AMERICAN BLUES SCENE
Sheryl Youngblood Releases Live Single ‘Every Day of Your Life’
“Every Day of Your Life,” a song written by Jimmy Johnson and recorded live by Chicago blues rising star Sheryl Youngblood, is out now via Delmark Records. The tune was recorded by Sheryl and the Delmark All-Star Band during the label’s 70th anniversary celebration at Space, Evanston, IL as a tribute to Mr. Johnson.
Sheryl is joined by Dave Specter and Mike Wheeler on guitars, Roosevelt Purifoy on Hammond B3 organ, Larry Williams on bass and Cleo Cole on drums.
Featured Interview – Sheryl Youngblood
|To hear and see vocalist, drummer and keyboardist Sheryl Youngblood perform is to be dazzled by her talent and uplifted by her soulful treatments of Blues, Gospel and R&B. Up-tempo numbers are body-shaking tent revival-esque, while her sorrowful bluesy numbers walk a redemptive road from sadness towards elation. Many old timers have declared that singing the blues was a way out of the blues. Owing to Sheryl’s vivacious performing style, one is absolutely catapulted from the start.
Upbeat, positive but introspective, recent Delmark Records’ artist Youngblood is currently celebrating her newly released digital single titled “Every Single Day of Your Life” as a tribute to its writer, Jimmy Johnson. Recorded live during the label’s 70th Anniversary All-Star Band gig at Evanston S.P.A.C.E., the song about making every minute count is a perfect representation of her outlook.
“I want to put out the best music possible and I want my music to touch people all over the world. With God’s help it will!!”
Since the single’s launch in December of ‘23, Youngblood is finishing up a new full-length CD with production support from Mississippi Heat’s Pierre Lacocque, scheduled to drop in ’24.
“I’m enjoying being in the studio with great musicians and I‘m excited when I see things come together.”
Youngblood’s childhood in Joliet is steeped in music. Her mother, Gwendolyn Youngblood was the leader of a Gospel group, The Royal Harmonetts at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. For many years, young Sheryl literally sat at her feet while her mama played piano at home. As she grew a little older she picked up the keyboards on her own, playing the church organ or piano while her mother and deacon father joined meetings after services.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in the church. As a child, I paid close attention to all musicians including my mother who was an exceptional vocalist and pianist. The first instrument I remember playing was the piano as I sat with my mother while she instructed me on how to play.”
And since her brother played drums on a kit at home it was only natural that she picked them up too.
“During the course of me playing the organ, I began playing on my brother’s snare drum. I started thinking the organ was more challenging and time consuming. So, a drummer was born!”
Once recruited by the church’s minister of music to sit in on drums when the regular percussionist was a no-show, she continued to flourish in the ensemble as a brilliant time-keeper.The church experience helped her singing too, as a children’s choir was her first foray into the public arena. At age 13 or 14, she formed her own girl-group Sisters, in which she sang and played organ. Sheryl’s territory expanded in her late teens by trekking to Chicago for gigs with blues artists such as Roy Hytower, Otis Clay, Artie “Blues Boy” White and Bobby “Slim” James. An eventual permanent move resulted in a Grammy Award with Rev. Milton R. Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers and even a stint with Chicago classic doo-woppers, The Spaniels.
This broad range of styles had served Ms. Youngblood well and, with the encouragement of Spaniels’ bassist, Billy Shelton, Sheryl went out on her own to form two all-women groups: Ultimately Blessed and a still thriving rousing funk and r&b show band called SAYYES!
Currently her freshly inked contract with Delmark Records has opened up more possibilities for this gifted and seasoned and artist.“
Having a record label contract is exciting, helpful and a blessing. Things happen at the time they are supposed to,” Ms. Youngblood enthused in a recent conversation.
As positive as this experience has been, Sheryl did approach the prospect with some trepidation.“
I had always been fearful of signing with a record company because of all the horror stories I had heard. Now, I know a little more and I am grateful to God that I waited until I was comfortable. For me, a record label can help take some things off my plate because I work a lot. Most musicians love their craft but the other stuff that goes along with it can be challenging: promotion, distribution, marketing, and selling.”
