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Feburay 23, 2013 Cancellation

January 28, 2013

As Jason so elegantly put it in his message about the Wise Fools, we also are sorry about the passing of this venue. He brought musicans back to this area that I hadn’t seen years. It is to bad that it is closed. The shows are cancealed. This includes my show for the Feburay 23rd 2013.

I was so looking forward to seeing some of you. Though I got to see a few of you while it was there recently and it felt great. I thought we’d have more time to Jam! Dave Spector, Jimmy Johnson, Billy Branch. The band haven’t seen you guys in ages, miss it.

For all our fans thank you! Now that we are here together in Chicago we will play. We’ve learned more music and we want to show off. So please stand by we will be back.

Vanessa Davis

The Vanessa Davis Band

Where Do We Go From Here

November 20, 2012

In the last few months we’ve played Fitzgerald’s. This is always fun. People come from all over, out of Towner’s seem to like Fitzgerald’s best. Then we had the most interesting show ever, at least I think. We played for the World Airline Sailing Championship (WASC). This is an event that a different Airline host every year. They sail , and lets say celebrate around the world, They do party! This event has been in Hamburg, Sidney, one the Red Sea, Halifax, Norway, Israel, London. Well you get the idea. We would be partying with heavy hitters when it comes to partying. And damn did they ever! I never saw a group of people dance so much or jam so hard.

We got this show from a friend Susan Tonen. She’s been a fan for a good 30 years. Members of her family introduced her to us and a history is born! She in turn wanted to introduce her international friends to Chicago and our blues sound. Now this event is called a Regatta. I didn’t know what a Regatta was. But  found out.  It is a sailing event. I learned that it is about racing boats.  Anyway we’ll talk about this over lunch in Amsterdam. I know 4000 miles for lunch when Susan and I live 15 min away from each other is a bit much, but it was fun.

This has been a wonderful experience and I must add cheaper to have the european audience here instead of going to europe to get them to see us. As I said there where people from all over the world. My German is not very good, but I can eek out a few things to hold a bad conversation. My Dutch I can only read, but the customs guy said I should learn faster since I always seem to be there. Spanish I can’t read but I am learning because I live in Chicago, lets face it I should get that faster here.

But this event made me want to learn every langauge better. I could speak with everyone at the party because they spoke english very well. But in order to know people better you need to learn a little more about their world. This starts with understanding where they come from, and communicating in their language. So I am doing my best to learn faster.

In the mean time the band is learning new music. There seems to be so much to say! We hope you enjoy some of the last years pictures, while we work on new material! And please check out some of the songs from our side picks. There are some you haven’t heard in a while I’m sure.

Yes I’m Back From Amsterdam! What Have I learned?

June 5, 2012

Doug Cannon, the sax player and I are back from Amsterdam. As always we had a good time. No playing but plenty of fun! I’ve been asked more than once why do I keep going back to Amsterdam. Do you go any where else? What is the music like that you hear there? What is it like there? How is the audiance? Do they like Blues?

Well frist it is like the north side of Chicago.You take the lake to about Cumberland, going west, North Ave to Howard going north. Now squeeze this in half and add a small river flow between each street. Oh don’t forget the little bridges to cross every street that go in this U shape. Confuseing not really, where ever you start from if you keep walking you well get back.

The audience loves hearing the blues. In Amsterdam there is lots of music. But in the outer areas there is smaller cities, in these areas there is even more adoration for the music. I played a place in Apeldoorn NL.  It was great. 30 degrees out side in January.  10 min before the show everyone in the town showed up. It was wonderful, after the show they left. Smileing and full of joy. I loved it.

Why do I go back, I go back to learn. I have no allusion of greatness anymore. I am happy the way we are. I think we are a very well rounded Blues Band, and I love playing it for folks.  But learning different ways to experience our chosen profession is what I’d like to do.

 I want to hear all kinds of music.  And after being there and hearing different people playing it, I want even more to be a part of it. I belive that all kinds of people play the same kind of music in different ways. And the sounds are very cool. And since it is different from some of the sounds we are use to in the USA let’s learn it and incorporate it in our music.

One night hunting around Amsterdam I found this little blues bar,  Burbon Street Blues. I go in there and a blues band was  playing. Very nice chicago style  Blues. Something I’d heard many times at any blues bar in chicago. But then the qutiar player went into his solo. It was owesome. He was a very good qutar player, but then there was this sound and feeling that he added I’d never heard before. Cord combinations that mixed different than I’d been use to.

When the set ended I wanted to talk to the guy. He was a big black man. He looked like some one I’d see on the west side, or at Rose’s Blues bar.

I said ” Hi dude that was owesome. where are you from”. I thought he’d say Oh Kansis City, or something bluesy like that. It seemed like everybody in Amsterdam was from somewhere else, states is a good bet. But in the best English and strong African accent he told me he was from the Sudan. To say the lest I was owed!

 He’d added a new sound from his part of the world and put it into Blues that we always hear. I learned right then I had a lot more to learn about how I see people and how other people see and fell about our chosen music, Blues. I also get a lot of different feelings about how we play the music.

