Every Tuesday at 7pm Pacific Time, Chicago Bob presents an hour of blues on KPTZ FM, 91.9 Radio in Port Townsend WA. We also stream it live worldwide on KPTZ.org, with archives available for two weeks after each show. The format is 2/3 music and 1/3 stories and background. We talk about the musicians, studio sessions, the times and the trends, stories to make the music come alive again.

Each week has a topic to tie together the music and stories. Here are the shows from 2021, beginning with our debut on March 2:

2021 Archives:

March 2, 2021 – Chess Records

Deeper Blues #1 – Chess Records: Music and stories of Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Little Walter, Leonard Chess, and how they created the classic sound of Chicago Blues.

March 9, 2021 – Robert Johnson

Deeper Blues #2 – Songs of Robert Johnson, some recorded by others later and some by the old master himself, plus stories of his life, the crossroads, the devil legend debunked, and his untimely demise.

March 16, 2021 – Blues Fiddle

Deeper Blues #3 – Blues Fiddle, one of the most undervalued blues instruments ever. We have Eddie Anthony from 1928, Stuff Smith and Eddie South from the 30s, Papa John Creach and Vassar Clements, one from Stephane Grapelli, and Jon Parry of Port Townsend.

March 23, 2021 – Blues from Africa

Deeper Blues $4 – When blues evolved in the late 1800s in the American south, it was shaped by African rhythms and harmonies. Now the music is well known worldwide, and has influenced new African music. We have Ali Farka Toure, Ba Cissoko, Songhoy Blues and American artists who’ve collaborated with the African griots, masters of music and culture, and a few American tunes that show strong African roots.

March 30, 2021 – Piedmont Blues

Deeper Blues #5 – The Carolinas embraced blues a bit later than the Mississippi Delta, and had some developed styles in place already, like ragtime, appalachian celtic tunes and tin pan alley standards. The styles are more acoustic with a lot of sweet syncopated finger picking. We’ll hear Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Blind Boy fuller, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Cephas & Wiggins and more.

April 6, 2021 – Blues Ladies

Deeper Blues #6 – A lot of blues histories only mention the most very famous women, focused more on the men than people were back in the day. We have Alberta Hunter, Mamie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Ida Cox, Victoria Spivey, Julia Lee and more, then we had to come back later for more (on May 18.)

April 13, 2021 – West Coast Blues

Deeper Blues #7 – The “Great Migration” of black Americans out of the southern states didn’t just head north, they went out to California too, largely from Texas as it was closer. West Coast blues developed with softer percussion, more prominent bass, and a hip, “cool” tone. T-Bone Walker was one of the top artists in this mode, and we have Johnny Otis, Lowell Fulson, Pee Wee Crayton, Percy Mayfield, The Robins (known later as the Coasters,) Lloyd Glenn, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, and, as always, stories.

April 20, 2021 – Jump Blues

Deeper Blues #8 – Louis Jordan almost single-handedly ruined the Big Band scene replacing 18- to 20-piece orchestras with his Tympany Five. Jump Blues features up-tempo dance rhythms, strong horn sections and mostly good-time party lyrics. We also have Wynonie Harris, Slim Gaillard, Jimmy Liggins, Mezz Mezzrow, Big Joe Turner and more.

April 27, 2021 – Hoodoo Blues

Deeper Blues #9 – African folklore and folk medicine, spirituality and wisdom came to the new world with millions of stolen people. They arose as Hoodoo and Voodoo, two similar but separate cultures. The background is reflected in hundreds of songs, with black cat bones, mojo hands, goofer dust, the charms and the charmers. Root Doctors, mojo men, hoodoo ladies, all part of these tunes and stories.

May 4, 2021 – Back to Chicago

Deeper Blues #10 – One hour on Chess Records (Episode 1) was not nearly enough to cover Chicago Blues. We have Bo Diddley, Bob Riedy, Billy Boy Arnold, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell, Eddy Clearwater, Linsey Alexander, and we ain’t done yet. Tunes and stories.

July 6, 2021 – Devil Blues

Deeper Blues #11 – The devil in blues music is not always the big scary monster from Sunday School. Sometimes he can even be beaten by heroes, but he can be plenty tough in some stories too. These tunes all have something to do with Old Scratch and the stories touch on the African origins, the crossroads of course, and the various musicians we’re playing.

May 18, 2021 – Blues Ladies #2

Deeper Blues #12 – No way could that first hour (Episode 6) mention even the very best of the Women of the Blues. This time we have Janis Joplin, Madeleine Peyroux, Julia Lee, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, Big Maybelle and we’re still not done.

May 25, 2021 – Up and Coming

Deeper Blues #13 – Up and coming artists who are keeping the blues alive today. Larkin Poe, Homemade Jamz, Johnny Lang (relatively new), and a real rising star, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram from Clarksdale, MS.

