Your Complete Guide to the Chicago Blues Scene
BEYOND THE BLUES FESTIVAL 2016
Where to find the After-Parties outside Grant Park
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 from June 10, 11 and 12.
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.” (Scroll down for story.)
For a complete list of Chicago area blues clubs, see our club directory in The Guide section.
To see the Chicago Blues Fest schedule, click HERE.
Be sure to check for updates on our website: www.chicagobluesguide.com
See you in Grant Park and all over town!
June 6, Monday – Theo Huff
12 noon – 1 p.m. FREE at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, Chicago
June 7, Tuesday – Mavis!
Documentary film on Mavis Staples & The Staple Singers
6:30 p.m. FREE at Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph, Chgo.
BLUES WOMEN PHOTO EXHIBIT OPENING
June 8: Women of the Blues: Coast to Coast Collection, photo exhibition with 60 blues women portraits by 13 photographers. Blues Fest kickoff event, 7-10 pm at Firecat Gallery, Chicago. Ends June 18.
Blues Fest Kickoff Event at Buddy Guy’s
JUNE 9, Thursday -- SPECIAL EVENT: Live Broadcast Concert FREE!!!
WXRT radio (93.1 FM) will broadcast live from Buddy Guy’s Legends for a FREE concert on June 9, the Thursday before Chicago Blues Fest. There will be performances by Shemekia Copeland & Toronzo Cannon w/ special guest Buddy Guy. The annual show, which is in its 19th year, will be emceed by DJ Tom Marker. The FREE event is from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Get there early!
Live Broadcast at Piano Forte
June 9: Free concert by Marty Sammon (Buddy Guy’s pianist) at Piano Forte, 1335 S. Michigan Ave. at 12:15 p.m. The show will be broadcast live by WDCB (90.9 / 90.7 FM) and hosted by Leslie Keros.
UPDATE: Delmark’s Annual Blues Brunch at the Jazz Record Mart
4121 N. Rockwell St.
There will be no Blues Brunch this year.
The vaunted Jazz Record Mart on 27 E. Illinois, home of the annual Delmark Records Blues Brunch, is now closed. Due to never-ending rent increases, shop owners Bob & Sue Koester, founders of Delmark Records, sold their inventory to the owners of Wolfgang’s Vault, an online music store. The world famous JRM’s doors closed in February. Happily, the Koesters opened a much smaller music mart in the same building that houses Delmark Records and Riverside Recording studios (see address above).
2120 S. Michigan, Chicago
This historic blues shrine kicks off its FREE outdoor summer garden concert series this week which runs from June through August. Shows are from 6-7 p.m. on Thursdays.
Saturday June 11: Lamont Harris
Water Street, Batavia, IL
June 11: Blues and art fest in this quaint river town with Toronzo Cannon, Andrew Diehl, Edward David Anderson.
CLICK ON THE VENUE’S NAME TO SEE THE WEBSITE
The Blues Clubs
2683 N. Halsted, Chicago
June 9: Frank Bang & The Cook County Kings. FREE at 9 p.m.
11 E. Hubbard, Chicago
11 E. Hubbard, Chicago
June 10 -11: Guy King's Little Big Band
June 10 -11: Guy King's Little Big Band
536 N. Clark (at Ohio), Chicago, IL
This cozy River North club is very tourist friendly and provides a warm atmosphere with top female vocalists belting out good-time blues.
Thursday, June 9 – Maurice John Vaughn Band w/ Shirley Johnson
Friday, Saturday June 10 - 11 – Nellie “Tiger” Travis
Sunday, June 12 – Nellie “Tiger” Travis
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 June 9 – Pistol Pete
Friday June 10 – Vance Kelly
Saturday June 11 – Jimmy Johnson w/ Max V, Jay Red Bass, Big Ray
Sunday June 12 – Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
700 S. Wabash,
The music runs all day at this two-story world famous blues venue. 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. Cover charges don’t kick in until the evening shows, so enjoy the free music. Kids are welcome during the day.
Schedule subject to change.
Thurs., June 9 -- Noon: Eddie Taylor, Jr.
2 pm: Blues Today Symposium
6 – 7:30 pm: WXRT live broadcast w/ Shemekia Copeland, Toronzo Cannon & Buddy Guy (see above)
8 pm: Marty Sammon
9:30 pm: Mike Wheeler Band
Fri., June 10– 11 am: Low-reen & The Maxwell Street Blues Band
1 pm: Tweed Funk
3 pm: Breezy Rodio
5 pm: Harry Hmura
7 pm: Guy King
9 pm: Ronnie Hicks
10:30 pm: Larry McCray
Sat., June 11 – 11 am: Anthony Moser
1 pm: JB Ritchie
3 pm: Nu Blu Band
5 pm: Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames
7 pm: Smiley Tillmon w/ Kate Moss
9 pm: Joe Moss
11 pm: Chris Cain
Sun., June 12 – 11 am: Nicholas Barron
1 pm: Jazmin Sky
3 pm: Jamiah Rogers
5 pm: Vino Louden
7 pm: Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
8:30 pm: Corey Dennison
10:30 pm: John Primer
1200 W. Randolph, Chicago
The City Winery in the West Loop is an impressive place to hear live music (both local and national acts), wine and dine. Wine casks and corks decorate the 300 plus seat performance space, which is surrounded by rooms where wine is made and stored.
