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Eddie Shaw (1937-2018)

| January 31, 2018

Eddie Shaw (1937-2018)

A huge, gaping hole has been left in the foundation of the Chicago blues scene with the passing of Eddie Shaw, who died on January 29 at age 80. Beloved by all for his warmth and charisma, Eddie was also a walking encyclopedia of blues history. Born in Mississippi, he learned to play blues by living it. He honed his chops with the Ike Turner Band and put the tenor sax on the blues map by playing in the Muddy Waters Band and then eventually becoming the band leader for Howlin’ Wolf. His rousing performances with the Wolfgang were always a highlight at any club he graced. Eddie was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2014 and won multiple Blues Music Awards. He also owned a pivotal West Side blues club during the ‘70s, called the 815 Club or Eddie Place at various times but his out-sized presence always made it the place to be. A wise and gracious mentor figure for dozens of local musicians, Eddie always described the music by saying in his rumbling voice, “Blues is a feeling baby.”

– Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

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