Muddy Waters home under under threat; locals helping out

Staff Writer

One of Muddy Waters’ final performances was at the legendary blues club The Checkerboard Lounge, and that club will help preserve his legacy through a fundraiser this fall.

Waters spent decades playing impromptu jam sessions on the porch of his home at 4339 S. Lake Park Ave. The house has fallen into severe disrepair in the last 40 years and is slated for demolition unless Waters’ remaining family can bring it up to code.

On Sept. 21, the Checkerboard Lounge, 5201 S. Harper Court, will host a fundraiser for “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Blues,” Waters’ family’s efforts to save the house from demolition.

Woody and the Chucks, The Healers, and Baby Brother are three of the bands that will play the fundraiser. More bands will be announced before the event.

The winner of the “battle of the bands” event will have their CD release party at Hyde Park Records.

The legendary bluesman lived in the home from 1954 to the early 1970s but the home is still owned by the family. The building has sat vacant and decaying until foreclosure proceedings began recently. Earlier this year the City of Chicago Building Department listed the home as dangerous and demolition will take place if the home is not brought up to city code.

Steven McKinley Monson, Waters’ great-grandson, launched “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Blues,” a campaign asking for donations to help keep the home from demolition. Monson said they have until October before the bank takes further action.

“We want to show the bank we’re trying to do everything we can to be in compliance so we turn it into a nonprofit,” Monson said. NHS inspected the home and estimates that it will cost around $100,000 just to bring it up to code.