“Many parts of the business can be taxing. I feel that partnering with Delmark can only help! Julia Miller and Elbio Barilari (CEO and Artistic Director respectively) have been great to work with because I get to be creative and my thoughts are important to them. I am so grateful they took a chance on me.”
Monetary resources are a struggle in the life of most musical artists and Sheryl has had her share.
“I’ve been planning a CD for some time, now; I have lots of lyrics in my notebooks that I really would love to shape with recording. My problem has been cash, money, dinero – the lack thereof.”
“I’m a musician and I work a lot but my earnings go toward my living expenses. To record, money is needed to pay for musicians, studio time, mixing mastering and so forth. Lack of it has been a great obstacle in being able to put it all down. I have helped some musicians with their recordings by collaborating on lyrics, singing and playing drums.”
“Though this is my job, I don’t always expect to be paid. But then, I have never felt comfortable to ask any of my fellow musicians to go in the studio with me when I didn’t have the cash to pay them,” she related.
Not all of Youngblood’s recording experiences have been as upbeat.
“In 2008-09 I collaborated with a friend on lyrics, singing lead and background vocals. I drove back and forth out of town to a friend’s house to lay tracks down but when it came time to mix and master them, he never finished it. The music was just left in limbo. All that time spent, and the travel and collaboration were in vain,” she mused ruefully.
Others have been a mix of good and bad.
“Before my new digital single, my real last complete session was around 2010-11 when I recorded the great Etta James song ‘At Last’ (by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren.) I added my special take to the ending of the song, which goes over well with the audience. I wrote the ending for anyone who’s in a relationship because everyone needs to know that communication, compassion, compromise and cooperation are vital keys in a relationship. Re-recording that song was costly, time consuming and the engineer I was working with did not consider my input on these tracks. I didn’t like my vocals and he insisted that we use the scratch vocal. Not being confrontational I just went along with it even after spending lots of money.”
Discussion of Sheryl’s new project brings a change of tone and she focuses on her keen interest in the recording process with a more positive spin.
“I am currently in the studio recording with a band that I sometimes tour with: Mississippi Heat. This experience has been educational, enlightening and enjoyable. I have received a much clearer understanding of the recording process and how it works. Well, how it should work. To get from A-Z is a process. This current studio experience is helping me know how I will approach my next venture.”
She goes on to explain what some of that entails.
“I am, indeed, a songwriter with a catalogue of songs waiting to be recorded! Yes, I have collaborated with others as previously mentioned. I’m really good with performing originals especially when the audience is receptive. I remember doing an impromptu original song when the audience started screaming “That’s a Grammy song!” right there at the Grammy Awards! I also love performing standards that people know and can get into, but let’s keep it real: there is nothing like people jamming to one’s own music and lyrics!”
On the theme of her current CD, Youngblood’s emphasis on deep personal expression characterizes her m.o.
“My vision for my next CD is to be so memorable, that it goes down in history. My theme is “It’s about me!” she exclaims. “I don’t have a working title, yet, though I do have some ideas in mind not ready to share. I want the new group of songs to communicate my compassion, my struggles, my vision and my life.”
When further asked to describe her musical path and assorted inspirations, Sheryl reflects back.
“Of course, singing came first, because any child growing up in the church started singing by belting out those hymns and then getting in the children’s choir,”
“Listening to my mom sing intimidated me because her vocals were so exceptional. I would just sing kind of low. She was my biggest influence. Gosh, if you had only heard her voice! After my mother comes Pastor Isaac Singleton Sr. in terms of influence. From there, Michael Jackson, Prince, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Patty LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Minnie Riperton, Ella Fitzgerald were impactful, and the list goes on and on and on and on! I have learned something from each and every one of these vocalists. ”
“My father, my brothers and sister are my strongest other-than-musical influences. Being the baby of the family, I have learned something from each and every one of them, whether it be how to stand up straight, how to be hard, how to be soft, how to speak, how to listen—each one of them has contributed greatly to my being who I am.”
Youngblood doesn’t use the word ‘heroes,‘ per say.
“I like a lot of the blues artist like, of course, Koko Taylor for multiple reasons: she was a female band leader, she wrote a good number of her own songs and she was one of the very few female vocalists that the guys would call on to perform with them.”
