Delmark to release new live digital single from Chicago blues star, MIKE WHEELER – Serves Me Right To Suffer with the Delmark All-Stars – January 19, 2024

To kick off the new year, Delmark is excited to announce the brand new digital single – a special live recording from Mike Wheeler & The Delmark All-Stars, “Serves Me Right To Suffer” – a heartfelt tribute to Mike’s former mentor and hero and bandleader, the late, great legendary Jimmy Johnson!

Serves Me Right To Suffer – Mike Wheeler & the Delmark All-Stars
Official Release Date: Jan. 19, 2024

“Serves Me Right To Suffer”, was written by John Lee Hooker via Percy Mayfield’s version called “Memory Pain” and recorded by many artists including the late Jimmy Johnson. Here it’s performed and recorded live by Chicago blues guitar star Mike Wheeler. The tune was recorded by Mike and the Delmark All-Star Band during the label’s 70th anniversary celebration at SPACE, Evanston, IL on September 20, 2023 and features stellar guitar solos by Mike Wheeler and Dave Specter. Recorded as a Tribute to the late Jimmy Johnson.

“Serves Me Right To Suffer” (Hooker, Arc Music Inc, BMI)

Mike Wheeler, vocals
Dave Specter & Mike Wheeler, guitars
Roosevelt Purifoy, Hammond B3 organ
Larry Williams, bass, Cleo Cole, drums

Recorded live September 20, 2023 at SPACE in Evanston, IL by Jackson Hamrick
Live performance produced by Elbio Barilari
Mixed by Harry Brotman & Julia A. Miller at Delmark Records Mastered by Harry Brotman at Harry Brotman Musical Services Photography by Casey Mitchell
Graphic design by Elbio Barilari

ROOSEVELT “HATTER” PURIFOY killin’ it w/Dave Specter, Mike Wheeler and Larry Williams @ Evanston SPACE / DELMARK 70TH ANNIVERSARY ALL STAR BAND, SEP 20, 2023. photo by Peter Hurley

Guitar slingers DAVE SPECTER and MIKE WHEELER traded leads for the DELMARK 70TH ANNIVERSARY BAND , photo by Peter Hurley @ Thalia Hall.


Mike Wheeler has a vast knowledge of music and a voice that’s reminiscent of the late Sam Cooke. He can sing and play everything so well that you may forget what the original record even sounds like. From Jazz to Rock, from popular music to Top 40, he slides in and out of musical genres with sophistication, ease and indulgence. Mike Wheeler is a brilliant staple in the Chicago blues community, playing and writing songs for a variety of Chicago artists including, Nellie Tiger Travis, Peaches Staten, Sam Cockrell, Demetria Taylor, Big Ray & Cadillac Dave. Mike was a well known member of Big James &The Chicago Playboys, a notable band in Chicago and recorded five albums with the group. He has travelled the world as an ambassador for Chicago blues music. He’s been to Monaco, France, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium, just to name a few. He’s also shared the stage with the most elite musicians the world has known, including Willie Kent, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, George Benson, Jimmy Johnson and Shemekia Copeland. Mike was inducted in the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014.   
Mike uses Elixir Strings.

Larry Williams is a Bass Extraordinaire with unmatched stage presence and charisma. Influenced by artists such as Bennie Williams, Jerome Scott, Sam Cockrell, Larry Graham, James Jamerson, Willie Dixon, Stanley Clarke and Verdine White just to name a few. Larry’s style is clean and driving, reminiscent of the late greats yet modern, enabling him to play with the best in the business. From Gospel to Alternative, Larry can play it all. He has played on national and international stages. He has performed with Albertina Walker, Tyrone Davis, James Cotton, Jimmy Johnson, Buddy Guy, Vicki Winans, Koko Taylor, B.B. King and George Benson along with countless others. He has recorded on three major blues labels: Alligator, Blind Pig and Delmark Records. He is a true example of someone who knows what he was born to do!!
Larry uses Elixir Strings.

Cleo Cole began playing drums at the age of 10. He was influenced by his older brother Jethero Cole. Cleo played in his grammar and high school bands and also attended the Conservatory of Music where he was taught by Peter Romalis. He then began playing around town with various artists such as Doug McDonald, Alvin Cash, Floyd Taylor, Zora Young, Maurice John Vaughn, Shirley King, Big James, Nellie Travis, Peaches Staten, Sam Cockrell and Pistol Pete. His influences are Omar Hakim, Dennis Chambers, Billy Cobham, Bernard”Pretty”Purdie, Killer Ray Allison, Willie “Big Eyes”Smith and Willie “The Touch” Hayes. He has traveled all over the world. He was part of the Legendary Blues Cruise 2011 where he bonded with his fellow drummers. Cleo plays Yamaha Maple Customs and has a stick endorsement with Vic Firth. He has recorded on Blind Pig and Delmark Records. Cleo Cole is a drummer that you must see and hear for yourself!!!


Ronnie Hicks has been a highly respected mainstay on the Chicago blues scene for many years as a producer, keyboard player and member of the respected Maschen Company Band. He has played with Z.Z. Hill, Little Milton, Albert King, The Chi-Lites and Cicero Blake. Ronnie started out by singing in a vocal group called the Soul Majestics when he was fifteen and showed a strong interest in playing the keyboards from an early age. Ever since then he’s been bringing joy to audiences all over the world.



This is The Mike Wheeler Band Website. One of the hardest working bands in Chicago. The Mike Wheeler Band consists of : 

Mike Wheeler- Guitar & Vocals

Larry Williams- Bass & Vocals

Cleo Cole- Drums

Ronnie Hicks- Keyboards & Vocals

JIMMY JOHNSON BAND live 1983 at Wise Fools Pub, Chicago – Musical Express, by Angel Casas (TVE-2, 1983).

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