2017 Year In Review! Black Widow's Top 10!

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This was an incredible year in house music. Chicago house Music was on almost every Chart this year, Chicago artists were recognized for the contributions to House Music and the parties and events held in the city this year were outstanding!  I covered so many different events and this year.   Today, I wanted to take a look back on the 10 most popular and widely shared articles on Black Widows Web!

10.   Soul Cleansing Night in House 

January 2017.  It was one of the first big parties of the year but the mood of the city and the country was at an all-time low.  A new president was elected and it put a damper on the holiday season for many of us.  This particular night at the Promontory was a night that was good for the soul and spirit.  It was proof how uplifting and positive house music is.   DJs Vick Lavender and Steve Maxwell joined Chosen Few DJs, Terry Hunter and Alan King at the Promontory for a night of soulful and inspirational house music with songs full of hope, love and faith.  The message of the evening was clear, “We were going to be alright”. 

9.  Love is in the Details (Mike Dunn Birthday Celebration )

Held at Bassline in the South Loop, Dee Jay Alicia, Terry Hunter and Chris Underwood joined Mike Dunn as the sound conductors for the evening. Love was in the details, the decorations, the sets played by each DJ, in the faces and hearts of every fan, friend and family member who came out on a Saturday night to celebrate a man who has a heart of gold, a passion for music and his fans.    Mike Dunn’s Birthday Celebration was an event to honor and celebrate one of our “hometown” faves!  What an honor to be so loved by the house community you serve!

8.  9 years strong…Reynolds Anniversary Party 

Nine years ago, an idea was born to host a party on the Southside with nothing but house music on a Tuesday night.  The party grew and became a staple on the Chicago House Music Scene.  Each Tuesday night house people come out and pack Reynolds and stay until the early morning hours.  Resident DJ’s Tony T and Mike Dunn have been the musical conductors each week directing dancer’s movements through a symphony of house music. Each week, dancers gather to hear the classics, soulful and afro beats delivered by Tony T & Mike Dunn.  Hosted by Curt Ford, Reynolds is home to some of the best music you will hear in Chicago. Dancers packed the floor carving out their space to groove.    These are individuals who have partied together weekly for the past nine years, so the atmosphere was filled with camaraderie and love.  People were greeting one another with hugs and laughter throughout the night. The dance floor was filled with happy faces, sweaty bodies and dancing feet.  It was a beautiful 60+ degree night, the energy was electric, and the music was irresistible. What I loved most about the evening were the last moments of Mike's set. It was a musical thank you letter to the patrons who have supported "We R Tuesday" nights at Reynolds over the years and the crowd received it with love. 

7.  The Mother’s of House Interview w/Mz. Nicky, DJ Lady D and Dee Jay Alicia 

It was Mother’s Day weekend and I wanted to bring a celebration of mothers to Black Widow’s Web with the Mothers of House. The brainchild of DJ Ike Williams, the Mother’s of House is a celebration in honor of mothers happening this Saturday night featuring DJ Lady D, Mz. Nicky and Dee Jay Alicia.  Each one of these women are celebrated DJs and mothers. I sat down with them to talk to them about their journey, their careers, the ups and downs of the industry and how they balance work and family.

6.  A Tribute to One of our Own 

Some people come into your life and leave an incredible imprint.  Kimmie was one of the first people I met on the Chicago House Scene when I returned after a long hiatus.  She affectionately nicknamed me T.K.O.  She was funny, full of life, and always made me feel welcome no matter where I showed up.  She was a friend and someone that I partied with for years.  When she passed two years ago, the loss was felt around the Chicago House scene because she was truly a staple in this community. She loved house music, and you could always catch her on dance floors all around the city. She loved house music, and she loved her DJs! On Friday, August 11th, The Chicago house community gathered to honor one of our own.  Presented by Arise Radio and RFK Promotions, the 2nd Annual Chuckfest featured some of Kim’s favorite DJs.  Black Terry, DJ Cheez, Dee Jay Alicia, Tobi G, James Vincent and Philander Gaters.  Everyone came to pay homage to Kim Carter-Gueringer wearing their favorite pair of Converse, a/k/a Chuck Taylors. 

