Friday, April 28, 2017

Chicago Blues...

Of course we went out and saw some blues in Chicago. The world famous blues lounge Rosa's Bar is just minutes from the PK house. Most blues bars in Chicago and there are a quite a few such as Buddy Guy's, Kingston Mines and B.L.U.E.S, have what they call the vertical gig thing going on. Each night of the week, the same night of the week the local talent plays somewhere as their regular gig. On the night we went we saw the Matthew Skoller Band with them backing Detria Farr the second set. 

Rosa's is a good place to see a band. It's civilized meaning it has tables and a bar to sit at and we did make a reservation to make sure we had a place but that's also civilized behavior . That's missing in many live music venues these days, civilized behavior and a place to sit. The audience is often packed in like cattle. If you look at old pictures of the New York punk venue CBGBs they sat at tables even there back in the wild punk days. 

Speaking of the audience there seemed to be people from all over. There were some Irish sitting at a table behind us and since we had a couple of open spots at our table be invited a British man with a lady who was Argentine to sit with us. I also heard other accents I did not recognize. 

Here's the Matthew Skoller band. They are just back from Europe and the new cd is Blues Immigrant. As you might guess there was some political material here. One of the tunes is called "big Box Blues" a lament about the death of mom and pop business. He also referred to the days when we had Presidents with humanity.  

Good band, great dynamics. Matthew set up a Fender Super Reverb amp for his harp and that kind of amp usually means loud. At their softest playing the singers could be heard with out microphones. I have only seen one band that pulled off dynamics like this and that was Oceola, Arkansas born blues man Son Seals.    

Look them up on you tube. Skoller can be seen playing with many of the greats. 

Second set was Deitra Farr. A blues singer somewhat like Koko Taylor but smoother. Short and round she sat on a stool in front of the stage. She kept up a stream of jokes asking what was everybodys favorite place in Chicago. All the blues tourist of course hollered "here!" She said her favorite place was the airport because that meant she was leaving Chicago to make some money playing the blues somewhere else. It's always hard to be a prophet in your own hometown.   

A shot trying to catch the vibe and decoration of the place. 

A video with Chicago Blues man Lurie Bell. We saw him a few years ago at B.L.U.E.S. 

I bought Skoller's cd. I told him I was buying it because he was making a political statement with his music I agreed with. He thanked me and asked where I was from. I said "Texas." He said "You must not have many friends down there with politics like yours." I could only laugh. I mean, do I?  

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