Local Concert Preview for Chicago
January 7-31, 2010

First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2010, Volume 17, #1

Written by John Metzger

Thu January 7, 2010, 06:30 AM CST

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Buddy Guy - Skin Deep

1/7-8 14-15, 21-22, 27-29 - Buddy Guy - Legends - Chicago - 9:00 p
1/9, 16, 23, 30 - Buddy Guy - Legends - Chicago - 9:30 p
1/10, 17, 24 - Buddy Guy - Legends - Chicago - 7:30 p

Welcome to the vast, frigid wasteland of Chicagoís wintertime concert scene. Each year after the holidays, artists begin to migrate South to warmer locales. Who can blame them? No one wants to get stuck in a snowdrift or find that their van has a dead battery, just as the winds begin to howl and wind chills plummet far below zero. With a depressed economy, the current calendar of events is looking even more sparse than usual. Few acts are even making the effort to try to lure fans from the comfort of their homes.

Club owner and veteran blues man Buddy Guy is quite familiar with the routine. He knows the risks that are associated with trying to operate a performance space in Chicago during the winter months, even when times are good. In fact, it led him to establish his own tradition of staging an extended series of concerts at Legends featuring himself. Over the course of the month, Guy will perform 16 shows in his intimate venue with a rotating supporting cast that includes Carl Weathersby, Cedric Burnside, Larry McCray, Lurrie Bell, and Lilí Ed & the Imperials. Legends will be moving to a new location later in the year ó one block North ó and Guy undoubtedly will close this chapter of his life by unleashing ferocious sets of material that are full of dramatic flair and flashy pyrotechnics.

Chip Taylor - Yonkers, NY

1/16 - Chip Taylor - Old Town School - Chicago - 8:00 p

Chip Taylor is best-known for penning two songs with very different backgrounds: In the hands of The Troggs and Jimi Hendrix, Wild Thing became a garage-rock staple, while country-pop artists like Merilee Rush & and the Turnabouts, Melba Montgomery, and Juice Newton all enjoyed success with Angel of the Morning. Taylor exited the music business in the 1970s to try his hand at becoming a professional gambler, but in recent years, he returned to his initial calling and became a mainstay in the roots-music scene. He not only relaunched his own career, but he also developed a knack for finding young, talented female fiddlers. After Carrie Rodriguez stepped out on her own, Taylor recruited Kendel Carson who will join him for a performance at the Old Town School in Chicago on January 16. The duo will intersperse material from Taylorís autobiographical effort Yonkers, NY with selections from Carsonís sophomore set Alright Dynamite.

Rosanne Cash - The List

1/29 - Rosanne Cash - Old Town School - Chicago - 8:00 p

Johnny Cashís shadow looms over every aspiring country artist. Despite his support, it must have been particularly daunting for his daughter Rosanne Cash to enter the fray. Since his death, she seems to have finally found some peace with his towering legend, though it didnít arrive without a price. Within a short span of time, Cash lost her mother, father, and stepmother, and she subsequently poured all of her sorrow and grief into making her 2006 set Black Cadillac. Cashís latest foray, which was given the unassuming title The List, was also inspired by her heritage. When she was 18, her dad handed her a sheet of paper containing the titles to 100 songs that he felt were essential to her understanding of country music. She tackles 12 of them on The List, including cuts by Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Harlan Howard, and Fred Rose. She might offer her interpretations of a few others, too, when she performs at Chicagoís Old Town School on January 29.

Jorma Kaukonen - River of Time

1/30 - Jorma Kaukonen / David Bromberg - Old Town School - Chicago - 7:00 p & 10:00 p

Jorma Kaukonen and David Bromberg are kindred spirits. Each has an unwavering love for unadulterated, finger-picked, acoustic-blues songs. In fact, itís somewhat surprising that they donít share the stage more often. Kaukonen is busy supporting last yearís stellar set River of Time, while Bromberg is still trying to make amends for his disappointing 2007 outing Try Me One More Time. Strangely, the effort was nominated for a Grammy Award, though this may be due to the facts not only that it was his first outing in 17 years, but also that the Traditional Folk category is typically rather thin. Kaukonen and Bromberg currently are in the midst of a full-fledged collaborative tour that will stop at the Old Town School in Chicago on January 30. Over the course of the evening, the pair will perform separately and together. Given that their interpretive skills are unparalleled, there surely will be plenty of old nuggets ó some familiar, some not ó that will be reinvented in their hands. Naturally, they will tackle plenty of their own compositions as well. No matter what they choose to play, though, itís certain to be an evening full of impassioned music that celebrates the very early roots of rock ínĎ roll.

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Of Further Interest...

Local Concert Preview for Chicago / Milwaukee: December 23, 2009-January 6, 2010

Local Concert Preview for Chicago: December 11-22, 2009

Local Concert Preview for Chicago / Milwaukee: December 1-10, 2009

Local Concert Preview for Chicago / Milwaukee: November 25-30, 2009

Local Concert Preview for Chicago: January 24-31, 2009

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