“BB King, Buddy Guy, Tyrone Davis, Bobby Blue Bland, Bobby ‘Slim’ James, Bobby Rush, Johnny Taylor, Artie ‘Blues Boy’ White, Otis Clay, Denise LaSalle, Big Time Sarah and Sister Rosetta Tharpe are a few others.”
Youngblood’s enthusiasm is infectious and moves her to dance when in front of a driving band.
“What I do on stage comes from the heart — it’s not rehearsed and not made up. ”
“It’s impromptu,” she says adamantly.
“Some things I do on stage I just do. And when I get the audience’s response, I keep it in my show. For example, when I started drumming on the mic stand, the response was so overwhelming it’s now a part of my performance. My stage craft comes from the audience!”
“When the sound mix on stage is on point, the band is on fire, tight, grooving and jelling off of each other and it’s thunderous, the band vibes are great, the audience is receptive, and participating and we are all having a GRRRRReat time….!! Those are my best moments on stage.”
Youngblood’s talents go beyond her musical and vocal expertise as she is also a powerful band leader.
“I have an idea of how I want a band to look and sound. Having that idea, I set out to pull together musicians with that in mind. Being a female band leader came with a lot of push-back from some musicians and, because of it, I made it my business to stick and stay. Leading a band is not easy. Those who think it is have never done it. To quote Forrest Gump: ‘That’s all I have to say about that!!’
‘’Keeping it real and down to earth is Sheryl Youngblood’s stock-in-trade and her propensity for exuding positive vibes on and off the stage is her calling card. Saying YES has put Sheryl’s hard-earned career on the rise. And she is destined for many more YES moments!
“With God’s help they’ll come,” she affirms.
“As long as we continue to do what we do and love what we do, the Blues and all other styles of music will live on healthy and strong.“
Visit Sheryl’s website at https://sherylyoungbloodband.com/
LES TEMPS DU BLUES (France)
SHERYL YOUNBLOOD, NEW BLOOD IN CHICAGO
It’s only been two or three years since Sheryl Youngblood’s name appeared on the Chicago blues scene, with notable appearances at the city’s June festival, and energetic performances in well-known clubs including Rosa’s Lounge, Blue Chicago and the Legends. But the singer-drummer is no beginner. Thanks to her mother who had her own band, The Royal Harmonetts, she learned singing and piano in church then formed her own group (vocal and female) as a teenager. Her talent then allowed her to be hired in 1990 within a much more renowned gospel ensemble, that of Rev. Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers of Chicago, better known as The Tommies, with whom she won a Grammy Award.
At the same time, Sheryl Youngblood, who added drums to her personal background, also performed in Chicago clubs with soul, R&B and funk artists, and more and more often with artists closer to blues including Otis. Clay, Artie “Blues Boy” White, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Bobby Rush, John Primer, Maurice John Vaughn… She founded another female group in 1995, SAYYES!, with the different styles mentioned above in the repertoire. She then turned more resolutely to the blues by launching her Sheryl Youngblood Blues Band, which recorded “Stranger in My Bed” and “Live at House of Blues” in 2011 and 2014, two self-published albums that went unnoticed. And today, it is indeed a historic blues label which is preparing to give Sheryl Youngblood a chance: with a view to an album, Delmark has just released a first single, Everyday of your life , with a great cast (Delmark All Stars) composed of Dave Specter and Mike Wheeler (guitar), Roosevelt Purifoy (organ), Larry Williams (bass) and Cleo Cole (drums).
I offer it to you below to listen to with some other musical extracts.
– Celebrate a party tonight in 2010 (with SAYYES!).
– At last in 2010 (with SAYYES!).
– Stormy Monday in 2015 (with Ron Moten).
– Kiss in 2016.
– Down home blues in 2017.
– Uptown funk in 2019.
– Concert at Blue Chicago in 2021.
– Concert at Rosa’s Lounge in 2022.
– Every day of your life in 2023.
Sheryl Youngblood was a relatively new name for me, although she’s been around Chicago for quite some time, doing gospel music, and theatre, as well as a drummer backing other blues musicians. She had a couple of self-released albums in the early part of the last decade, but nothing currently available. That’s going to change this year, with a Delmark album in the works.
