Joel Baer

Howard Greenblatt (Facebook)

Joel Baer is an active performing and recording drummer in the Chicago area. Joel gained an interest in drums at an early age after watching his father Jeff play at church on a weekly basis. At the age of 11, he began formal instruction from drum educator Jack Brand in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois. Under Brand’s guidance, Joel developed his love for Jazz.  This led to a B.M. in Jazz Studies from Elmhurst College and M.M. from DePaul University where he studied with Bob Rummage and Dana Hall. 

Joel is an in-demand sideman in the Chicago Blues scene. He’s worked extensively with blues guitarists Corey Dennison, Pistol Pete and Jimmy Nick, playing throughout the midwest and competing in the International Blues Challenge in 2012, 2013 and 2016. With the Corey Dennison Band, Joel performed and was interviewed for WYCC’s concert series on PBS in 2014 and released a self-titled album on legendary Chicago Blues label Delmark Records in 2016. That album led to nominations for a 2016 Blues Music Award for Best Emerging Artist, two Blues Blast award nominations, a Chicago Music Awards nomination (Best Blues Artist) and the winner of the French Academie Du Jazz’s  prestigious “Prix De Blues” award, which has been given since the 1960’s to luminaries like B.B. King, Lightning Hopkins and John Lee Hooker.

In 2017, the Corey Dennison Band recorded Night After Night, which has also received a Blues Music award nomination for “2017 Contemporary Album of the Year”. This year also saw the release of Joel’s first jazz album, Structures, which included a limited vinyl release. 

Joel has been fortunate to perform with blues legends like Buddy Guy, Lurrie Bell, Carl Weathersby, Jimmy Johnson, Demetria Taylor, Eddie Shaw and Sam Lay and a host of current Chicago Blues and Jazz artists including Bob Margolin, Henry Grey, Mike Welch, Mike Ledbetter, Guy King, Fiona Boyes, Andy Poxon, Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Sugar Blue, Toronzo Cannon, Gerry Hundt, Matt Hendricks, Omar Coleman, Mike Wheeler, Andrew Diehl, Rodney Brown, The Special 20’s, Dave Potter, Ronnie Hicks, Mark Colby, Randy Brecker, Wayne Bergeron, Richie Cole, Erin McDougald, Joe Hurt, and has also performed with the Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestra.

Ivy Ford

photo by Jeff Fasano, in Memphis TN

Ivy Ford, singer, musician, entertainer. Waukegan born and raised, at 27 she is quite the up and coming artist of the Chicago blues and live music scene. Ivy Ford started performing live with Kenosha based band The Real Deal, managed by Steve Rainey at 13 and since then continues to nurture her niche and calling to the music. She plays piano, alto saxophone, drums, bass guitar and guitar which are primarily self taught. In late 2012, Ford joined a local blues band which in time evolved into Ivy Ford and The Cadillacs and gained fair amounts of popularity. 

Fast forward two years and Ivy Ford has managed to take the Chicago scene by storm. In January, 2015 Ivy Ford opened for the legend, Buddy Guy at his club in Chicago and continues to share the stage with Chicago blues hall of famers, J.B. Ritchie, Joe Moss, Toronzo Cannon and Tom Holland. She fronts her very own band and besides obtaining the title of “Chicago’s Blues Kitten,” performs song selections from not just the blues genres but RnB and soul. Aside from performing every weekend at both private and public event, clubs and venues, she is in the process of recording an unplugged album including originals. Some recent event for Ford include, radio shows on 90.9 WDCB, and In a Nutshell radio show on 98.3 WRLR. She’s been apart of Buddy Guys Legends, Artist series and traveled to Minneapolis, MN to perform at Artspace’s 2013 Celebration at the Cowle Theater. Ivy Ford has been featured in Buddy Guy’s Blues and Music News, Lake County Magazine and Blues Guitar Expert’s online forum.

Ivy Ford, is one of the leading “youngbloods” of blues and brings a refreshing yet classic face to the music. She formerly handled her cherry red, Epiphone-339 with as much confidence as any of the bluesmen today and can belt out notes to fill a room and serenade a phrase sweeter than sugar in ways that make anyone and everyone tune in to what she has to say. With her latest “Buddy Guy,” polka dot stratocastor Ivy Ford, always respects the history and tradition of roots and blues music, while presenting it in a fresh, young and trendy way. 

When not fronting her own blues party, Ivy is quite respected backing up Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, J.B. Ritchie. Legendary guitarist and frontman as his bass player. Ritchie has played alongside some of the greats himself and has been amongst famous artists such as Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter. 

J.B. Ritchie as taken Ivy Ford under his wing and not only passes on the traditions of what being a class act entertainer and musician is about also shares a kindred friend and fellowsip from one artist to another. 

The audience proclaimed, “Perfect Storm,” frequently share the stage in the Chicago circuit and special events.

