The Howlin Wind of Chicago hit the South
Photos by: Nicholas Hess
Saturday March 27th marked a special day when legends of the blues music scene took the stage at Key West Crazy in Little River, SC.
The three piece group, Chicago Bob (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Digger T (Harp/Rhythym Guitar/Vocals), and Bobby Liddle (Drums/Backup Vocals), took the stage and laid down the soul as they played their mixture of original blues and covers with a southern rock twist.
Chicago Bob and Digger T have been true blues brothers for over 20 years. The duo continues creating and playing tunes that have helped shape and have become a part of the blues scene over the last two decades.
Chicago Bob, a 40 year veteran of the blues scene was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame for being an amazing blues guitarist back in 2014. This is one of many awards this seasoned musician has earned over his career that consisted of playing for other legends such as B.B. King, The Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top, Albert King, Jeff Beck as well as many others. His style reflects his gritty Chicago blues roots and the slowed down version that we receive today is enough to make your soul weep with every chord.
Digger T Tozzi, one of the best Harp players to perform, creates his own amplifiers as well as incredible, beyond functional cigar box guitars. These are just a couple pieces of equipment that this genius alters or builds from nothing to use in his music. The Cigar Box Guitars have such a unique sound, especially when paired with the slide guitar style of Chicago Bob with Bobby Liddle holding down the snare and High Hat.
The trio play this gig every Saturday night to have fun and do what they love most, play the blues. “We’re exactly where we want to be at this point in our lives. Playing what we want, when we want, how we want. If someone were to ask us to play three to four times a week, I don’t think we would, we’re getting old now.” Said Digger T with humor.
Chicago Bob has always taken on the persona of a true blues man with his apparel. His large collection of hats and wide array of suits have always been a part of his personality and his music. Not too mention the stylish shoes that go with it.
“That’s one thing I try to stress to the people I play with, dress the part.” Chicago Bob said.
The show went off without a hitch on the 27th, which marked a special day for me as well. I have been seeing Chicago Bob play since I can remember and hearing his music as well seeing as he is my uncle and musical hero. In the middle of their set he took a minute to buy my fiancé a rose and welcome her to the family, a very sentimental moment for myself.
“That’s my brother right there.” Noted Digger T in regards to Chicago Bob. “Just call me uncle Digger.” Tozzi said.
The band, with their mixture of originals and covering bands like the Doors, The Rolling Stones, Bo Diddley set the night up with songs and chords that hit your heart with every strum.
They had the crowd singing along and left them wanting more at the end. The first set kicked off as a normal set for the trio, which led into an interesting second set. Digger T and Chicago Bob busted out their hand crafted Cigar Box Guitars for a set designated to “Cigar Box Blues.” One of the most exhilarating sets I’ve had the pleasure of watching. The two made the sounds look and sound easy and effortless. They played a three hour set overall and I as well as many others could have sat for hours more watching these unique, legendary, real life blues brothers play with their souls.