Start out the New Year with a live blues party. Chicago has many offerings at the usual venues. 2011 wasn’t kind to the blues. We saw the passing of several blues icons. We lost Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and most recently Hubert Sumlin. Send 2011 away on a positive note.
At Chicago’s premier blues club, Buddy Guy’s Legends, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials will perform their signature houserocking blues. The party starts at 6:00 P.M. Cost is $25.00 (includes champagne toast at midnight). Tickets can be purchased in advance. Phone number is (312) 427-1190. Legend’s is located at 700 S. Wabash. Also on the bill are Joanna Connor (6:00 P.M.) and Eddie Taylor Jr. (9:00 P.M.).
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been receiving award after award. They have won the 2007 and 2009 Band Of The Year Blues Music Award. In 2011 they took home the Best Live Performer award in the Living Blues Critic’s Poll. For 2012, Ed has been nominated for the B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year and the group for Band Of The Year.
At B.L.U.E.S. located at 2519 N. Halsted, treat yourself to the music of the Jimmy Johnson Blues Band. Performing with Jimmy will be Mike Wheeler and Big Ray. Their hours are 8:00 P.M. until 2:00 A.M. Cover is $20.00 in advance, $25.00 at the door. Call for reservations. There is very limited seating. Phone number is (773) 528-1012.
Kingston Mines is across the street from B.L.U.E.S. They are located at 2548 N. Halsted. They’ll have 2 bands and 2 stages as usual. Featured for their New Year’s Eve party is Vance Kelly and Big James & The Chicago Playboys. Advance tickets are available through their website or by phone. Their phone number is (773) 477-4646. Cover is $25.00. Doors open at 7:00 P.M. Seating is available in both rooms.
Blue Chicago in the River North area is located at 536 N. Clark St. (at Ohio). Featured Saturday will be the Linsey Alexander Blues Band with vocalist Laretha Weathersby. Phone number is (312) 661-0100. Cost is $20.00, which includes a midnight champagne toast and party favors. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Hours are 8:00 P.M. to 1:30 A.M.
Rosa’s Lounge on the West side is located at 3420 Armitage Ave. Phone number is (773) 342-0452. They will be featuring Chicago Blues All-Stars. Included in this all-star lineup will be Killer Ray Allison (guitar/vocals), Scott Dirks (harp/vocals), Deitra Farr (vocals), Dr. Dan Ivankovich (guitar/vocals), Roosevelt “Mad Hatter” Purifoy Jr. (keyboards/vocals), Patricia Winters (vocals)and Johnny Cotton and the All-Star Horns. Advance tickets are suggested. Be one of the first 50 people to purchase your ticket and they’ll include a complimentary pass for your very first visit to Rosa’s Lounge in 2012. Cover is $25.00 in advance (website) or $30.00 at the door. Party favors and a midnight champagne toast are included. Hours are 8:00 P.M. to 2:00 A.M. Seating is limited.
House Of Blues Back Porch Stage in downtown Chicago will have an early blues show that will allow you to get to another venue or party before midnight. Rob Blaine’s Big Otis Blues will be playing from 6:00 to 10:00 P.M. Cover is only $10.00. The Back Porch Stage is on the first floor of the HOB with seating and a full service restaurant. They are located in Marina City at 329 N. Dearborn. Phone number is (312) 923-2000.