www.myspace.com/chicagobluesguide Your Complete Guide to the Chicago Blues Scene
BEYOND THE BLUES FESTIVAL 2010
We’ve been waiting patiently all year for the warm weather that finally has arrived and now it’s onto the biggest free blues festival in the world. The Chicago Blues Festival takes place in Grant Park June 11-13 and festival hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. The blues clubs haven’t even begun to heat up when the fest closes for the night. There are events before, during and after the fest all over town.
Here are some suggestions for places to go hear live blues beyond the Blues Fest 2010. And the countdown begins…
For a complete list of Chicago area blues clubs, see our club directory in The Guide section.
See you in Grant Park and all over town!
Events before the Blues Festival June 7-10:
Monday June 7th
12 Noon. Blue Monday with Bobby Dixon at the Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington. FREE
Tuesday June 8th
12 Noon. Blues piano with Roosevelt Purifoy at the Pritzker Pavillion, Millennium Park.
Wednesday June 9th
Noon. Chainsaw Dupont at the Pritzker Pavillion, Millennium Park.
6- 11 p.m. NARAS/Chicago Chapter presents:
CHICAGO BLUES FEST KICKOFF JAM at Buddy Guy’s Legend’s . This is a ticketed event with an incredible concert lineup: Billy Branch and Blues in the Schools students, Carlos Johnson, Cathy Richardson, Chicago Stone Lightening Band, Dave Herrero, Felton Crews, Matthew Skoller, Nellie “Tiger” Travis, Otis Clay, Otis Taylor, Sharon Lewis, members of Umphrey’s McGee, Vino Louden, Wayne Baker Brooks, plus special appearances by Buddy Guy and Lonnie Brooks. The house band will be headed by Brother John. $10 Academy members/ $30 non-members. For tickets call: 312-786-1121 or email: Chicago@grammy.com
8 p.m. Dave Specter’s Adventures in Guitar with Steve Freund at SPACE in Evanston. Two renowned blues guitarists team up for a rare treat at the North Shore’s hottest music venue.
Wednesday – Thursday, June 9 – 10
Symposium on Chicago’s Blues & Gospel Music. Dominican University, located in River Forest, IL will host a blues & gospel symposium on June 9 and 10 that will include a special commemoration of the centennial of Howlin’ Wolf’s birth and the 40th anniversary of Living Blues Magazine. Socially conscious rapper Chuck D (of Public Enemy) will give the keynote speech on “Blues, Rap and Race.” Dr. Karen M. Wilson will speak on “The Sacred and Secular”. Living Blues Magazine’s original founders will host a panel. The two day event will also include an Elders Council with Hubert Sumlin and other contemporaries of Howlin’ Wolf, a reception and pro jam with all generations of Chicago blues artists, plus a Blues and the Spirit Awards ceremony. The final night will include a bus trip to Chicago’s Millenium Park for an outdoor concert, Music Without Borders, with West African and blues musicians, plus an after-party at Rosa’s Lounge on Chicago’s West Side. For more info, or to register, visit: www.dom.edu/blues
Thursday , June 10th
Noon. Otis Taylor at the Pritzker Pavillion, Millennium Park.
6 p.m. WXRT Radio’s 13th Annual Blues Breakers Blues Fest Live Broadcast at Buddy Guy’s Legends, in its new location at 700 S. Wabash (at Balboa). The live radio show will feature Buddy Guy, Otis Taylor and Jimmy Johnson. This is a great way to kick off the Blues Festival. The event is free, first come. You must be 21. Get there early!
6:30 p.m. Music Without Borders Concert at Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park with Bassekou Kouyate ,Ngoni Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba, a virtuoso of the ngoni (West African lute) and his band, Ngoni Ba, who seamlessly blend contemporary jazz, blues, rock, bluegrass and pop influences with Afro-beat and the centuries old traditions of the griots of Mali. They will team with blues legends Otis Taylor, Eddie Shaw and Hubert Sumlin to celebrate the centennial of Howlin’ Wolf’s birth.