In the meantime, we have a single from the upcoming album, recorded live in Chicago at the Space by Jackson Hamrick, a lively version of Jimmy Johnson’s “Every Day of Your Life.” There’s plenty of blues here, with a run time of about five and a half minutes. Youngblood has a strong, relatively deep voice that’s well-suited to this song.
With the longer length, there’s time for killer blues guitar solos from both Dave Specter and Mike Wheeler, along with Roosevelt Purifoy adding Hammond B3 accompaniment and a steady beat maintained by Larry Williams on bass and Cleo Cole on drums.
We don’t yet have a release date for a full album, but it can’t come soon enough. Ms. Youngblood might just be this year’s new star on the blues scene.
CULTURA BLUES (Mexico)
Sheryl Youngblood – Every Day of Your Life
Chapter 44: Sheryl Youngblood – Every Day of Your Life (single) Photos by © José Luis García Fernández
“Every Day of Your Life,” a song written by Jimmy Johnson and recorded live by rising Chicago blues star Sheryl Youngblood , is now released as a digital single by Delmark Records.
The tune was recorded by Sheryl and the Delmark All-Star Band during the label’s 70th anniversary celebration in concert at the Space in Evanston, IL on September 20, 2023, as a tribute to Mr. Johnson. Sheryl on vocals was joined by the Delmark All-Star Band with Dave Specter and Mike Wheeler on guitars; Roosevelt Purifoy on Hammond B3 organ; Larry Williams on bass; and Cleo Cole on drums.
Sheryl Youngblood: Delmark Artist
Growing up in a musically inclined family, her mother had her own girl group “ The Royal Harmonettes ”; In addition, she was a pianist and vocalist in the church, therefore Sheryl was born into music. Sheryl began singing and playing various instruments in church in her teens. She formed her own girl group at her church (Mt. Zion Baptist Church) called “Sisters” in which she wrote several of her songs and she also wrote for the National Baptist State Convention (unfortunately those songs were not were recorded).
Shortly after, she auditioned and was immediately accepted into the world-renowned gospel group “ Rev. Milton Brunson and The Thompson Community Singers of Chicago ,” affectionately called “ The Tommies .” While she sang with them, the group became Grammy and Stella award winners. During that time, Sheryl began playing drums and singing with various artists such as: Otis Clay, Artie “Blues Boy” White, Bobby “Slim” James, KoKo Taylor and “The KoKo Taylor Blues Foundation”, Nellie “Tiger” Travis, Willie Rogers, Billy Shelton, “Darious Brooks,” Hall of Fame group “The Spaniels,” Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Daryl Coley, LeAnn Faine and Stormy Weather .
She has opened for artists such as: The Whispers, Buddy Guy, Lakeside, Chante Moore, Reheem De’Vaughn, Kindred The Family Soul, Denise LaSalle, Bobby Rush, John Primer, Maurice John Vaughn and the list goes on. In 1995, Sheryl formed the group “ SAYYES!” , an all-female band, also known as Ultimately Blessed or “ UB .” This group performed in many different places and organized annual benefit concerts for SWWR (Battered and Abused Women and Children Facility) cancer; sickle cell anemia; Diabetes; Prostate Cancer and more. The band continues to play a variety of music, in different venues and for a variety of events! (www.sayyeslive.com).
Sheryl founded her own blues band, The Sheryl Youngblood Blues Band in 2013. She is a powerful vocalist, drummer, songwriter, bandleader and entertainer, working regularly and traveling a lot. He performs regularly at venues such as the world famous Blue Chicago , at Buddy Guy’s Legends, Rosa’s Lounge, House of Blues Main Stage, Crossroads Stage and Foundation Room, Kingston Mines, BLUES on Halsted, Taste of Chicago, Taste of East Chicago, Blue Chip Casino, Majestic Star Casino, Hardrock Casino MWI, Muckleshoot Casino Seattle Washington, Ameristar Casino Jackson Mississippi, Country Club Hills Theatre, Blues On White Edmonton Canada, Blues Can Calgary Canada ; and in many more venues, keeping the audience engaged and energized with her sensational performance.
A member of the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame since 2015, Sheryl also sings and occasionally performs with the world-renowned group Mississippi Heat .
