take shape.

So, in short, the video documentary was made with approximately 120 minutes of enthusiastically performed songs of the decades past. They even did one set of the same songs in the same order with some of the same performers as were on the original 35 year old tape. The Obvious interest is in how does a song performed 35 years ago, with the same musicians sound after three decades of maturing. It is interesting to hear how the prominent licks of the songs and the musicians playing them have molded those licks to what is considered standard today without losing the original feel of the song. It is a lot like leaving your home and your brother when he was five years old and then return after 35 years to see in what ways his person and personality chose to develop to maturity.

When and if there is scheduled a broadcast of the tapes we will announce it on our web sites and related web sites. Eventually the documentaries will be available in their entirety to visitors to

reunion video

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