Blues Traveler, Joan Baby

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Joan Baby, Chicago Blues
Joan Baby

Blues Traveler

By Neil Imrie

Hi, I'm Neil Imrie and I've been a fan and player of the blues all my adult life.

I've travelled quite a bit and jammed and watched blues in all sorts  of places. I've met some great players and nice people doing this (truly unsung heroes). I have the following contributions:
 Joan Baby - Chicago
 Joan Baby, a talented white bass player and excellent blues vocalist has been playing the blues for over 20 years. She has worked with Chicago bluesman such as Jimmie Mayes, Lefty Dizz, Jr. Wells, James Cotton and John Primer. She has also worked with Vance Kelly, Billy Branch, Michael Coleman and Koko Taylor.

 The first time I met her was at a jam in Chicago in 1998. The jam was convenient because she could go next door to the Laundromat to wash her clothes as various people were having a blow. A great artist and all-round nice lady of the blues, she has encouraged many  blues musicians over the years. Her website can be found at http://
 Tadeusz Nalepa - Poland

 People don't really think of Poland being a place for the blues. But it is. Tadeusz Nalepa has been playing the blues since the sixties in Poland and has inspired generations of players in Poland. Born in 1943, he recorded his classic Polish blues album "Breakout" in 1967 and is the undisputed "Father of Polish blues". He has released many albums since and has a distinctive
 vocal sound close the great Howling Wolf.

Roberto Ciotti - Italy

 Roberto Ciotti was born in 1953 and has worked with an impressive list of  international bluesmen including Brian Auger, Jerry Ricks, Louisiana Red, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Willie Littlefield, Tommy Mandel (ex Dire Straits) on keyboards, Andy Herman (ex John Cale band) and toured for 2 years with Ginger Baker. He is a very tasteful guitarist and a very pleasing blues vocalist and has written a number of successful film soundtracks. The best place to see him play is Big Mamma's Blues Club in Rome. His website can be found at
 Colin Staples - Nottingham, England

 Colin Staples has run an blues jam session for over 25 years in Nottingham, England He has been running the jam at the "Running Horse" pub in Nottingham  for over 10 years. He has a great relaxed style and has welcomed musicians from all over the world to his jam sessions. Known as the "Grandfather of Nottingham Blues", he has consistently promoted and encouraged blues and blues musicians most of his adult life.
 Peter Lavell - Amsterdam, Holland

 Peter Lavell is a leading blues musician in Amsterdam running jam sessions and playing gigs all over the city. In addition, he plays gigs throughout the Netherlands. His famous jam at the Last Waterhole on the edge of Amsterdam's famous red light district, is one not to be missed if you are in Amsterdam on a Tuesday. A fine player and singer, he has always welcomed
 players from all over the world. He's a really nice guy! His website can be found at
 Billy Chong - London, England

 Billy is a bit mysterious. Nobody knows where he came from or how old he is. But, he has led the longest running blues jam in London at the "Globe" in Hackney for as long as anyone can remember. And, what a jam! It has always been well attended by an array of seasoned and up-and-coming musicians particularly brass players and, of course, guitarists! Billy has some of the worst kit I've ever come across but he has provided a consistent platform for blues musicians from all over.
 I hope some of this stuff helps.

  Neil Imrie

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