From my guys I learned that there is so many different kinds of Blues. From Europe I’ve learned there are different ways of playing it. And there is new things to accent it with. We hope to expresss some of these things in our music. We hope this comes across in our CD we are working on now.  

Yes I am going to other places. Next stop for me Amsterdam to Spain.


Well we are home again after another great trip in Amsterdam. We meet so many great people while we are there. Cafe ‘t Mandje, Bet Van Beeren she opened this bar 85 years ago.It is like a bar in Chicago, Jacqueline’s.It’s not gay or straight.It just is! Or the Ten Cat Bar on Ashland. Dickie V’s place. You know him, he’s the quitar player. We talk about these bars to all our friends here and there. Then there is Paulitjie’s place at The Bull Dog in the single in the centrum. Oh Paulie you would love Chicago, Boy’s Town it would drive you crazy with fun. We have played some places and drank at others, having all around good time. I love having the time to do these thing but there is more to it than the party!

May 10, 2012

It’s Been That Long

December 19, 2011

The show at fritzgrealds was our 33rd year together as a band. To say the least we’ve gotten older, and grown up a bit. And you our fans have always been a great crowd. As a band it is really cool to have the club bartender and manger, even doorman tell me how nice our fans are. Not only in Chicago but everywhere we play, it has been a good time.

After 33 years there has been a few places that were interesting and a few interesting things we’ve done to keep ourselves going.  As I was laughing with Dickie V our gituar player, we were reminiscing pushing the truck up the hill to get it started. Going to Grnell Iowa College. Where I must add they had the best pot we ever had at the time. But that was 33 years ago! Things have change since then. It seems like everything has changed.

 Where that is true you our fans have been there with us the whole time. We love seeing you.To mention a few, the girls from the south side. I use to go out of town with the band, come back to play softball with the girls on sunday then back on the road with the guys after the game. It was always worth the time. The north west side girls, that was foot ball. The folks from Boys Town! Now they are real party people.

Jacquline, The owner of  (The Bar Jacqulines on Roscoe and Broadway) is starting to get better after hurting herself on the consturction in the street, after the concert. That makes me feel much better. You have to respect a bar owner that will leave her bar and come to see your show.

And I don’t want to leave out the Ten cat on Ashland and Irving both place some miles from Fitzgrealds. The Bar owners and their host Fritzgrealds are top of the line.

 That is so cool to see, makes me want to swell with pride. Pride in your friends your fans and the people that you work with. I am truely Blessed! Vanessa

Merry Xmas! Happy New year! We are now working on a new CD for the summer!

Vanessa Davis Band Fitzgeralds Time!

July 27, 2011


Aug, 6th saturday

6615 Roosevelt RD

9:00 pm

It will be great to see you there!

If you missed our last Fitzgerald’s show, CLICK HERE to take a peek!

Nice to be on stage here again!  Vanessa Davis

You know I like to spice stuff up!

Medicine And Music

July 14, 2011

Medicine and Music

I’ve spent the last 8 years on and off in Europe. My partner and I started in Frankfurt, went through Koln. We traveled along the Rhine and then to Brussel.  And last but not least Amsterdam!

Same as here when you play there it’s all nite, depending on the hours of the bar, but the breaks are longer. Can you imagine 45 minute breaks. It didn’t matter, I went to hear the music, make music, and play with the band in a different part of the world. We found rich sounds and showed them our version of American Blues. We enjoyed this tremendously, and the band and I learned a few things.

After having that much fun, I felt dissatisfied and angry that I’ d come home sick.  I’ve seen doctors and had physical therapy for the last 7 months. And the fact is I feel a whole lot better. But I still felt sorry for myself!   Why the hell was I sick!   What did I do to deserve this, and so on. I was really thinking about me!   Then I meet a fan when I played Peoria!

I was muttering to myself about taping up my legs and ankles before the show, and someone wanted to talk to me. Joan Blessinton Sydner was in a wheel chair.  She was being pushed by a friend.  She had a hard time being stable and talking, but in her bright eyes you could see her.

It was apparent that she was in advanced stages of Parkinson’s; she was so frail.  She brought me a gift.  It was a box of cards that she had designed and had printed. She was selling these cards. They were very nice , designs of flowers and other fantasies.  But that wasn’t what she wanted to talk to me about.  She wanted to talk to me about a project she was working on.

I thought her project!   What kind of project could she have the energy to work on.   Well she had one.  She had a hell of a project. She wanted to put together a CD with national musicians and local popular musicians. She wanted to arrange a Gala to premiere this CD.   Her idea was to get the Musicians to travel from all over the country to play this concert.

I thought , “How the hell is she goiung to pull this off”.  I know what it takes to put a show together.  Fixing a buget for all this was time consuming and exhausting.  Advertising, venue, road crew, lights and equipment, hotels , travel arrangments.  And anything that can go wrong with organizing something like this could make you tear your hair out!

But she was positive that this would happen. I gave her the rights to Lights Gonna Shine.  About a month later I get a call from her. She wanted me to know that the CD was already in the pressing.  She also wanted to know if I could bring my band down to Peroia for the Gala.  At this time I was having my own health problems.  I was going to physical therapy and had many doctors appointments.  I couldn’t make this event.  But nothing stopped her. 