Gerry Hundt


Gerry Hundt was playing Chicago Blues in taverns before he was allowed to drink in them. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Rockford, Illinois, Gerry has since lived in Vermont, New York City, Colorado, and Chicago.  In Denver, he worked, toured, and recorded with the likes of John-Alex Mason, Ronnie Shellist, The ClamDaddys, and Easy Bill.  From 2004 through 2009, Gerry toured the USA and EU relentlessly as a member of Chicago’s Nick Moss & The Flip-Tops, filling the role of “utility man,” playing bass, guitar, harmonica, and, of course, mandolin. On the strength of his critically-acclaimed Blue Bella Records CD, “Since Way Back,” Gerry was nominated for Blues Music Awards in 2008, 2009, 2010, & 2011 for Best Instrumentalist, Other (Mandolin), and featured at the Montreal Jazz Festival and The Blues Station in Tournon d’Agenais, France. In addition to continuing worldwide radio and web airplay, tracks from “Since Way Back” have appeared numerous times on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”  As a solo performer, Gerry’s fresh take on Chicago Blues has led to appearances at the Kalamazoo Blues Festival, Port Townsend Blues Festival, and Buddy Guy’s Legends; it has also made him a favorite among blues-dance aficionados at national events like bluesShout! and the Mile High Blues Fest. From 2007-2010, Gerry Hundt’s Legendary One-Man-Band appeared weekly for Tuesday Bluesday at Holt’s Coach Lite Inn (Chesterton, IN) – a gig which regularly saw touring blues musicians mingling with locals.  His favorite seasonal gig is the Saturday open-air market in Chesterton, where Gerry appears monthly, bringing the sounds of Chicago’s old Maxwell Street to Indiana.  In 2015, he captured that with the release of “Gerry Hundt’s Legendary One-Man-Band,” available here.  In band settings, Gerry has appeared with the finest Midwestern traditional blues acts, namely Mike Ledbetter, The Cash Box Kings, Barrelhouse Chuck, Billy Flynn, Little Frank, Joel Paterson, Rick Sherry, Joe Filisko, Bill Lupkin, Matt Hendricks, Jim Liban, Kenny Smith, Andrew Diehl, Perry Weber, and Westside Andy.  He also endorses Supro amplifiers.

Jimmy Nick


Jimmy Nick is an old-fashioned, guitar slinging blues prodigy who spent his teenage years being schooled by legendary bluesmen in the famous Chicago clubs of Kingston Mines, Rosa’s Lounge, and B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted. 

Over the last year Jimmy has recorded his first live album for a full house at The Raue Center for the Performing Arts, performed over 200 shows*, advanced to the semifinals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, as well as headlined at Buddy Guy’s Legends, and B.L.U.E.S on Halstead. Most recently, he was featured on the WGN Morning News.

In addition, Jimmy has opened for the legendary Eddie Shaw, Bobby Rush, Toronzo Canon, Dick Dale, The Mike Wheeler Band and performed at SXSW. Jimmy has sold over 1,500 copies of his 3rd studio album –Rare Breed, which features Eddie Shaw performing with Jimmy on his original blues tune “Greedy Man”. 

Jimmy Nick has also shared the stage with John Mayall, Ted Nugent, Samantha Fish, Pat Travers, Savoy Brown, Los Lonely Boys, Gov’t Mule, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and more. Jimmy Nick & Don’t Tell Mama continue to be one of the most requested and hard working bands in the Chicagoland area. 

Today Jimmy’s mission is to expose the next generation to the blues. Driven by his motown-tight band, Don’t Tell Mama, featuring saxophone, bass, and drums Jimmy excites crowds with his electrifying guitar work, fresh harp, clever lyrics and animated stage theatrics. His high energy blues and rock-n-roll captivate audiences, and forge instant fans.

Corey Dennison

The Corey Dennison Band [band photo]

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Corey Dennison spent a majority of his childhood moving about Tennessee and Georgia. As a young boy, Corey heard the powerful, soulful sounds of the Blues on late night radio programs and recalls being captivated by the music. He received his first guitar at the age of 6 and began to imitate the music of artists such as Gatemouth Brown, Albert Collins and Albert King. Corey immediately felt a strong connection to Soul music. “I just loved the way Soul music made me feel from my head to my toes. I remember humming along to songs from Wilson Pickett, Curtis Mayfield & Sam Cooke.” This marked a lasting impression on his musical style and is clearly visible today in his soulful vocals and fiery guitar solos.  Corey found his musical calling while hanging out with his harp playing uncle. “My Uncle snuck me into clubs where I saw some of the greatest Blues cats of all-time, Albert King, Albert Collins and Junior Wells. This is where it became clear to me; I wanted to be a Blues Man.” He spent 12 years honing his skills as a sideman for Carl Weathersby, a mentor beyond the music: ” Pop has really showed me the real me and have helped me in a lot of ways. Showed me what to do, what not to do. I wouldn’t know anything if it was not for Carl and my brothers-in-arms.” Playing with Weathersby blessed Corey with opportunities to share the stage with such musical greats as The Kinsey Report, Robert Blaine, Chico Banks, The Steepwater Band, Jimmy Johnson, Robert Randolph, Derek Trucks And John Mayer, Gerry Hundt, Nick Moss, Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson and the Buddah of Bass, Mr. Bill Dickens, and Buddy Guy.

Erin Coburn

Erin LIVE at Buddy Guys Legends in Chicago, IL

Performer and singer/songwriter from Kentucky, Erin Coburn has captivated her audiences since a young age, with her prowess on guitar, her powerful vocals, and bringing her own style of Rock with Blues influences into the 21st century. Those that attend Erin’s live shows describe her as having a mesmerizing stage presence with her intricate arrangements and dynamic lyrics that stirs the soul. She commands her band with an effortless confidence while giving the audience something unexpected, like shredding her electric ukulele during a hypnotizing solo. 

Erin’s first two original albums, Chaos Before Conformity (2015) and Queen of Nothing (2017), showed more of her blues roots with young, unbridled creativity.  Her third album captures her natural progression to a more mature sound with edgier lyrics and searing guitar solos. Her creation of Rock with Blues influences with a 21st century sound.  Look for the release November 8, 2019. 

Some of Erin’s accomplishments include:

• Performed with Grammy Award winning artists in Nashville

• Plays festivals and venues across the U.S. including, Milwaukee Summerfest and King Biscuit Blues Festival

• 2017 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominee for Best Blues Artist

• 2018 Josie Awards nominee for “Young Adult Artist of the Year”

• Opened shows for The Marcus King Band, The Accidentals, Larry McCray, Thornetta Davis, and Three Dog Night