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The Blues is a Feeling

Some people like to chase the blues away. But for more than a decade, photographer James Fraher has been chasing after the blues.

When not working at his studio in Grayslake, this Chicago native roams the blues clubs with camera in hand, capturing the human essence of that mysterious music which delights listeners by recounting all of life's pains.

Fraher compiled some of his photographs in "The Blues is a Feeling," a collection of 100 portraits of blues players that was published in 1998. Photos of famous bluesmen like Buddy Guy and RL Burnside are interspersed with images of unknown greats who have been hammering away at their axes for years.

Through his photographs, Fraher captures that feeling that words can't describe and which a picture's thousand words only begin to convey. All photos by James Fraher, used with permission.

Related Links

Visit legendary bluesman Honeyboy Edwards.

Check out the Mississippi Valley Blues Society and its annual Blues Festival.

With it's world-famous Blues Festival, Chicago may be home to a lot of blues players. But it's just one place in the state that can boast of a vibrant scene.

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Join James Fraher as he talks about getting to know the blues – and the men and women who sing them – through his countless photographs and interviews.

 

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Reggie Boyd

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A self-portrait by Fraher

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Bonnie Lee

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Booba Barnes

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Willie Kent

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The cover of Fraher's book, The Blues is a Feeling.

 

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