Kirk West is probably best known for his life long association with The Allman Brothers Band as a Tour Manager & Photographer.
However, many people don't know that the subject matter he was first passionate about was the Blues of Chicago.
In 1968 he left home in Nevada,Iowa & moved to the big city to be close to his heroes, the bluesmen that frequented the clubs on Chicago's Southside. In places where many folks feared to tread, Kirk found himself accepted. Basement bar rooms & dark corner stages, lit only by a single 100 watt light bulb hangin from the ceiling on an electrical wire, became his home from the early '70's thru the '80's.
To say Kirk was accepted as part of the Chicago Blues scene, is a bit of an understatement. Here was a guy who was married onstage at Buddy Guy's world famous Checkerboard Lounge and photographed every great blues act that came thru Chicago, whether it was downstairs at Theresa's or out on Navy Pier during Chicagofest or the Chicago Blues Festival.
Kirk was such a fixture he was allowed to photograph Muddy Water's funeral and the wake at the Checkerboard later that night.
Now those photographs recording moments in time forgotten, are being seen for the very first time by anyone other than Kirk West himself.