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Annual Chicago Blues Fest Blues Brunch -- June 14
 live show w/ Mississippi Heat, Dave Specter, Rockin' Johnny, Toronzo Cannon & the Delmark All-Stars and more!,10 a.m.- Noon FREE at Jazz Record Mart
Delmark Record Store Day 2015
FEATURE -- Beyond The Blues Fest: The After-Parties


Where to find the After-Parties outside of Grant Park

Eddy The Chief Clearwater
Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater will perform for Chicago Blues Fest on the Petrillo Stage on June 14 at 5 p.m. with Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues. He will headline on June 12 at Buddy Guy's Legends. See below for details.
photo: Roman Sobus

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 12, 13 and 14.

 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.

See you in Grant Park and all over town!

Chicago Blues Fest Preview Show: FREE!

June 8, Monday – Willie Dixon Tribute featuring Bobby Dixon & Special Guests

12 noon – 1 p.m. FREE at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, Chicago



This free concert series, hosted by Old Town School of Folk Music, showcases world music and blues shows at CTA stations across Chicago. Catch blues great Jimmy Burns during your commute between 4 – 6 p.m. at the El stop on these days.

          6/12:  Brown Line/ Damen

          6/14:  Green Line/ Garfield

          6/15: Blue Line/ Western

6/16: Red Line/ North & Clyborn

6/17:  Red Line/ Sox Park at 35th

Blues Fest Kickoff Event at Buddy Guy’s

JUNE 11, 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 11, the Thursday before Chicago Blues Fest. There will be performances by Otis Clay, Jimmy Johnson, Shemekia Copeland & The Dave Specter Band. The annual show, which is in its 18th year, will be emceed by DJ Tom Marker and Shemekia Copeland. The event is from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Get there early!


Delmark’s Annual Blues Brunch at the Jazz Record Mart : FREE!


27 E. Illinois (at Wabash), Chicago, IL

Phone: 312- 222-1467

Sunday, June 14

10 a.m. - Noon

Delmark Records’ annual Blues Brunch at the Mart is always FREE to early risers. This year don’t miss Rockin’ Johnny, Toronzo Cannon, Mississippi Heat, Linsey Alexander, Dave Specter, Omar Coleman, Mike Wheeler, the Delmark All-Stars and more. Free refreshments.


Blues Heaven Foundation/Chess Records

2120 S. Michigan, Chicago

Phone: 312-808-1286

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.

Thursday June 11: Lamont Harris

Visit the website for updates 


The Blues Clubs


536 N. Clark (at Ohio), Chicago, IL

Phone: 312-661-0100

This cozy River North club is very tourist friendly and provides a warm atmosphere with female vocalists belting out good-time blues.

Thursday, June 11 – Maurice John Vaughn Band w/ Shirley Johnson

Friday, Saturday June 12 - 13 – John Primer Band w/ Shirley Johnson

Sunday, June 14 – J. W. Williams & the Chi-town Hustlers w/ Demetria Taylor



2519 N. Halsted, Chicago

Phone: 773-528-1012

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 11– Jimmy Burns Band

Friday June 12 – Jimmy Johnson Blues Band w/ Rico McFarland

Saturday June 13 – Toronzo Cannon & The Cannonball Express

Sunday June 14 – Marty Sammon Band


700 S. Wabash, Chicago

Phone: 312-427-1190

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. This year, the club’s namesake is headlining the fest, so you are likely to see Buddy hanging out here this weekend. Cover charges don’t kick in until the evening shows, so enjoy the free music. Kids are welcome during the day.

Thurs., June 11

 Noon: Eddie Taylor, Jr.

