Tag Archives: John Brim

John “Ice Cream Man” Brim Chicago’s Blues guitarist

John “Ice Cream Man” Brim Chicago’s Blues guitarist

There is no music genre where the harmonica has a bigger and dominant role than in the Blues. We all know musicians like Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and Junior Wells who played some bad ass tunes over the years. These guys had all one thing in common a good guitarist. A musician who was brilliant in playing the blues guitar to accompany the Harp was John Brim. The Chicago Blues master you should now for writing and recording the blues original “Ice Cream Man”, backed by Little Walter.

John Brim Blues Influences


Brim is a man who knows how blues guitar should be played, as a dance around the harmonica and steady drums. Swinging high and heavy through your bones in a tight rhythm. Brim was influenced by playing with old dogs Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red and John Lee Williamson and Big Maceo Merriweather.

After arriving in Chicago he continued his musical journey by jamming with friends like Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Floyd Jones and Jimmy Reed. With these bluesmen he defined the sound of the Chicago Blues.

John Brim and Grace Brim the Blues couple

John Brim and his wife Grace, who was an excellent harmonica and drum player, started performing around 1948 with Big Maceo Merriweather. They accompanied Merriweather on four titles for Fortune Records in Detroit. (The Blues Encyclopedia,p. 147 / Edward Komara,Peter Lee). After Years of performing they became the king and Queen of the Indiana Blues scene. Steve Cushing once interviewed John and his wife Grace for Blues before Sunrise . Read the interview here.

Van Halen & J. Geils covers Brim

Like Many other Blues musicians Brim Recorded for several labels like Chess, Checker, Parrot and Random. His songs were covered by a lot of bands. Van Halen made their own version of “Ice Cream Man”, J Geils Band covered “Be Careful”.nbsp;

In contrast to Brim, Van Halen scored a top hit with “Ice Cream Man”. Brim once commented to writer Teven Sharp: “Van Halen did it…. It stayed on the charts for twenty years. We did it, It stayed on the shelf for twenty years“. Nevertheless, the cover songs of Van Halen and the J. Geils Band ensured Brim to receive a significant amount of royalties.  (The Blues Encyclopedia,p. 147 / Edward Komara,Peter Lee)

John Brim Spotify

John Brim – Tough Times

John Brim-Ice Cream Man

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