8 p.m. Harp & Soul Festival at SPACE in Evanston with Bob Corritore, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Grady Champion, Rob Stone, Billy Flynn, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Bob Riedy, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Sam Lay, Bob Stroger and Dave Specter. Bill Wax, of B.B. King’s Bluesville satellite radio, will emcee this unprecedented blues summit.
Events during the Fest June 11-13:
NEW STAGE AT THE FEST!!!
The Windy City Blues Society will host a new stage this year at the Chicago Blues Festival with non-stop performances each day from Noon- 7 p.m. The WCBS Street Stage will be located in the Festival Village next to the WCBS booth on Columbus Avenue, north of Jackson Avenue, and will feature live blues performances daily by many of Chicago’s finest blues musicians. In the spirit of Chicago's historic Maxwell Street Market, the performances will be held at ground level. The Blues Society will also have a booth next to the stage so you can stop by and join the club or get advice on the rest of the Fest.
Windy City Blues Society Street Stage Schedule
Friday, June 11
Noon to 1:00 - Will Jacobs & Dirty Deal
1:15 to 2:15 - Chris James, Patrick Rynn & Rob Stone
2:30 to 3:30 - Kilborn Alley Blues Band
3:45 to 4:45 – Lurrie Bell & Chris Harper
5:00 to 6:00 - Steve Freund & Dave Specter with Bob Stroger, Kenny Smith and Barrelhouse Chuck
6:15 to 7:15 - Rob Blaine Band
Saturday, June 12
Noon to 1:00 - Matt Hendricks
1:15 to 2:15 - Diamond Jim Greene
2:30 to 3:30 - Chris Harper Band
3:45 to 4:45 - Adam Gussow
5:00 to 6:00 - Bob Riedy & Bob Corritore
6:15 to 7:15 - Peaches Staten Band
Sunday, June 13
Noon to 1:00 - Gerry Hundt
1:15 to 2:15 - Cash Box Kings featuring Billy Flynn, Jimmy Sutton & Oscar Wilson
2:30 to 3:30 - Joe Filisko & Eric Noden
3:45 to 4:45 - Chicago Blues Round Robin with John Primer, Jimmy Burns, Carl Weathersby, Kenny Smith, Jimmy Sutton, Steve Doyle and Dave Katzman
5: 00 to 6:00 - Lil' Ed & Mike Garrett
6:15 to 7:15 - Joe Moss Band
Friday, June 11
Noon. WildSang at Pritzker Pavillion, Millennium Park.
Sunday, June 13th – 10 a.m. to Noon
27 E. Illinois (at Wabash), Chicago, IL
Delmark Records’ annual Blues Brunch at the Mart is always free to early risers. This year don’t miss Mississippi Heat, Dave Weld, Tail Dragger (named by Howlin’ Wolf), Rockin’ Johnny, Willie Buck and special guests.
CONTINUING BLUES EVENTS
Chicago Blues exhibit Soul of Bronzeville: The Regal Theater, Club DeLisa and the Blues at the DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Place, Chicago; through June 27, 2010.
Low Down Dirty Blues, a rompin’ stompin’ blues musical with noted actors, musicians and singers at the Northlight Theater in Skokie starring Felicia P. Fields, Mississippi Charles Bevel, Gregory Porter and Sandra Reaves-Phillips. Runs May 27- July 3. Box office: 847-673-6300.
The Blues Clubs
This cozy River North club is very tourist friendly and provides a warm atmosphere with female vocalists belting out good-time blues.
J.W. Williams Blues Band with vocalist Patricia Scott play Friday and Saturday night, June 11-12. On Sunday night, it’s Peaches Staten with her band.
2519 N. Halsted, Chicago
This famous little club, known as “Blues on Halsted,” on the North Side has a great atmosphere where the blues drips off the walls seven days a week.