PROFFESOR JOHN’S BLUES REVIEWS
JAN 24, 2024
Trying to get caught up on all the great CDs and downloads that came across my desk during the holidays. I’m afraid I came down with “goofoffitis” and didn’t get much done. Oh well, chalk it down to learning what not to do for next year. All I can say is Santa Blues was very busy spreading blues music far and wide.
There are two Delmark singles that slipped past me during this time, and I want to correct that mistake right now. The first is a live recording of Mike Wheeler taking on John Lee Hooker’s Serves Me Right To Suffer. This one has been covered by a lot of different artists, but Wheeler has found a way to keep it alive and fresh. A couple of reasons for that are stellar guitar work by Dave Specter and some amazing keyboards provided by Roosevelt Purifoy.
Whoever named the backing musicians the “Delmark All-Star Band” Certainly knew what they were talking about as this is one of the tightest groups I’ve heard in a long time. Wheeler was also on guitar, Larry Williams played bass, and Cleo Cole was on drums. The two of them gave Wheeler such a deep pocket for his vocals that it was a pleasure to hear him sing. The entire performance was recorded during the label’s 70th anniversary celebration.
It had to be a helluva show.
Wheeler’s voice is versatile and emotive and gives a great performance. Check this one out on your streaming services and hope that Delmark will put out a full album with these performances.
The second single is Sheryl Youngblood performing Every Day of Your Life, which was also recorded at Delmark’s 70th anniversary celebration. The same instrumental lineup delivered fabulous backing with Wheeler and Specter trading breaks and Purifoy adding his touches to the song.
Both songs were dedicated to the memory of Jimmy Johnson.
Both of these singles belong in any Chicago style blues lover’s collection. And take to heart the message that you should live every day of your life ’cause one day it will come to pass.
Until then, listen to great music. Like these two singles!
New Delmark Records Singles Available For Download
New dynamic singles for Sheryl Youngblood (“Every Day Of Your Life”) and Mike Wheeler (“Serves Me Right To Suffer”) are now available at the Delmark Records web site (link below).
As many of you know, Delmark Records celebrated its 70th anniversary last year in 2023, with multiple tribute shows with the Delmark All-Stars, including a very special show that was recorded live at SPACE in Evanston on September 20, 2023.
These two songs were from that memorable evening, and both are heartfelt tributes to the late, great Chicago legendary blues hero, Jimmy Johnson, who passed away in 2022.
You want these in your music collection!
SENTIR EL BLUES TIME (Feel The Blues) (Spain)
BLUESTOWN MUSIC (The Netherlands)
KEYS AND CHORDS (Belgium)
“Every Day of Your Life”, a song written by Jimmy Johnson and recorded live by Chicago blues rising star Sheryl Youngblood, is out now as a digital single by Delmark Records. The tune was recorded by Sheryl and the Delmark All-Star Band during the label’s 70th anniversary celebration at Space, Evanston, IL as a tribute to Mr. Johnson.
Sheryl is joined by Dave Specter and Mike Wheeler on guitars, Roosevelt Purifoy on Hammond B3 organ, Larry Williams on bass and Cleo Cole on drums.
The single drops Monday, December 3rd, in advance of Sheryl’s appearance with the Delmark Blues All-Stars during their holiday showcase at Thalia Hall on December 20th.
BLUES VAN (Hungary)
Sheryl Youngblood – single in memory of Jimmy Johnson2023-12-06 | news
Sheryl Youngblood, the rising star of Chicago blues, is coming with a single called Every Day Of Your Life . Jimmy Johnson’s song was recorded at Delmark Records’ seventieth anniversary celebration in Evanston, Illinois. Sheryl was accompanied by the Delmark All-Star Band, Dave Specter (guitar), Mike Wheeler (guitar), Roosevelt Purifoy (Hammond B3 organ), Larry Williams (bass) and Cleo Cole (drums). The single paying tribute to the legendary guitarist will be released on December 20, 2023 by Delmark Records.
