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

Bob's Chicago Blues 30-Year Reunion Tour Diary

As you read the details on the Official Reunion Tour Poster, you will notice that most everything you would want to know about the Tour is on that poster. But we would like to add a little more detail about this historic event.

Two bands were the core and solid foundation for the show: The Bob Riedy Chicago Blues Band and The Blue Four Band. After literally 30 years of not having seen or communicated with one another, the band pulled together from wherever they were in the world and when they struck up their first tune, no one could tell we hadn't played the very night before. Even more remarkably, the exact members who comprised the last published Bob Riedy CD, including front man Sam Lay were replaying the same songs now as on that CD 30 years earlier.

My apprenticeship was from 1966 to 1986 and the other band on the show (The Blue Four) completed their apprenticeship immediately after mine, for at least a decade. They also had the same members on their latest CD as were on the stage, and, incredibly, they also had Sam Lay on the CD performing with them. After each band did their repeat of the set that was performed 30 years ago, then other artists who had heard of and joined the Reunion Show—such as Gabe Butterfield, Bob Corritore, Eddy Clearwater—all came to the stage. Musicians from both bands intermingled to do exiting renditions of songs from 30 years ago and from the early rock era started at Chess Records right up to sophisticated and highly produced songs of Chicago Living Blues Today.

All participants have gone back to their day to day gigs all over the country and Europe, but everyone without exception expressed an enthusiast request that we do this again. Well, of course this labor of love (like all projects that involve love) set a new record for total debt in the production of a concert. We chose the best in sound and lighting, the best in rented equipment much of which was difficult to find, yet Pro-Tech (David-Jack) custom-matched exactly the correct instrumental amplification and vocal amplification for each artist individually. We had the best in acoustics and a large stage.

The short of it is, the very best of everything was used and some audience members actually verbalized that they were in awe and that the event was surreal. Some audience members said it was like a dream that didn't really happen. They saw two of the original inventors of Chicago Urban Blues and the two generations of bands that performed an authentic apprenticeship under them, all performing at their peak in person just a few feet away from them.

Everyone asked that we do it again. Even though it will take a while to neutralize this debt, we are already thinking of the next one. Some would like to do it again at the same venue. Some would like us to do it at the 2009 Chicago Blues Festival. The only thing I'm quite sure of is that if we have the health, wealth and venue, we will try to do this again, especially while a few of our Original Chicago Urban Blues Artists (who invented this genre) are still active. Update; Our proposed NEXT GIG will be a documentary performance in Phoenix Arizona on 4/17/09.

To those of you who were there, you made us very happy and we hope to have provided something for you to tell your grandchildren. My grandchildren were there and for the first time in their life, they asked "Grandpa Bob" for an autograph.

-- Bob Reidy


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