Thursday 6/10 – Guy King
Friday 6/11 and Saturday 6/12 – Jimmy Johnson w/ Mike Wheeler & Big Ray
Sunday 6/13 – Toronzo Cannon
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Buddy Guy’s brand new deluxe two-story Legends club will feature over 14 blues acts throughout the day and night during the Festival, including: Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Carl Weathersby, Billy Branch, Magic Slim, Café R&B, Magic Slim and Lil’ Ed. The music runs all day. A short walk from Grant Park, this is always a nice option to catch blues either during or after the Blues Festival. Tasty authentic Louisiana cuisine will keep your stomach happy, and the blues music will feed your soul.
The cozy and casual Harlem Avenue Lounge has very special lineup this weekend. On Friday 6/11 it’s blues legends Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bob Stroger (who served as Muddy Waters’ rhythm section) and J.C. Smith.
Catch Buddy Guy’s keyboardist Marty Sammon with his own band on Saturday 6/12.
N. Dearborn (at
The Back Porch Stage at HOB is on the ground floor of the Marina City multi-storied venue and offers dinner and a late night menu plus live blues acts and more seven days a week.
Thursday 6/10 – Lynne Jordan & The Shivers, Jimmy Burns
Friday 6/11 – Jimmy Burns
Saturday 6/12 – Rob Stone & the Earwig Allstars, Diamond Jim Greene
Sunday 6/13 – Jimmy Burns
Katerina’s is not the usual blues club, but they are having a special show on Saturday 6/12 with Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames. Weld cut his teeth with J.B. Hutto and played with Lil’ Ed before starting his own band, with legendary blues sax man Abb Locke. Katerina’s eclectic club/cafe is loved by musicians and patrons alike.
2548 N. Halsted, Chicago
Friday 6/11 – Magic Slim & The Teardrops, Joanna Connor
Saturday 6/12 – Big James & The Chicago Playboys, Joanna Connor
1328 W. Morse Ave., Chicago.
Saturday, June 12th
2 shows: 8 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.
This historic movie palace reopens this weekend with a solid blues lineup:
Liz Mandeville & The Bluepoints (Will Crosby, Darryl Wright, Greg Haar), Tail Dragger, Lance Cameron & Peter Struijk.
1526 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Friday, June 11 it’s Katherine Davis. And James Wheeler plays Saturday, June 12th at this North Side beer specialty bar. Never a cover charge!
REGGIE’S MUSIC JOINT & REGGIE’S ROCK CLUB (2 in 1 venue)
Reggie’s is not the usual stop on the blues pub crawl, but they have booked some exciting acts for Blues Fest weekend.
Friday, June 11th –
The Music Joint:
Sugar Blue, J.B. Ritchie, Blue Road, $10 cover.
The Rock Club:
11 p.m. Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen Tribute with Pat Smillie, Doug James and more local musicians recreating the legendary Fillmore East Show with Cocker, Leon Russell and the Space Choir. Emcee Buzz Kilman. Followed by all-star blues jam. $10
Saturday, June 12th -- 9 p.m – 1:30 a.m.
The Music Joint:
American Blues Legends Show with Bobby Parker, Jimmy Dawkins, Rockin’ Johnny Band, Ardella Williams & Her Blue Boys, Smiley Tillman, Emmett “EJ” Henning, The Delta Blues Hog, Cadillac Zack and special guests. $20 cover.
3420 W. Armitage, Chicago
Rosa’s is a great place on the near West Side to hear the blues. Chicago’s “friendliest blues bar” has a stellar lineup with Lil’ Ed on Friday 6/11; Sugar Blue on Saturday 6/12 and Samantha Fish Blues Band on Sunday 6/13.
This outstanding North Shore music club, recording studio and restaurant offers two nights of all-star blues (see top of story for more SPACE events on the weekdays).
Saturday, June 12 – 10 p.m. Otis Taylor, Telarc Recording artist, whose new CD, Clovis People has been receiving raves.
Sunday, June 13th -- 8 p.m Annual Blues on the North Shore Festival, features three generations of blues with Honeyboy Edwards, John Primer, Grady Champion. Also on tap is a birthday party for Honeyboy’s 95th . A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares Foundation and A Safe Haven.