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.