Friday | The Cash Box Kings

The Cash Box Kings

Considered the "Young Turks" of the Chicago blues scene, the Cash box Kings are dedicated to carrying on the spirit of the 1940's and 50's post-war Chicago blues sound as well as the Delta blues music of the 20’s and 30’s.

These illustrious torch bearers also add a bravado, energy and freshness to the mix that results in a distinctive musical experience.  With a focus on the raw, stripped-down, ensemble playing that was the hallmark of the post-war sound, the band showcases the music of Chess Records and Sun Records while adding a healthy dose of original music that captures the essence of the Memphis and Chicago blues sounds of the 40’s and 50’s.

Their original songs range from humorous stories of Internet love to harrowing tales of Chicago’s violent gun epidemic. Every song they perform—be it a striking original or a scorching Chess, Sun or Vee-Jay cover—explodes with contemporary authority and radiates old-school authenticity. According to Grammy Award-winning blues legend Charlie Musselwhite, “The Cash Box Kings play with real taste and feel. Not only is it good blues but it’s a jumping good time, too! I ain’t lyin’!”

The CBKs were awarded the 2010 Blues Blast Music Magazine "Sean Costello Rising Star" Award and are regular headliners at Chicago venues like Buddy Guy's, Rosa's Lounge, Nick's and the Smoke Daddy. Although the lineup has changed over the last ten years, the Cash Box Kings are still anchored by Joe Nosek, Oscar Wilson, and Kenny 'Beedy Eyes' Smith. Son of the legendary Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (Muddy Waters' drummer from 1968-1981). The band is now joined by a rotating cast of newly crowned Kings including Billy Flynn (guitar, mandolin, vocals, harmonica), Joel Paterson (guitar and vocals), Jimmy Sutton (upright bass and vocals), Beau Sample (upright bass and vocals), Chris "CB" Boeger (bass) and Mark Haines (drums).

“One of the best blues bands in the land.” – Living Blues

“Virtuoso musicianship…rocking and irresistible.” –No Depression

“Gloriously retro with an inspiring eloquence and grace.” –Vintage Guitar

Saturday | Gerry Hundt Trio

Gerry Hundt Trio

Featured at myriad dance events, musician Gerry Hundt bases his repertoire on the blues yet broadens its very definition. He focuses on creating a mood with every song and telling a story with each set, deftly weaving original and classic selections.

Demetria Taylor

Demetria Taylor has been performing at BLUE CHICAGO since 2010.  She is the seventh child of eight from the family of the late blues legend Eddie Taylor Sr. and is helping keep the legacy of her father alive

Born in Chicago, Demetria grew up surrounded by Blues music, listening to records of her biggest influences including Etta James, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton and most importantly, "The Queen of The Blues" Koko Taylor. 

Demetria started playing drums at age 14 in family shows across Chicago. She also sang in the gospel choir at Trinity All Nations Church on Chicago's south side. 

Demetria has toured nationally and internationally and performs in many clubs and festivals including the Chicago Blues Festival. Demetria was nominated in 2012  Blues Music Awards for "Best New Debut Artist". 

She says "I feel that singing is something I was born to do. Sometimes on the stage my eyes tear up as I feel the music I'm singing. I love to listen to all types of music, but the blues caught my ear. I'll never give up my dream." 

Ronnie Shellist

Ronnie Shellist has been honing his harmonica skills for the past 20 years.  His musical career began in 1997 working with singer/songwriter Hugh Fadal from Austin,TX. 

In 1998, Ronnie moved to Colorado where he teamed up with the band Available Jones, a high energy funk/rock band, and toured the US in 2000.  He has worked with many greats in Colorado throughout the past 15 years including such locals as John Alex Mason, Lionel Young, Rich Reno, Bob Pellegrino, Rex Peoples and Erica Brown. Ronnie's live performances include opening for such greats as BB King, Charlie Musselwhite, Robert Cray and the Neville Brothers. 

Currently Ronnie performs in/around Denver, CO where he resides, but also travels extensively around the U.S. with his music and harmonica workshops. He works with Kilborn Alley, Corey Dennison, and Gerry Hundt around the Chicago,IL area. Ronnie is a  Hohner Music artist, endorser, and clinician. He has traveled the U.S. from coast to coast with the Hohner Roadshow. These shows are a mix of performance, teaching, and product demonstration. 

Sunday | Joel Paterson Quartet

Joel Paterson Quartet

“Joel Paterson defines who the ideal session guy should be: selfless, musical, and born with impeccably good taste. His sympathetic hollowbody makes the jazz, country, rockabilly or swing he’s backing come alive.” — Timeout Chicago

Joel's life is dedicated to playing guitar and exploring the sound and history of roots music including blues, jazz, country, western swing, and whatever else you want to call it. Joel lives in Chicago, and feels lucky to be surrounded by some of the finest musicians you will find anywhere. Rather than trying to have one band to brand and market, Joel enjoys playing in many projects, and putting together different lineups to play a variety of musical styles—to keep things fresh and to have the right sound to fit any occasion.

Joel will be joined by Oscar Wilson and Juli Wood.

Oscar Wilson

Oscar Wilson’s resume checks off a lot of boxes.

First-and-foremost, he’s a charismatic frontman. Most would agree that at 6-3, 300-pounds, he looks larger than life stationed up on the bandstand. He’s also a talented songwriter, a well-respected harp blower and just an all-around hard-working and extremely nice guy. But as he found out recently, there’s one skill that is most definitely lacking from Oscar Wilson’s resume.

Motorcycle rider.

Cracked bones from two-wheeled steel demons aside, things have been running pretty smoothly for Wilson and The Cash Box Kings during the first half of 2015. 

The way that Wilson sees it, there’s a huge difference between just singing the blues and SINGING the blues.

“Anybody can sing it, but can you SANG it, you know? You get all these hot-shots out there these days and they’ll finish playing and you’ll go, ‘OK, now where are you going?’ And then you’ll have some old dude come up that plays two strings and will knock you straight to the floor and you go, ‘Oh, my God.’ To me, that’s when I know I’ve felt the blues,” Wilson said. “If the song finishes and it make me want to have a drink or to cry or makes me feel nostalgic about something, then I know I’ve heard the good blues.”

Juli Wood

For the past twenty years with four albums as a leader, several studio projects as a side man, and countless worldwide performances, saxophonist, vocalist and composer Juli Wood has established herself as a solid, swinging, lyrical and entertaining performer on Chicago’s music scene. Juli has played many jazz clubs and festivals nationally and internationally. 

Juli is in the tradition of saxophonists who were also great vocalists. Never has that been more apparent than in “5 4 3 2 1 Juli Wood,” her latest recording and most ambitious project to date