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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Oh No, Not Chico Banks .....

We lost a giant of the blues guitar today - Chico Banks died unexpectedly and way too soon. He was only 47 years old. He is part of the "killer guitarists" in the third generation of Chicago bluesmen (first generation included Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf et al; second generation included Buddy Guy, Lonnie Brooks, Eddy Clearwater, Magic Slim et al, third generation included Melvin Taylor, Bernard Allison, Billy Branch, Chico Banks et al). Chico played the blues, he played R&B, he played funk, he played gospel and yeah, he could play rock too. Music was Chico's family business - his dad, Jessie Banks, was a fabulous guitarist that played with the great gospel group the Mighty Clouds of Joy.

Chico was also an engaging vocalist - his vocal stylings are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. He was a fine songwriter. He was a great talent that was in the process of breaking out when he died. He was loved by his fellow musicans and legions of fans around the world.

I was vaguely aware the Chico had some health problems, but I had no idea that he was seriously ill. This is a huge shock to the blues community in Chicago.

Light a candle, people.


Anonymous said...

I feel the pain of others. Tonight I was down at the Harlem Avenue Lounge when Kenny Zimmerman, who i greatly admire and respect, dropped the news. Sad it is and Chico was a life too short and a talent hard to find.

I've seen Chico only twice and was looking forward to a twin billing with Chico and JoAnna Conner this coming December at the Harlem Avenue Lounge.

Even what little I know, the loss is sad and to those who were close to Chico such as Kenny, my heart goes out to everyone.

God bless this earth to have had the likes of Chico Banks for 47 years; too short as it was.

peace & love,

Laurance Glasser

Anonymous said...

This is sad to see Chico is gone. He was such a talented person. He died from an infection from a previous heart surgery. Just to bad to see such a great person have to leave so soon. Rest in peace Chico, you will be missed!

Anonymous said...

Great person. Great musician. Had the honor of playing with him several times. He will be missed.

KCchicago said...

Chico and I have had many talks about the bible. We were close close friends. Both of us were Baptist and we can all rest assure that he is in heaven, no doubt about it. Although he will be missed daily and Chicago Blues scene will never be the same, we all who believe will get a chance to see him again. They say we all will be given jobs/tasks in heaven to do for our lord and I know Chico’s is to continue making music to honor the lord. I can only imagine the band he is in now.It makes heaven even that much more precious.

Anonymous said...

I loved Chico and his music. Sorry to be nitpicking, but he was born March 7th, 1962, died at age 46. The surgery he had made his heart the part of him most prone to infection, but it's misleading to say the infection was caused by the surgery. Sorry.

Mr. said...

Thanks for setting me straight. Peace.

MartialMartin said...

Well said. He was a dear friend to me.