Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blues Birthday Boy


Anyone who has seen the John Anderson documentary Born In Chicago knows that Harvey Mandel’s obsession with blues music began in the 1960s when he would travel to the city’s south side clubs to hear and eventually be tutored by masters of the genre. Mandel became a highly successful guitarist, and over the years, performed with Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, and John Mayall. His tenure with Canned Heat took him to Woodstock, and he played guitar for The Rolling Stones on their Black And Blue LP. He also recorded several of his own albums. I had the honor of meeting Mandel a few years back when I was covering a preview of Born In Chicago for the Illinois Entertainer. He graciously offered to provide any information I might need for the article.

Today is Harvey Mandel’s birthday, and there will be a special celebration from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM at Suite LiveLab Studios in Chicago. The event doubles as a benefit and will feature a Live SuperJam, raffle, and an auction that includes autographed guitars from Keith Richards, The Allman Brothers, Carlos Santana, as well as other celebrity-donated items. It’s a safe bet that Mandel’s birthday bash will draw an impressive mix of musicians and media professionals. The official Facebook announcement promises opportunities for industry networking. Tickets are $20 if purchased online, and $25 at the door.

Harvey Mandell has successfully battled a rare form of cancer in recent years, and his website is seeking donations to help cover his extensive medical bills. Fans can make contributions via the site, or join the party at Suite LiveLab Studios at the corner of Wells and Huron tonight.

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