5.  DJA & Mz Nicky at the Renaissance 

These two strong, talented women tore the roof off the Renaissance, beating down the decks and commanding the crowd in front of them.  Each of their individual talents melded together flawlessly to create one incredible evening in music.  Even more enjoyable was watching the two of them play together.  These ladies are friends who truly enjoy spinning music together and it showed.  You could feel the love and respect they had for one another.  They were having a good time playing for the crowd and the patrons at the Renaissance enjoyed every minute of it.  These beautiful ladies are masters in versatility; from sexy, sensual tracks to banging tracks that have you spinning and jumping around on the dance floor, these ladies know how to navigate the music, control the crowd and together they created an incredible evening of house music!

4.  My Interview with DJ Val

DJ VAL has been recognized an honored by the Architects of House as one of the 100 most influential DJs in the Chicago House Music scene between 1975 and 1995. Val plays a wide variety of genres to include EDM, house and whatever it takes to move a crowd. She is most likely the only DJ in the world to have held three consecutive 16 plus years Club residencies. Cadillac Jacks 16 years, Marianna’s 17 years & Studio 31 17 years. Along with her successful DJ career, she has owned her own Internet Radio Station. (courtesy of DJVal.com) She's a legend with a career that spans over 40 years.  I was thrilled to speak with her about her incredible career in house music.

3.  My Interview with Craig Loftis 

It was my pleasure to interview, House Pioneer, Craig Loftis.  Craig is a jack of all trades; DJ, remixer, Designer, Sound Engineer and now club owner. Having been part of the House Scene from inception, he carries a wealth of knowledge, history and memories.   I recently had a moment to speak with him about his career, his new venture as club owner, house music and its future.

2.  The Chosen Few Festival 

This year’s festival lived up to all of my expectations.  We call it our “house holiday” and it really is. I reconnected with friends, saw people I hadn’t seen in years, danced until my feet hurt and enjoyed some of the best music by the best DJs this city has to offer.  It’s a shame this event wasn’t covered by many in the media. Two days of peace, love and music without one negative incident deserves to be celebrated, especially with all the negative news about Chicago in the news on a daily basis.  For the amount of music and talent I witnessed, it was worth the price of admission and more. It’s my favorite time of year and I can’t wait until next year!

1.  My 1st Anniversary! 

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I launched this website initially to promote my music and other projects.  As time progressed, my thoughts shifted.  Chicago is home to a thriving house music scene.  We are fortunate to be the birthplace of this incredible genre of music we call "house music". I started thinking about all the amazing DJs, artists, producers, music and parties in our city and noticed there wasn’t a space for our stories to be told.  It’s so important to tell the story of our culture and to preserve it in some way for future generations, sharing our experiences and the wealth that is the Chicago House Scene.  I wanted to document my experience as a lover of house music and as a house music recording artist.  This website would be my contribution to sharing that rich story. I’m so grateful for the love and support I’ve received since the inception of this website!

I cannot thank each of you enough for your support this year! Have a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year! See you guys in 2018!!!

As always,

See You on a Dance Floor!

Black Widow

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Black Widow

D.Sanders, a Chicago native, is a devoted mother, blogger and writer who is passionate about her family, friends, women's rights, living authentically and telling her story.   She is also a spoken word recording artist under the name, Black Widow. She has been writing and blogging for over 15 years providing commentary and expressing thought on life, love and relationships. Her artistry can be heard on two house music singles, “Rough”, and “Gruv Me” released by Grammy Nominated Producer and CEO of T’s Box Records & T’s Crates, Terry Hunter under the production of Mike Dunn and Dee Jay Alicia. . Both singles reached #1 on Traxsource’s Afrohouse and charted top ten overall as well reaching the top ten in their year of release.  She splits her time blogging about the Chicago Dance Music Scene on www.blkwidowmusic.com and on her book’s website, www.thesumofmanythings.com.  She is excited about her debut book, The Sum of Many Things, scheduled for release in June 2017.   She wears many hats but refuses to be placed in a box.  She believes that women are "The Sum of Many Things".  Embracing all of her roles as a woman, she firmly believes in breaking free of preconceived notions of womanhood.   She believes it is her mission to define her own life experience, femininity and sexuality and not have it defined by society.  She openly shares her story with hopes that women understand their worth, power and place in this world.