BLUES 21 (Spain)
Sheryl Youngblood (USA)
“Every Day Of Your Life” – November 2023
From the upcoming album “Every Day Of Your Life”
Label : Delmark Records
Sheryl Youngblood – vocals
Dave Specter – guitar
Mike Wheeler – guitar
Roosvelt Purifoy – hammond B3 organ
Larry Williams – bass
Cleo Cole – drums
IL POPOLO DEL BLUES (Italy)
Delmark Records 70th Anniversary
5 FEBRUARY 2024 by
Sheryl Youngblood & The Delmark All-Stars – Every Day Of Life (Single)
Mike Wheeler & The Delmark All-Stars – Serves Me Right To Suffer (Single)
Bob Koester (from Wichita, Kansas), has been passionate about music, especially jazz, since he was a child, listening to it on the radio. Already as a teenager he began buying records and later seeing concerts in Kansas City clubs. In 1953 he moved to St. Louis to study at college. It is in this city that the twenty-year-old Koester, increasingly motivated, begins to lay the foundations for what will become his historic activities, all linked by a common denominator, the deep passion for black American music. In St. Louis, he began selling records in his dorm, frequented jazz clubs, made acquaintances, including a certain Ron Fister, with whom he opened a record store, K&F Sales, later changed to Blue Note Records Shop . The alliance between the two has little life, Bob Koester continues the business by settling in another shop located on the corner of Delmar Street, where he also takes his first steps as a record producer, recording a local jazz group, the Windy City Six, publishing it under the imprint, Delmar. He also has skills as a talent scout, finding bluesmen who live in St. Louis such as Speckled Red, JD Short, Big Joe Williams. In 1958 he moved to Chicago, a city that had become the capital of African-American musical culture, due to a concentration of stylistic situations, from gospel to blues, from jazz to doo-wop, from rock’n’roll, to soul and r&b; of record labels, Chess, Cobra, Vee-Jay, Delmark of course, plus some more home-based realities; and clubs, many, from the north side to the west side, to the south side. Koester purchased Seymour’s Jazz Mart, immediately changing the name to Jazz Record Mart, adding the K to the Delmar name and establishing the label’s headquarters in the basement of the record store. Throughout his long activity, he has always been an observant person of his passion between jazz and blues, publishing immovable recording pearls in the history, not only of black music. Citing some of them becomes embarrassing to the detriment of others, but…Hoodoo Man Blues, by harmonica player Junior Wells, with Buddy Guy guitar, Jack Myers bass, Bill Warren drums, and…West Side Soul, by Magic Sam, remain two very precious pearls! Well past the threshold of eighty years, in 2018 Koester retired to private life, which unfortunately lasted only three years having passed away in 2021, selling the Delmark brand to Julia A Miller (President/CEO) and Elbio Barilari (Artistic Director) . The two partners continue to keep a piece of music history alive, and while waiting for interesting news, last year they celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the oldest independent record label, with an anthology composed of blues performed by: Junior Wells and Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Dinah Washington, T-Bone Walker, Little Walter and Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim, Jimmy Johnson; and a concert held in September last year at the Space in Evanston (Illinois), from where these two singles were also taken,
Respecting the issue dates, we start from a new addition to the Delmark house, Sheryl Youngblood, sings, plays the drums and keyboards, all learned in the family, her mother was a gospel singer and played the piano, while her brother played the drums. A child prodigy, therefore, who grew up with sacred music until at a young age she formed the first all-female band and broadened her musical vision towards the blues, passing from an experience with doo-wop with the Chicagoans, The Spaniels, to then form a new female rhythm & blues and funk group. While waiting for a whole album, here is a live performance with, Every Day Of Life, by the highly esteemed bluesman, Jimmy Johnson (he was also a Delmark artist), where we can listen to all the interpretative energy of Sheryl Youngblood.
The second single is from Chicago born, raised and based bluesman Mike Wheeler. He has three albums under his belt, two of which for Delmark, but he has always played the guitar more for others in albums and concerts, for blueswoman, bluesman, and various groups, and the confirmation is that he is also part of the All-Stars , who accompanied Youngblood, together with the other guitarist, Dave Specter, Roosevelt Purifoy Hammond, Larry Williams bass, Cleo Cole drums. The same musicians are also alongside a convincing Mike Wheeler, now in the role of leader, in the revisitation, in full Chicago blues climate, of, Serves Me Right To Suffer, by John Lee Hooker, taken up among many also by Jimmy Johnson, deceased on January 31, 2022. These two singles are a tribute to him. We wish Delmark another long life!