June 1, 2021 – V-Disks

In 1942, the U.S. Army started up an entertainment program for troop morale during WWII. A musicians’ strike had halted new music production and the V-disk program was born. 45 rpm records, the size of 78s, got two songs on a side and they made over 900 disks. We combed through them all and found enough blues for an hour show. Barely. Bill Broonzy, Doctor Clayton, Mildred Bailey, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and more.

June 8, 2021 – Hill Country Blues

The Mississippi Hill Country is just east of the delta, across the Yazoo river. Their style is different, with steady background grooves, and sometimes includes fife & drum bands. We have R. L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, John Lee Hooker, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band and the Black Keys.

June 15, 2021 – Stagger Lee

On December 25, 1895, Lee Shelton shot Billy Lyons in St. Louis in a dispute that involved a J.B. Stetson hat. Shelton was tall and was called “Stack,” and also called Stack-O-Lee, Stagolee, Stagger Lee and other things too. He was celebrated for his strength and power more than his civic behavior. All of tonight’s songs are about him, and we have the real historical story.

June 22, 2021 – More Crime

We had too many Stagolee songs so this is overflow. Plus other crimes and criminals including Frankie and Johnny, Jesse James, the Great Train Robbery from England in 1963, and one that should die but ain’t dead yet, Crow Jane.

June 29, 2021 – Back to the Delta

Finally getting to focus on the “real” Delta Blues, and explored why this small area of Mississippi should have such a mystique, such an image as the cradle of the blues. Other places had blues, why should the Delta get all the credit?

July 6, 2021 – Devil Blues

Deeper Blues goes to Memphis. Beale Street already had a thriving music scene when blues came around in 1900 or so, and “The Bluff city” gave us its own blend of country blues, jazz, ragtime and more. We’ll hear from B.B. King, Otis Redding, Booker T. Jones, The MGs, and more.

July 13, 2021 – St. Louis Blues

Rolling UP the river, we’re in St. Louis this week. Home of Stagger Lee, Frankie (who shot Johnny,) W.C. Handy and of course more. The music tends to be a variation on jump blues or piano blues, featuring solo singers or a pianist performing with small combos or large bands. It has an urban feeling, with little of the rural atmosphere that distinguishes country-blues.

July 20, 2021 – Blues Ladies (Encore)

Encore Presentation: The Blues Ladies: Women were the predominant voices of the blues in the early recordings, and have gotten less historical attention than they deserve. We’ll hear from the first wave (Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Ida Cox,) the second generation (Memphis Minnie, Sippie Wallace, Big Mama Thornton) and some current singers (Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt) and more.

July 27, 2021 – Blues Ladies #2 (Encore)

Encore Presentation: Blues Ladies, Part 2. Deeper Blues revisits the Ladies of the Blues for our second hour with the women who formed such a rich part of this culture. We’ll have Memphis Minnie, Julia Lee, Big Maybelle, Ella Fitzgerald, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, Janis Joplin and more – some naughty, some nice, and all cool.

August 3, 2021 – Muddy Waters Alumni

Deeper Blues hears from Muddy Waters Alumni. The first great Muddy Waters band had Little Walter on harmonica, Otis Spann on piano, Jimmy Rogers on guitar and Baby Face Leroy Foster on drums. And more but we have these four in the first installment.

August 10, 2021 – Muddy Waters Alumni, Vol. 2

Continuing the theme, still with the first graduating class from Muddy Waters University. Opening with Little Walter, then Junior Wells on Harmonica, Fred Below on drums with Muddy and with the Aces, an early influential Chicago Blues band, and then a good dose of Willie Dixon on bass and as a songwriter.

August 17, 2021 – Kansas City Blues

Deeper Blues resumes the Road Trip. This time we’re in Kansas City, a real live-wire town from the 1920s forward. Enforcement of prohibition was very light, and this brought out customers, and money, and some of the best musicians in the country. The swing and jazz styles that developed there, along with the Kansas City Stomp rhythm, came from a foundation in the blues. Smooth and cool, Kansas City still has its own voice.

August 24, 2021 – Texas Blues

Texas Blues has a lot of styles because it’s a big place. We’ll range from Blind Lemon Jefferson to Stevie Ray Vaughn, with stops on the way for some Tex-Mex Blues, the smooth origins of the West Coast sound, and acoustic work songs from oilfields, ranches and piney woods.

August 31, 2021 – Stagger Lee (Encore)

It’s a true story and his name was Lee Shelton. He really did shoot Billy, in St. Louis on Christmas of 1895. Originally broadcast on June 15, it’s too cool to only do once. Plus I was busy.