June 10: The Weight (former members of The Band, Bonnie Raitt & Levon Helm’s bands). Two shows: 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm.
6615 Roosevelt Rd.
This iconic music venue in the near west suburbs features local and national acts in a rootsy, American music vein (pretty much everything but rap and heavy metal).
June 8: James Harman birthday bash w/ Nick Moss & Dennis Gruenling
June 9: The Blasters, Chicago Blues Angels
June 11: Otis Clay Tribute: JC Brooks & The Right Now w/ special guests
The cozy and casual west suburban Harlem Avenue Lounge has very special lineup this weekend.
Saturday June 11 – Pistol Pete Band
329 N. Dearborn
The Crossroads Stage at HOB is on the ground floor of the Marina City multi-storied theater and offers dinner and a late night menu plus live blues acts and more, seven days a week. Sundays feature the venue’s famous gospel brunch in the upstairs concert hall.
Thursday June 9: Eric Noden, John Primer
Friday June 10: Corey Dennison, Vino Louden
Saturday June 11: Windy City Duo, Mike Wheeler
Sunday June 12: Gospel Brunch, Keithen Banks, Rob Stone
2548 N. Halsted, Chicago
Chicago’s longest running blues club, The Mines puts the “unk in funk.” Two stages, so the music never stops, seven days a week. The club stays open ‘til 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Saturdays.
Thursday, June 9: Chicago Blues Allstars, Joanna Connor
Friday June 10: Billy Branch & Sons of the Blues, Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang, Joanna Connor
Saturday June 11: Billy Branch & Sons of the Blues, Joanna Connor and TBA
Sunday June 12: Brian BJ Jones hosts blues jam on south stage, Linsey Alexander Band, Claudette Miller Band on north stage.
2607 W. 17TH Street, Chicago
This California craft beer brewery opened its second branch here recently and features early sets of live music 5 days a week, starting at 4:20 p.m. Great beer (with wacky names) and food are served here.
Thursday June 9: Jimmy Burns
Friday June 10: Carlos Johnson
Saturday June 11: Sugar Blue
June 9: Nicholas Baron, Sheryl Youngblood & Say Yes,
June 10: Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames, Tinsley Ellis, Morry Sochat & Special 20s
June 11: Hank Mowrey & the Hawktones w/ Nick Moss & Dennis Gruenling, Omar Coleman
1516 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Friday June 10: Chicago Bound
Saturday June 11: Jimmy Burns
REGGIE’S MUSIC JOINT & REGGIE’S ROCK CLUB (2 in 1 venue)
Thursday, June 9: Keith Scott, 5 pm
Super Session with Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Burns, Lurrie Bell, Bob Stroger, Brother John Kattke, Dave Katzman, David Sims, Melvin Smith & special guests. Doors: 7 pm
$15 or $20 for a combo ticket.
Note: Each show is in a separate room.
Purchase advance tix HERE (highly recommended as this show sells out).
Saturday, June 11: Lazy Lester, Eddie Taylor, Jr., Rockin Johnny Band & guests
315 N. LaSalle St., Chicago
Located on Chicago’s Riverwalk that everyone is raving about, this hip, chef-run brew pub hosts a Blues and Brews Brunch each Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 3 p.m. featuring top Chicago artists.
June 11 – Smiley Tillmon
June 12 – Rodney Brown
3420 W. Armitage, Chicago
Rosa’s is a great place in the western Logan Square area to hear the blues. Chicago’s “friendliest blues bar” has a stellar lineup for the fest weekend:
Saturday, June 11: Carl Weathersby
Sunday, June 12: Mighty Mo Rodgers
1804 W. Division, Chicago, IL
Blues, BBQ and
brews -- Smoke Daddy offers all three in spades. This Wicker Park bar
and eatery smokes its own meats daily, while top live bands “smoke”
June 9 – Smiley Tillmon
June 10 -- Billy Flynn & Friends
June 11 – Billy Flynn & Friends (night), Matt Hendricks (afternoon show)
June 12 – Nigel Mack
1245 Chicago Ave (at Dempster)
SPACE is the place to hear live music in the North Shore ‘burbs. Evanston is on Chicago’s north border, so it’s easy to get to by car or on the El. The sound system is top notch, with great sightlines, comfy nightclub seating and standing room in back.
Monday, June 6: Sugar Blue
Thursday, June 9: Delmark Records Blues Bash w/ Dave Specter, Jimmy Johnson, Demetria Taylor, Corey Dennison, Omar Coleman
Friday, June 10: Toronzo Cannon & Curtis Salgado
1503 W. Michigan Ave., Chicago
June 11: Nick Moss Band w/ Dennis Gruenling, 8 pm show.