 2 pm: Blues Today

 6 pm: WXRT live broadcast (see above)

 9:30 pm: John Primer                    

Fri., June 12

 Noon: Fruteland Jackson

 2:30 pm: Austin “Walkin’” Cane

 4:30 pm: Sheryl Youngblood

 8:30 pm: Linsey Alexander

 10:30 pm: Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater

Sat., June 13

 11 am: Anthony Moser

 12:30 pm: Dave Weld

 2:30 pm: Billy Flynn

 4:30 pm: Nu Blu Band

 6:30 pm: Matthew Skoller

 8:30 pm: Cash McCall

 10:30 pm: Booker T. Jones

Sun., June 14

 11am: Nicholas Barron

 1 pm: Chris Antonik

 3 pm: Smiley Tillmon Band w/ Kate Moss

 5 pm: Guy King

 7 pm: Mike Wheeler

 9:30 pm: Billy Branch and Sons of the Blues



1200 W. Randolph, Chicago

Phone: 312-733-WINE

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.

Tuesday June 16 – Help Rebuild Nepal Benefit with Lynne Jordan, Wayne Baker Brooks, Rick King’s Royal Hustle,The Empty Pockets.



3701 S. Harlem Ave, Berwyn, IL

Phone: 708-484-3610

The cozy and casual west suburban Harlem Avenue Lounge has very special lineup this weekend.

 Friday June 12 – J.C. Smith Blues band w/ Toronzo Cannon

Saturday June 13 – Omar Coleman Band



329 N. Dearborn (at Marina City), Chicago

Phone: 312-923-2000 

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 11: Studebaker John, Vino Louden

Friday June 12:  Chicago Blues All-Stars, Chicago Slim & Friends

Saturday June 13: Blue Olives, Windy City Duo  

Sunday June 14: Gospel Brunch, Nick Moss Band



2548 N. Halsted, Chicago

Phone: 773-477-4646

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.

Friday June 12: Billy Branch, Eddie Shaw, Mike Wheeler

Saturday June 13: Carl Weathersby, Vance Kelly

Sunday June 14: Linsey Alexander hosts blues jam on south stage, with Claudette Miller on north stage.



2607 W. 17TH Street, Chicago

Phone: 773-522-2097

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 11: Sugar Blue

Friday June 12: Smiley Tillmon

Saturday June 13: Carlos Johnson

Sunday June 14: Jimmy Johnson



1516 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

Phone: 773-252-1155

Nick’s is Wicker Park’s party central. Never a cover for excellent bands and a vast selection of beer. Need we say more?

Friday June 12: Brian Carpy & The Standbys

Saturday June 13: Dave Herrero



2105 S. State Street, Chicago

Phone: 312-949-0120

 Friday, June 12: Annual Chicago Women in the Blues Festival with Holle Thee Maxwell, Shirley King, Liz Mandeville, Tracee Adams, Donna Herula, Ramblin’ Rose, Dia Madden, Mz. Peaches, TK Tequila Kid, Sherri Weathersby, Amanda Copotelli. Hosted by Joan Gand and the Blue Road Band.  Time: 7 p.m.  Advance Tickets are $10. Purchase advance tix HERE (highly recommended as this show sells out).


Saturday, June 13: Muddy Waters Tribute with Mud Morganfield (Muddy’s son), Rockin’ Johnny Band w/ Rick Kreher & Bob Margolin (from Muddy’s band), Bob Corritore and Nico Wayne Toussaint  (blues harp player from France). The event will include an international blues jam to close the evening.


Sunday, June 14: Super Session with Jimmy Johnson, Billy Flynn, Bob Stroger, Marty Binder, Dave Katzman, Brother John Kattke & special guests.



3420 W. Armitage, Chicago

Phone: 773-342-0452

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:


Friday, June 12: Jimmy Burns, Jamiah “On Fire” & the Red Machine

Saturday, June 13: Sugar Blue Band

Sunday, June 14: Omar Coleman Delmark Records CD release party



1804 W. Division, Chicago, IL

Phone: 773-772-6656

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” onstage nightly.

June 11 – Cash Box Kings

June 12 -- Billy Flynn & Friends

June 13 – Billy Flynn & Friends, Matt Hendricks (afternoon show)



1245 Chicago Ave (at Dempster)

 Evanston, IL

Phone: 847-492-8860

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.

Wednesday, June 10: Dave Specter’s Adventures in Guitar w/ Jimmy Johnson & Will Tilson

Friday, June 12: Janiva Magness, Doug MacLeod

Saturday, June 13: Jarekus Singleton, Jimmy Burns



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