Chicago Blues

  What is now referred to as the "classic Chicago style" was developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, taking Delta blues, amplifying it and putting it into a small-band context. Adding drums, bass, and piano (sometimes saxophones) to the basic string band and harmonica aggregation, the genre created the now standard blues band lineup. The form was (and is) flexible to accommodate singers, guitarists, pianists and harmonica players as the featured performer in front of the standard instrumentation. Later permutations of the style took place in the late 1950s and early 60s with new blood taking their cue from the lead guitar work of B.B.King and T-Bone Walker, creating the popular West Side sub genre which usually featured a horn section appended to the basic rhythm section. Although the form embraced rock beats and modern funk rhythms in the '80s and '90s, it has since generally stayed within the guidelines developed in the 1950s and early 60s.
Quote from Cub Koda at All-Media Guide.


Big Bill Broonzy

Buddy Guy

Elmore James

When large groups of blacks migrated north from the Mississippi and Louisiana Delta region, many went to Chicago and brought with them their music, called the Delta Blues. Like everything else, their music changed after being in the big city and it emerged as the Chicago Blues. By the 1930s, Chicago Blues were very popular and this popularity grew in the '40s and '50s. 

Chicago Blues is high-spirited music that adds harmonica to guitar and keyboard, drumbeat, and later electric guitar and bass for a more powerful and sophisticated sound than its more low-key Delta cousin.

Chicago Blues are hard-edged and loud because Chicago is a hard-edged, tough industrial city in which you have to be more powerful and louder in order to be heard. 

Some well-known musicians who play or have played the Chicago Blues are B.B. King, Junior Wells, Howlin' Wolf, and Muddy Waters.


Hawlin' Wolf 

Memphis Slim 

Muddy Waters 

CHICAGO is the blues capitol of the world a musical metropolis filled with the electrified sounds of snarling guitars, howlin' vocals, and big city rhythms. Striking a chord with Chicago audiences in the 1930's, the Chicago blues sound has continued to hold listeners firmly by the ears to this very day.


Robert Nighthawk 

Sunny Boy Williamson II

Tempa Red 

The tour of Chicago electric Blues at the Blues Tour in Geocities.

Site with helpful links concerning Chicago Blues at Angelfire Communicatons.