The temperatures are going negative here in Chicago - deep freeze time. Exposed flesh becomes numb in about 90 seconds. It is "survival of the fittest" season. It is grey. The thin crust of snow on the ground has been ground under heels and tires and it looks nasty. The beggars at the METRA station have a Dickensian demeanor now. Folks walk fast and hunch their shoulders. Chicago is a mean-ass town when the temps drop this low.
Linda Twyman's murderer is still at large. The news flow in Evanston has stopped. My wife, Connie, is going to attend a community briefing tonight; a police detective will speak. We couldn't face Linda's funeral - I am a bit ashamed that I stayed away on Sunday. I couldn't stand the flood of grief that would wash over the mourners.
My reaction to grimness and tragedy is to play music. I did a 3-tune set at the Harlem Avenue Lounge in Berwyn last Friday. Joe Filisko hosted the Old Town School of Folk Music blues harmonica recital at the slightly seedy bar. It was a raucous affair, complete with dancing girls that jumped on the stage as we stomped through "Mustang Sally."
I went to Filisko's harmonica class at the Old Town School last night. Attendance was down a bit - the cold kept some folks home, I think. We spent quite a bit of time talking about the recital. We are back to studying Big Walter Horton's fabulous "Boogie" tunes. There is always something for a harp plyer to learn from Big Walter.
I am running the jam at Bill's Blues Bar in E-Town tonight. I don't expect a big crowd to struggle through this bone-cracking cold to play the blues. Given local events and the weather, there are lots of reasons to have the blues right now.