In the Blues Brothers John Lee Hooker
led the Maxwell Street Blues Band, but in reality while the bluesman aren't quite as famous they are just as talented on Maxwell Street. From legends like Big Joe Williams
and Sonny Boy Williamson
all the way up to (IMHO) the greatest electric bluesman of all-time, Muddy Waters
, played on Maxwell Street.
Alas it's no longer so. As Zack has mentioned Maxwell Street is under siege by developers hired by the University of Illinois, Chicago. For a blues fan, tearing down the rest of Maxwell Street would be like putting Graceland to the wrecking ball to build a McDonald's. The only difference would be Maxwell Street has more historical significance than Graceland. It's barely hyperbole to say that without Maxwell Street there would not be a Graceland. When the Delta Blues met Uptown Swing, rock and roll was born.
And it happened on Maxwell Street.
Going back to the early 1920's Maxwell Street has bred bluesmen and women. Thousands and thousands of musicians have practiced their chops on Maxwell Street. Even if the broad coalition of people trying to save the place are successful, I get the feeling it won't be the same when I get back there. It's enough to give you the blues.