Corky Siegel is known internationally as one of the world’s great blues harmonica players, and is a celebrated composer, blues pianist, singer, songwriter, band leader and author. Along with the likes of John Cage, Steve Reich and Phillip Glass he is the recipient of a Meet the Composer/Reader’s Digest Commissioning Program for New American Music grant for chamber music composition; he has also been honored with the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award for Music Composition, the Chicago Music Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. Corky’s professional music career began when he founded the now legendary Siegel-Schwall Band in Chicago in 1964 with guitarist Jim Schwall. The group was a major component of the young generation of white blues artists and learned the historic Chicago blues style at the feet and hands of such towering figures as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter. He is prominently featured in the acclaimed documentary Born in Chicago, which recounts the history of the ‘60s rock-blues explosion and also stars Bob Dylan, Jack White, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Eric Burdon and Steve Miller. Different Voices, the fourth release for Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, recently received Downbeat Magazine’s Editors Pick for 2017.
Billy Boy Arnold was born in Chicago, he began playing harmonica as a child, and in 1948 received informal lessons from his near neighbour John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, shortly before the latter's death. Arnold made his recording debut in 1952 with "Hello Stranger" on the small Cool label, the record company giving him the nickname "Billy Boy". Arnold signed a solo recording contract with Vee-Jay Records, recording the originals of "I Wish You Would" and "I Ain’t Got You". Both were later covered by The Yardbirds. "I Wish You Would" was also recorded by David Bowie on his 1973 album Pin Ups and by Sweet on their 1982 album, Identity Crisis. In 2014, he was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year' category.
Mark Hummel is known for founding the Blues Harmonica Blowout tours, which he has produced regularly since 1991. The tour features a rotating lineup of veteran harmonica players backed by the Blues Survivors. Past tours have included Snooky Pryor, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Kim Wilson, Jerry Portnoy, Magic Dick, Rod Piazza, Paul DeLay, James Harman, Mitch Kashmar, Huey Lewis and many others.[In 2013, Hummel was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Best Instrumentalist: Harmonica' category.
Sam Lay began recording and performing with prominent blues musicians, including Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Eddie Taylor, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley, Magic Sam, Jimmy Rogers, Earl Hooker, and Muddy Waters. The recordings Lay made during this time, along with Waters's album Fathers and Sons, recorded in 1969, are considered to be among the definitive works of Waters and Wolf.