2015 Blues Project Set for Saturday, March 14th

2015-Blues-ProjectEach year, during African American History Month, I take the first few minutes of my 8th grade US History classes, and we study the blues. We listen to a different blues song each day and see what it can teach us about the plight of African Americans. Students listen, research, and analyze the music of African Americans to get a more complete picture of what it meant to be African American in this country throughout US history. At the completion of our unit in early March, with the help of students, staff, and some professionals, we perform the songs we've been studying and share all we've learned with the community. Look around the website (http://thebluesproject.weebly.com/), check out some of the highlights from past years, and be sure to come out to the Valparaiso High School Auditorium on March 14th, 2015 to see this year's show. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Here in Valparaiso, Indiana we live in the shadow of Chicago, and whether we like it or not, the Windy City affects our time, our business, our news, our culture, and various other aspects of life here in "the Region." Chicago is often referred to as the "Home of the Blues," and it holds a revered place in music history. However, the story of the blues doesn't start in Chicago; it starts in the deep south with the experiences and songs of American slaves. This year's Blues Project tells the story of how the blues made the journey from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago, how the music changed when it got there, and how it helps us understand the plight of African Americans in the "Second City."

Saturday, March 14th, 2015
Valparaiso High School Auditorium
$5/person, $20/family


1. George Thorogood - Goin’ Back

2. Field Holler - TBD
Sharecropping and the Blues

3. Robert Johnson - Sweet Home Chicago (1937)
Great Migration

4. Big Bill Broonzy - Key to Highway (1940)
Bronzeville and the South Side

5. Sam Theard - That’s Chicago’s South Side (1929)
Piano Blues

6. Maceo Merriweather - Worried Life Blues (1941)
Sonny Boy and the Blues combo

7. Sonny Boy Williamson I - My Little Machine (1940)
Illinois Central Railroad

8. Sunnyland Slim - Illinois Central (1947)
Muddy Waters - King of Chicago Blues

9. Muddy Waters - Can’t Be Satisfied (1948)
Maxwell Street

10. Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) - Eyesight to the Blind (1951)
Chess Records

11. Elmore James - Dust My Broom (1951)
Highway 61

12. Jimmy Rogers - Chicago Bound (1954) w/ Little Walker
Little Walter

13. Little Walter - Mellow Down Easy (Willie Dixon - 1954)
Urban Black Women

14. Etta James - W.O.M.A.N (1955)
Holwin’ Wolf

15. Howlin’ Wolf - I Ain’t Superstitious (1961)
Bo DIddley Beat, African traditions

16. Bo Diddley - Who Do You Love (1957)
Chicago’s West Side

17. Otis Rush - I Can’t Quit You Baby (WIllie DIxon - 1956)
Civil Rights in Chicago

18. Jimmy Reed - Big Boss Man (1960)

19. Junior Wells - Hoodoo Man (1965)
Willie Dixon

20. Koko Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle (Willie Dixon 1965)
Alligator Records - Hound Dog

21. Hound Dog Taylor - Give Me Back My Wig (1971)
Chicago Blues Fest

22. Buddy Guy - Meet Me in Chicago