all tracks except #6 available as mp3 downloads on "Real and Live" click below to order.
Raven/Desmond Songs represents the coming together of two reknowned Chicago music talents. Originally teaming up to write songs for the Blue Watusis, a progressive blues group they co-led in the early 1990's,releasing the critically acclaimed "Welcome to the House of the Blues",they have since expanded their songwriting repertoire to include country, rock, soul, and gospel and have 4 post-Watusis cds "New Country and Blues", "More New Country" ,"Shake It Down" and the new compilation "Best of the Blues".
"Chicago The Blues Today" is the "lost" Blue Watusis cd consisting of previously unreleased studio & live tracks recorded from 1992 to 1994.
The Blue Watusis ,our original band bio circa 1992. "A rockin Chicago band of the 90's with it's roots in the classic Chicago Blues tradition.At the core of the Blue Watusis are Raven,Desmond and d'Buddah,pioneers of the alternative Chicago rock scene,who bring a rockin' edge to the Chicago blues styles they grew up with.The energetic presentation and interplay of Desmond and Raven's personalities,vocals and harps are driven by the snarling attack of d'Buddah,Slattery and Susala.The Blue Watusis are celebrating the release of their first recording"Welcome to the House of the Blues",an eight song cassette of original Raven/Desmond songs produced,engineered and mixed by Jay O'Rourke."
The Blue Watusis "Chicago the Blues Today" review by Stuart A.Hamilton at www.zeitgeist-scot.co.uk June 2 2007.
There's a rather unsavoury bunch staring out of the cover, almost as if the John Travolta movie "Wild Hogs" had been made into a sleazy blues album. And this is certainly a low down mean n' nasty record. Just the way I like it!
Fronted by twin vocalists and harp players Frank Raven and Jim Desmond who've also written all the tunes save a solitary cover of 'Can't Judge A Book', this is a blast from start to finish. A bit like a trashy Fabulous Thunderbirds, it's the sound of your best night out ever, as well as the morning after. You can almost taste the stale beer from here.
It's the fast and furious tunes that work best for me although I will defend any slow number to the death if it goes by the name of 'I Lost My Job, My Baby And I'm Workin' On My Mind' as one does here. Back on the fast track, 'Rock And Roll Man', '9x12' and 'Youth Is Wasted On The Young Blues' are nigh on irresistable but if you have a yen for a slow blues then may I draw your attention to the delights of 'Ax Murder Mama'. If you go looking for your blues a little on the nasty side of town then is where you want to be.
Review of "Welcome to the House of the Blues".
#105 sept. /oct. 1992
by Bill Dahl
Comprised of Chicago blues & rock veterans, the Blue Watusis bid Welcome to the House of the Blues on their new self-produced cassette. With Jim Desmond and Frank Raven switching off on vocals and harp duties, the all original set also showcases the stinging lead guitar of Lee D'Budda. Desmond's convincingly lived-in pipes power the shuffling I'm A Howlin' Wolf, and an introspective Chicago Breakdown, while Raven delivers the doomy minor key title track.
Review of "Shake It Down".
Raven Desmond Songs return to the roots of the Blues.
Reviewer: Illinios Entertainer Dec 2005/Sweet Home/Beverly Zeldin-Palmer
Shake It Down is the latest from local acoustic blues duo Raven Desmond Songs.Frank Raven(harp,vocals)and Jim Desmond(guitar,vocals) are Chicago stalwarts,with a Zappa-esque bent.Formerly songwriters and co-leaders of the progressive blues group the Blue Watusis,in their current incarnation, they return to the roots of the blues,with some wacky '60s-style acoustic tunes.