Listen to any form of American music. Rock & Roll, R&B, Soul, Jazz, Hip Hop. What you're hearing is some reflection of the blues. Blues is the foundation. The base. It's the mother of all that came after.
Mother Blues is a veteran group of Chicago area musicians brought together by a common love of the blues, and by a desire to explore musical boundaries. They write and perform music that touches on every corner of the blues universe, and they expand on what they find.
One key element is lead singer Gerald McClendon, often described as the most soulful voice in Chicago. His voice may growl, soar, or cajole - but it always engages.
Mother Blues represent over seventy-five years of playing and recording on the Chicago blues scene - in the company of artists as diverse as Buddy Guy, Son Seals, Carl Weathersby, Sharon Lewis, Carey and Lurie Bell, Diamond Jim, Joanna Connor, Larry McCray, Quintus McCormick, Tommy McCracken, Jan James, War, Robin Trower, among many others. Separately, their paths have led through every club from Chicago to New York to Memphis.
Singer Gerald McClendon is one of the most evocative and versatile blues/soul singers on the scene. Gerald has shared space on recorded compilations with Chicago blues staples from Pinetop Perkins and Otis Clay to Billy Branch. Whether bringing new emotional immediacy to classic material, or painting on fresh canvas - his voice will impact you. He'll grab your ear, your heart, your mind. Gerald's voice carries a message from soul to soul.
As a teenager, guitarist/composer Steve Bramer was self-schooled on B.B. King records borrowed from the Walgreen's cutout bin in Morgantown, West Virginia. His first regular gig was every Thursday through Saturday with the Black Elks Club house band (Lee Collins and the New Breed) in Lansing, Michigan. Since making Chicago his home in 1990, he's backed, opened for, hired, jammed or recorded with everyone from Koko Taylor to Michael Coleman.
The Mother Blues rythym section chores have been handled by a number of Chicago music scene veterans. The emphasis is always on groove first.
Working from a solid foundation in standard blues forms, the music touches on every established blues hybrid (Blues/Rock, Jazz, Country, R&B) while also managing to break new ground. The singing has been compared to classic blues/soul stylists (Bobby Blue Bland, Little Milton, Otis Redding). The playing is openly respectful toward masters/innovators (Vaughan, King, Hendrix) while establishing a unique voice and vision. With appropriate nods to the wealth of material in the classic blues catalogue, Mother Blues focuses almost exclusively on their own original compositions.
Mother Blues respects the past by carrying it forward. The music cries, sweats, breathes, screams. It's going to make you feel something. And its going to get some butts up out of some seats.
Check out Mother Blues and see why they are on the cutting edge of a new wave of Chicago bands bringing new dedication, and new direction, to contemporary blues.