Thursday, April 22, 2010

Little Howlin' Wolf-7" Songs

This man needs no introduction to those that are familiar with the badssness he exudes. i will, however, attempt to summarize a bit about this individual here. Little Howlin' Wolf is an outsider experimental blues musician hailing from Chicago's south side. His history is far too vast to do justice here, but he was a regular fixture as a street musician during the 70's through much of the 90's appearing at places like Maxwell Street and Michigan Avenue playing everything from sax to guitar to double nose flutes and whatever else he could lay his hands on. His approach to music is so true and pure in its seemingly haphazard style that one comes to realize only much later that this in and of itself is a skill that few people possess. i've had the great pleasure to befriend this man over the past 5 years and even record some of his music. It is truly an experience to interact with this man and i am even now having trouble putting it in to words. Here is what his official myspace says for his bio:

"Chicago street musician, bluesman, and actor, Little Howlin’ Wolf, was born James R. Pobiega, Aug. 23, 1950. Of Polish decent, the grandson of a gravedigger and “moonshiner”, and son of a milkman, Pobiega grew up in the working class neighborhood of Justice, IL, a town located on the southwest outskirts of Chicago. Due to his large 6’6” stature, and tenacity on the football field at Argo High, he quickly earned the nickname, ‘Beowulf’, which was later shortened to ‘Wolf’. After high school, he briefly attended The Goodman Theatre in Chicago, IL., and although quite successful, he would soon realize that music was his calling. A self-taught musician, Wolf would gather up his guitar, harp, and saxophone, and hit the streets of Chicago, performing his original blues and jazz compositions, wherever and anywhere he could. Given his voice was filled with a natural booming, yet gravelly, soulful, and bluesy sound, he was given the moniker, Little Howlin’ Wolf, in respect to fellow bluesman and predecessor, Howlin’ Wolf. A name he was honored to receive, and still embraces to this day.
During the 1970s, Wolf started his own record label SOLIDARITY SOLIDARNOSC RECORDS, with subsidiaries ALCATRAZ, BEACON, and JUSTICE. Since then, he has recorded and released over two volumes of singles and three full length albums; THE GUARDIAN (1982), THE COOL TRUTH (1985), and his latest, BRAVE NU WORLD (2005). A cultural student and teacher, and advocate for the people, Wolf has brought his music and messages for peace and understanding all over North America and Europe, and has been featured in many blues and jazz magazines, as well as People Magazine. He has also performed a wide variety of other types of original music under the names; Deacon Blue, Papa Doc (spiritual and tribal), Bo Tom Ed (his comedic country character), The Shadow Drifter (folk), and Buccaneer Bob (a pirate character he uses to entertain children shows).
In recent years, Pobiega has returned to acting. He has been a part of Chicago’s theatre scene, and been in a handful of independent short and feature films, working alongside Willy Laszlo, Tim Kazurinsky, John Borowski, Ed Asner, and Judge Reinhold. He has also earned his Captain’s license for boating, became a SCUBA instructor, and found the time to return to the football field in an independent-hobbyist football league outside Joliet, IL. With the help and permission of Solidarity Solidarnosc Records, Little Howlin’ Wolf’s albums have now been released onto CD by the Baltimore-based, Nautical Almanac’s EHSE Records. "

The post here is dubbed from a slew of Wolf's 7" singles i've collected from from him over the years, released on his own Solidarity label or subsidiaries (mentioned above). From what i understand, Wolf plays ALL the instruments you hear on these recordings.


  1. WOW!! I love Mr Wolf! I have a few singles and both the solidarity LPs. Just found your blog..The Velvet Angels thing is how I came about it! Thanks for sharing..