Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Bessie Smith reimagined in new project
From a press release

This article shared 3416 times since Fri Nov 28, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

"She showed me the air and taught me how to fill it," Janis Joplin said of Bessie Smith.

Reimagine Music presents the fifth installment in its series of original recordings celebrating iconic figures. Available everywhere as digital download now, The Empress of the Blues: A Tribute To Bessie Smith, takes on an indie rock and blues slant, featuring an all female-vocalist line up, including: Hailey Bonar, Jenny Owen Youngs, Doria Roberts, Dawn Lanes, Catherine Feeny & Daniel Dixon, Whitney Monge, Simone White, Holly Golightly, Tift Merrit, Barbara Kessler, Alessi's Ark & Scott Verbeek, and Abigail Washburn.

Throughout the 1920s, singing in the vernacular and reflecting the suffering of her people through unadulterated country blues, Bessie Smith became hugely popular. But she was not a woman without controversy. By frequenting live sex shows and orgies, literally beating a rival unconscious, sleeping with a musical director, seducing her female backup dancers ( driving one of them to attempt suicide ), and having a coterie of drag queens following her on tour she made her own trouble and was proud of it. In spite of all that, or perhaps because it, after signing to Columbia Records in 1923, her first recording sold 800,000 copies — an enormous number even by today's standards — and she would soon become one of the best-selling performers in the country. Yet Bessie is virtually unknown today.

Producer Jim Sampas gets right at it: "Smith turned the world upside down with caustic, boldly truthful, lyrics often mirroring her own life. The rubbed-raw honesty of her work put an iron hook into audiences, who never forgot her. Bessie made herself a leading artistic voice of her time, despite the uproar over her lifestyle, and the invariable adversity she faced as a black woman in an era with overt racism and misogyny. Yet, astoundingly, her work is sadly underappreciated today. Of herself, Bessie once said, "The greatest blues singer in the world will never stop singing." On this album we have the very best young women singers on today's scene, putting their own engagingly loving, modern day, touch on her music, helping to ensure just that — her music never stops."

The Empress of the Blues: A Tribute To Bessie Smith

1. Jenny Owen Youngs "After You've Gone" ( 2:24 )

2. Tim & Adam "Nobody In Town Can Bake A Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine" ( 3:01 )

3. Doria Roberts "Poor Man's Blues" ( 3:44 )

4. Whitney Monge "Thinking Blues" ( 3:31 )

5. Catherine Feeny & Daniel Dixon "St. Louis Blues" ( 3:40 )

6. Haley Bonar "Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair" ( 3:40 )

7. Simone White "Backwater Blues" ( 4:27 )

8. Tift Merritt "Sugar In My Bowl" ( 2:20 )

9. Dawn Landes "Please Help Me Get Him Off My Mind" ( 3:06 )

10. Barbara Kessler "Preachin' The Blues" ( 3:50 )

11. Hanne Hukkelberg "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out" ( 3:28 )

12. Holly Golightly "It Won't Be You" ( 2:23 )

13. Alessi's Ark & Scott Verbeek "Hot Spring Blues" ( 2:43 )

14. Jesca Hoop "Baby Doll" ( 3:01 )

15. Abigail Washburn "Backwater Blues" ( 3:47 )

This article shared 3416 times since Fri Nov 28, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

MOVIES 24-hour horror marathon at Music Box on Oct. 23-24 2021-09-24
- "The Music Box of Horrors," sponsored by CreepyCo., will return to the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., from noon on Saturday, Oct. 23 through noon on Sunday, Oct. 24. The event will include special ...

Gay News

'Firebird' opens Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ Internat'l Film Fest tonight 2021-09-23
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — Tonight, the 39th annual Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival invites audiences to enjoy an in-person pre-party and theater screening of 'Firebird' for Opening Night at the Music Box Theater. Director P ...

Gay News

MUSIC ROUNDUP: Riot Fest rocks and rolls with the punches 2021-09-22
- Riot Fest is a massive music festival held annually at Chicago's Douglas Park, held this year on Sept. 16-19 Usually a three-day celebration, Riot held a preview party Sept.16 that began at 2:30 p.m. for the ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ lullaby album to be released Oct. 28 2021-09-22
- Broadway Records announced the impending release of The Rainbow Lullaby—which the label said is "the world's first LGBTQ lullaby album." The album will be available Thursday, Oct. 28, wherever digital music is sold and on ...

Gay News

Pitchfork Music Festival returns and turns 15 in 2021 2021-09-17
- Pitchfork Music Festival turned 15 years old in Chicago this year after being cancelled last year because of the pandemic. This lively celebration of eclectic music continued in the same spot (Union Park) with the usual ...

Gay News

'Andersonville Homecoming' Sept. 24-26; line-up, vendors, safety protocols announced 2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 15, 2021) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce the full entertainment line-up and vendors for Andersonville Homecoming--a three-night, two-day outdoor festival featuring ...

Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards 2021-09-14
- Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...

Gay News

CAIC announces 2021 Collaborative Works Festival, immigration, migration in song 2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO— Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) begins its eleventh anniversary season with its annual Collaborative Works Festival, held in venues around Chicago from October 6—9, 2021. The 2021 Collaborative ...

Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs 2021-09-13
- The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...

Gay News

Pride Fest will extend to Oct. 3; headliners include Kristine W and Mya 2021-09-12
- Mya, Shangela, VINCINT, Crystal Waters, Kristine W, Brooke Eden and St. Panther are among the headliners for Chicago Pride Fest now taking place over three days, Oct. 1-3, in Chicago's LGBTQ+ landmark Northalsted/Lake View district. The ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Dear Mom, I'm Gay!' on Oct. 1-2 2021-09-11
- Dear Mom, I'm Gay!—a workshop of a new musical by David Dilsizian—is running at The Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1; and 2 and ...

Gay News

ARC Music Festival debuts in Chicago over Labor Day Weekend 2021-09-11
- Replacing North Coast Music Festival's usual spot in Union Park, ARC Music Festival launched Sept. 4-5. North Coast was forced to move to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, that same weekend to a stadium that was ...

Gay News

MUSIC 'Global Citizen Live' to run Sept. 25-26 2021-09-09
- International advocacy organization Global Citizen announced the expansion of "Global Citizen Live" to include Los Angeles and London with an outdoor event in L.A., which is presented by Verizon, and headlined by Stevie Wonder with Adam ...

Gay News

'Close-Up with Carmen' Sept. 9 at Center on Halsted 2021-09-08
- 'Close-Up with Carmen'—about the intersection of drag and opera—will take place Thursday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. During this event, participants will discuss cross-dressi ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.