September 7, 2021 – The “First” Rock n Roll Record

There’s not much agreement on one single first R&R record but there’s a list of tunes that led to the new hip (or hep) music of the 1950’s. We have an hour to play a dozen candidates, not all front runners but all cool.

September 14, 2021 – More Gems

After six months of doing this, there were some tunes I couldn’t believe I hadn’t played yet. Jimmy Reed, Elvis, Ray Charles, Dion, Nat Cole & more.

September 21, 2021 – Trolling Songs

These are tunes that were very useful to the traveling blues performer who hadn’t worked out where he was going to stay that night. He would sing a certain kind of seductive invitation type song and look around, see who he was connecting with, and then try to talk to her on break. Songs live “Please Send Me Someone To Love,” or “I’m a Sixty Minute Man,” or “Rock Me Baby.” We have a whole hour of them, some are comical and some are downright sweet.

September 28, 2021 – The Originals

We’ve got original versions of R&B, Blues and Rock hits, classics you’ll recognize (most of them) from the earlier first releases. Songs like “Hound Dog,” “Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On,” “House of the Rising Sun,” even “Louie Louie” sounded pretty different in their original form. Some of the other covers sounded similar to the originals, but Deeper Blues likes to dig out the history. Credit where credit’s due.

October 5, 2021 – Chicago Before Muddy, Part 1 – the 1930s

Muddy Waters transformed the blues in Chicago and set up the standard blues combo in the 1950s but he wasn’t the first star in that blue sky. We’ll hear from Tampa Red, Bill Broonzy, Sunnyland Slim, and others who paved the way and helped Muddy get started.

October 12, 2021 – Chicago Before Muddy, Part 2 – the 1940s

Through the 1930s and 40s there was an evolution in the tone of Chicago blues. At first life seemed better than in the south for thousands of black American migrants, then times toughened up and so did the music. Smooth combos gave way to jarring rhythms and hard blue notes. We’ll hear some contrasts.

October 19, 2021 – Blues on the Organ

Organ Blues, featuring the famous Hammond B-3. Jimmy Smith, Wild Bill Davis, Booker T. Jones, even Fats Waller played organ sometimes. Hammond thought their main market would be churches but it turned out to be jazz & blues combos.

October 26, 2021 – Blues Guitar Pioneers

Time for some early blues guitar masters who did it first and led the way. We’ll focus on four very different styles: Lonnie Johnson (single note arpeggio leads,) T-Bone Walker (modern electric role model,) Sister Rosetta Tharpe (blues boogie pioneer,) and Elmore James (slide guitar icon.)

November 2, 2021 – Blues of the Animals

Blues has been described as music about hardship, mistreatment, love, betrayal and farm animals. We have sadly neglected the farm animals before and we aim to fix that. We may even go beyond the farm this week, with Blues of the Animals.

November 9, 2021 – Premier Episode (Encore)

Repeat of our first hour on the air, with Chess superstars of the 50s. Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Little Walter and Leonard Chess behind the scenes. These guys cannot be beat.

November 16, 2021 – Blues of New Orleans

The Crescent City is mainly known for its own Jazz and Dixieland, but you can hear the Blues riffs all over. We’ll hear some remarkable musicians like Dr. John, James Booker, Snooks Eaglin and more.

November 23, 2021 – Swamp Blues

There’s a lot more Louisiana music than just New Orleans. We’ll get around the state to check out some Swamp Blues. And we’ll branch out into some Zydeco and Cajun music from this creative melting pot. Lazy Lester, Slim Harpo and more from the bayou culture.

November 30, 2021 – Hoodoo Blues

This is an encore, from last April 27. Hoodoo and Voodoo are two similar but separate cultures. It was part of the environment, reflected in hundreds of songs, with black cat bones, mojo hands, goofer dust, the charms and the charmers. Root Doctors, mojo men, hoodoo ladies, all part of these tunes and stories. Wynonie Harris, Bobby Bare, Memphis Minnie, Louis Jordan and more.

December 7, 2021 – The Devil’s Music

Blues on Saturday night and Gospel on Sunday morning were often played by the same people, the best musicians in a lot of small towns. The churches discouraged that juke joint revelry and linked it with the devil whenever they could.

December 14, 2021 – Blues Gems

Encore from Sept 14.

December 21, 2021 – Christmas Blues

Christmas through the years, echoing through time from the 1920’s forward, from Bessie Smith, Jimmy Witherspoon, B.B. King, and more. Longing and joy mingled together for holiday feeling.

December 28, 2021 – Specialty Records

A great blues label in Los Angeles founded by Art Rupe, was known for rhythm and blues, gospel, and early rock and roll, having recorded Little Richard, Guitar Slim, Percy Mayfield, and Lloyd Price.