She used the 13 songs from musicians all over the country to make the CD.  It was called:

Voices From The Dreams We Share

Sounds Of Hope And Courage

She put on this (Gala) with some of the hottest musicians playing from all over the country along with family and friends.  I heard that it was one of the hottest concerts around!  I am so sorry I couldn’t be there. But I want to say Damn Good!  Well done!

I am also sorry that I didn’t have Joan’s enthusiasm.  It took me untill the end of spring and part of the summer to get my ass in motion to do a show. Fitzgerald’s has space for The Vanessa Davis Band in August.  The Date is August the 6th, 2011  9:00 p.m.   Fritzgeralds, is at 6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn IL.  Admission is $15

Thanks Joan Snyder, for reminding me that this is what I wanted to do all my life.   And now I am old enough to be a “real” Old Chicago Blues Musician so I should enjoy it by playing.  Joan this show I am going to play, I hope to record it for you! Vanessa

Hey Lisa,

November 26, 2010

Funny I was just talking about you guys last night. My family would like to see meet you guys. I will call when I get back from the west! Hope all of you are well.

Thank You Peoria

November 26, 2010

The Corner Stone Venue was a great. Every one there treated us so nice, I hated to leave. It was also the frist night with our new bass player. Russel has been with use for 25 years as a production manager. But this is his new spot on stage. There was no better place for him to start, than at one of the frist places we started.
I would just like to thank all the people who put this together. Check out our site in the next few weeks. We will post some of the pictures we took, and some of the video we shot!

What is the difference

September 11, 2010

I always wondered why I loved Amsterdam so much. While I was on the plane coming back I realized why. I was a little under the weather. After two weeks in Amsterdam and 4 shows I was very tired and my body wrecked.

All I wanted to do was get on the plane and go to sleep. But I could not sit in the seat I was assigned because of the exit door was next to me and I was to hurt to help if there was an emergency. So good for me the only seat left was in first class business.

The KLM Stewardess walks me to the seats. There were two seats up there. One seat next to a large African man, another next to a refine older white woman what seemed to me to be in her early 70’s. I thought this because she looked like she had lots of work done, you know!

Thinking that I didn’t want to be judged in my best dike outfit, by the Big African man, I figured I’d sit next to the will made up old white lady. Here is where my American ideas got me. She sat for about 2 min. and called over the stewardess. She said something softly in her ear.

The Stewardess looked perplex. She said, not to loudly but in a normal voice. “We don’t have another seat. the plane is full. But  I will see what I can do.” She left and came back. There is one seat in first class upstairs, I heard her say. The white woman agreed to move up there at a cost.

Grabbing her stuff and taking one look at me she huffed up stairs, lead by a troubled stewardess. After the stewardess got miss thing to her seat she came back to me. She looked embarrassed and bewildered. She leaned over to me and said shyly, ” She had friends up stairs she wanted to sit with” talking about the woman who walked up stairs. I thought she felt so bad about the thing that happened she wanted to say something.

I felt that she knew the woman had left because of me. The nice dressed old white woman didn’t want to sit next to the big bad black dyke. Well it kind of serve me right. The big bad black dyke didn’t want  sit next to the big African man. Coming from a land where every one has to live so close to each other and don’t always like each other but learn how to get along, she must have been embarrassed. She looked so.

Racism and racial ideas are not just from America. We didn’t invent it. But we seem to use it here very often and we call our selves the land of the free and home of the brave. Is it freedom to keep other people down. Is it brave to stand over some one who can’t defend themselves and take what they have for your self and benefit from it.

How about just being the upper class and looking down on what you think is the lower class. either way you think, we are all guilty of some kind of racial, sexist, class, what ever. Here in my home town it runs out of the mouth all the time. People do it without even thinking. In the car they scream things out the window while driving. They don’t think that this maybe the last straw for some one. We have all kinds of guns here. We kill sometimes 30 people in a weekend. But no one seems to care.

On the south side of my city you can’t got to the store without worrying in some sections. It’s not like that in Amsterdam. I love my city Chicago. We have almost everything that Amsterdam has, except the coffee houses.

 Maybe if we had Mom and Pop coffee houses. The coffee houses not run by the state, the mob, the gangs, or any one else that wants to screw you over, there would be a easiness that pot brings to some, or a paranoia that causes you to leave others alone out of a fear that they may do to you what you are thinking about doing to them.

People I know from all over the world, that come here to get away from that kind of thing are surprised at how much of it there is here. I see this problem in myself. I hope I can get over it. Learn to treat people as I want to be treated. It is hard to be good. It is harder than people think to be decent. But the feeling that you get from the act of goodness is great.

This is what I like about Amsterdam, there it seems they try! There is something really cool about being who you are and at lest not worrying if the person next to you cares, or will beat the crap out of you for it.

I have a lot of friends in Amsterdam. I’d like them to come here and see our city. But I’d like them to be safe. I don’t want to be embarrassed by some one yelling Nigger or Fag at them. Or beating the crap out of them for money! Can’t we smoke one and get along? Little Amsterdam Chicago would be great! Vanessa

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