Get In The Groove

Wes's New CD
Now Available!

Tracks Include:
1. Shot Time
2. Ludella Small Blues
3. Raqmop Reality
4. Bright Boy's Boogie
5. Madam Fu-Fu's Dream Book
6. T-99
7. Cryptic Cocktail Mix
8. Dreaming at the Dig Palace
9. Voodoo-ola
10. Baptized in Bop

Cryptic Whalin'! Reviews

Wes Race Turns 60
by Dave Ranney

Cryptic Whalin'! on
Paul Hawkins Web site

Wes Race - Crytpic Whalin’!
NEW CD! Available now at
On Cool Groove Records!
Wes Race - Cryptic Whalin’!
Produced by Jim Colegrove
in Fort Worth, Texas

Important Current Chicago Blues Book
is Still Available
Includes previously unpublished photos BY and OF (!) Wes Race

Chicago Blues: Portraits and Stories
by David Whiteis
Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Through revealing portraits of selected local artists and slice-of-life vignettes drawn from the city’s pubs and lounges, Chicago Blues encapsulates the sound and spirit of the blues as it is lived today. As a committed participant in the Chicago blues scene for more than a quarter century, David Whiteis draws on years of his observations and extensive interviews to paint a full picture of the Chicago blues world, both on and off the stage.
Chicago Blues

In addition to portraits of blues artists he has personally known and worked with, Whiteis takes readers on a tour of venues like East of Ryan and the Starlight Lounge, home to artists such as Jumpin’ Willie Cobbs, Willie D., and Harmonica Khan.

He tells the stories behind the lives of past pioneers including Junior Wells, pianist Sunnyland Slim, and harpist Big Walter Horton, whose music reflects the universal concerns with love, loss, and yearning that continue to keep the blues so vital for so many.

From out of the Wichita Vortex...

Wes Race: Personal Time Line:

Wes Race and Hound Dog Taylor, c. 1971
Hound Dog Taylor and Wes Race, c. 1971
1947: Born 6/22 in Wichita, Kansas
1959: My folks went to New Orleans for a fruit and vegetable convention and brought back two record albums for me to listen to:
1. Lizzie Miles w/ Sharkey Bonano
2. Art Hodes
1961: I went to the public library and checked out Sam Charter’s Country Blues book.
1962: Read Nelson Algren’s Walk On The Wild Side.
1963: Started corresponding with Bob Koester at the Jazz Record Mart in Chicago.
1964: While browsing through a record shop I bought a John Lee Hooker Vee Jay LP.
1965: Started attending poetry readings in the Wichita, Kansas vortex—Moody’s Skidrow—Joe’s Beanery was the real deal.
Wes Race and Homesick James
Homesick James and Wes
1966: At Junior College in Hutchinson, Kansas bought a Jimmy Reed album and the first Paul Butterfield album later that year. I drove down to a ghetto record shop and picked up some Excello LPs.
1969: Went to Chicago for a visit. Met Bob Koester and the Jazz Record Mart crew. Bruce Iglauer steered my wife and I to Sylvio’s on Lake and Kedzie where we saw Johnny Littlejohn.
Went to Chicago’s Greek Town Athenian Candle Company and picked up a High John the Conqueror Root, a Kansas City Kitty Dream Book, and some High John the Conqueror oil.
In October, my wife and I attended a Freddie King, Little Johnny Taylor show at Wichita, Kansas Hillside Town Club.
1970: Moved to Chicago—gave my first poetry reading at Bob and Sue Koester’s. Started working at the Joanna Western Shade Company where Muddy Waters had worked delivering venetian blinds before going with Aristocrat/Chess Records.
Started going out to Blues clubs all over Chicago—most notably Howlin’ Wolf at Big Duke’s, Sunnyland Slim and Willie Johnson at Alice’s Revisited, J. B. Hutto at Rose & Kelly’s, and Hound Dog Taylor at the Expressway and Florence’s Lounge.
Wes Race and Gatemouth Brown
Wes and Gatemouth Brown, January 1984
1971: Helped start Alligator Records and co-produced Hound Dog Taylor’s first album. My son Wesley was born in November. Hound Dog was my son’s godfather.
1972: While at the Flamingo Lounge first saw Son Seals. When he started in on a the tune Honky Tonk I called Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records and said check this guy out.
Published poetry fanzine Laughin’ Just To Keep From Cryin’.
1973: Published blues fanzine Blues News & Views
1974: Published blues fanzine Blues News & Views II.
Began indexing Living Blues Magazine.
1975: Before moving back to Wichita, Kansas I went with Dick Shurman to Louise Southpark Liquors on 69th Street. When Dick told guitarist Louis Meyers that I was leaving Chicago Louis replied, "that’s too bad. You’ve been a good blues spectator."
Moved back to Wichita, Kansas and started listening to Wardell Gray and Jack McDuff records. Saw Leon McAuliffe at the Cotillion Ballroom. Saw Jay McShann and Claude Williams at the Canterbury Inn Lounge on Highway 54.
1976: Saw Merle Haggard and Ernest Tubb at Wichita, Kansas Cotillion Ballroom.
Wes Race and Jimmy Rogers
Wes and Jimmy Rogers
1978: In Issue 41 of Living Blues Magazine they published the indexing I had labored on.
1981: Attended San Francisco Blues Festival, Eli’s Mile High Club, then went to the Long Beach Blues Festival.
1982: Started working on Wichita, Kansas Psychiatric Evaluation Unit as a nurse’s aide.
1983: Helped start Wichita, Kansas Blue Society.
1984: Had a trip to Fort Worth, Texas. Saw Juke Jumpers, Papa Calhoun, and Robert Ealey.
1985: Presented first Tornado Bait Party at The Spot Recreation Lounge in Wichita, Kansas.
1986: Wrote liner notes to J. B. Hutto’s Slideslinger Varrick LP.
1987: Started listening intently to Gene Ammon’s solos and LPs.
1988: Read all the Irwin Shaw stories and books I could find.
1990: Went to Clarksdale, Mississippi Blues Festival and saw Booba Barnes and Junior Kinbrough.
1994: Moved to Fort Worth, Texas
1998: Recorded Homer Henderson and Mike Buck for Race Records doing a Strange Stuff and Mate Like a Cheetah (currently unreleased).
1999: Recorded Johnny Moeller and Kaz Kazanoff for Race Records doing Lafayette Thomas’ Cockroach Run and Calvin Newborn’s Buck Wheat Cakes (currently unissued).
2000: Recorded Robin Sylar’s Bust Out CD for Race Records.
2001: Presented tribute to Johnny "Guitar" Watson at Swing Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Musicians that attended were Lady Pearl and Ray Reed, Johnny Moeller and Nick Curran, Johnny McVey Group, Sumter Bruton, James Hinkle, Holland K. Smith, and Paul Byrd.
2005: Started reading Hubert Selby, Jr. books
2006: Started recording Cryptic Whalin’! CD for Cool Groove Records.
2015: Wes continues to release his recordings on YouTube. Search on Wes Race there.

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