Author: Wendy Pan
Blues and Chicago are always mentioned in the same sentence and there's a good reason for it. Chicago is the proclaimed "Blues Capital of the World". Such greats as Buddy Guy, BB King and Muddy Waters have called it home. Blues in Chicago is still very much alive and and kicking its soulful heels up. Anyone that lives or has visited the Windy City will tell you that blues in Chicago are the best you will ever see and hear!
Places like Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S. are located in the famous Blues Alley District by Halsted and the famous and cozy Rosa's Lounge is a short walk away. Also keeping blues in Chicago going strong are places like Buddy Guys Legends and the historic Checkerboard Lounge on Chicago's South Side. There are numerous other blues establishments in the city and suburbs.
Blues in Chicago got its start probably in the pre-Depression era when folks were migrating North from the Southern Mississippi Delta region. People were lured to the big city thinking of better jobs, houses and more opportunities. It did work out for many but not all. People brought with them their dreams, Southern hospitality and their love of music. Big city life meant night life and there were plenty of places for entertainment in Chicago.
Blues changed dramatically in the 1940's but particularly blues in Chicago with the advent of electric guitar.
Styles of blues were:
The electric style of blues is without a doubt what made Chicago famous. BB King and his "Lucille" and Buddy Guy made the Chicago electric blues style a household word by the late 50's and early 60's. The blues were more then just music and notes. It was an emotional outlet and a creative outpouring that could easily captivate and mesmerize an audience of two or twenty thousand. Blues transcended being a music genre and became more of a culture and life style to many.
There are so many ways to enjoy the blues in Chicago. The city is loaded with neighborhood pubs that play blues music live on a nightly basis so people can hang out with friends after work, eat a good home-cooked meal and catch up on conversation while listening to some up and coming blues talent. There are annual blues festivals every year at Grant or Lincoln Park not to mention all the concert venues in and around the city.
Next time you are in the Midwest, you absolutely have to make a stop in the "City of Big Shoulders", Chicago, and check out the finest blues entertainment in the whole wide world! You will not be disappointed. If you are not a blues fan yet you certainly will find yourself tapping your feet and swaying to the music.
Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about blues clubs in Chicago, please visit The Chicago Blues for current articles and discussions.
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