Saturday, January 20, 2007
Shows that I Missed
January is only two-thirds over, and I am already feeling bad that I have missed a bunch of great musical performances. Here is my list of January gigs that I was too busy, lazy or tired to attend:
Trouble No More at the Harlem Avenue Lounge in Berwyn - January 19: Trouble No More consists of local blues heroes. My friend, Tom Albanese, is the harmonica player in the band and he kicks serious butt. Trouble No More used to back the late, great vocalist, L.C. Walker; the band lost momentum when L.C. passed away. This gig was the first major appearance by Trouble No More since L.C. died last year.
Lurrie Bell at Bill's Blues Bar in Evanston IL - January 13: Lurrie is approaching 50 years of age - he has been playing with the major blues dudes in Chicago since he was a little kid. The son of blues harp star Carey Bell, Lurrie heard the blues in the cradle and was playing guitar at the age of 6. He has fronted bands and supported an unbelievable list of stars - Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor,and tons of other big names. Lurrie went through the depths of a miserable blues life - 20 years of mental illness, drug abuse, homelessness and hosptialization. Lurrie is on his feet again, trying to make up for lost time. Can't help but wish him well. He is one of the best blues guitarists in the world.
Buddy Guy's January Shows at Legends in Chicago: The live music business sucks in January. That is one of the reasons why Buddy guy takes up residence at his own club in Chicago for about 10 nights during the dreary mid-winter period. These shows sell out every year, and I always call too late to get a ticket.
Frank Catalano Quintet at Andy's In Chicago, January 6: Frank is a wild tenor man - intense tone, great mastery of multiple idioms, energy to burn. He is a young fella - under 30 - and he arose from the suburbs of Chicago(can't remember which one), a product of the lavishly funded music programs that rich school districts still support. Catalano has played with the old guys (Tony Bennett et al) and the youngsters (N'Sync and DJ Logic). He has even played with Mr. G and the Mystery Band!!
Von Freeman Quintet at Andy's In Chicago, January 13: What can you say about Vonski? He is still whippin' that tenor madness on the people at the age of 84. Frank Catalano and other young tenor sax heroes owe Von Freeman a huge debt.
Well, it is impossible to hear all of the great music that is available in the city of Chicago. I hope to hit more hot gigs in the coming weeks.