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Blues at the Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Joe Skotnicki & Smiley Tilmon @ 2014 Chicago Blues Fest
Joe Skotnicki & Smiley Tilmon @ 2014 Chicago Blues Fest
Joanie 'Little Eyes' Skotnicki

The blues will be well represented this weekend at Chicago’s Taste of Lincoln Ave. On both Saturday and Sunday, the Altgeld Stage will feature all blues. The Festival is on July 26-27. Times are noon until 10:00 p.m. It is located on Lincoln Ave between Fullerton and Wrightwood. There are three stages. In addition to the Altgeld stage there is the Wrightwood Stage and the Fullerton Stage. The stage names are also street names, so that’s where you will find each stage.

On Saturday the first act will start at 12:30 p.m. Nigel Mack & the Blues Attack open. At 2:45 p.m. is the Michael Coleman Band. Dan Peters & the West Side Winders perform at 5:15 p.m. Duke Tomatoe is the headliner at 7:45 p.m.
On Sunday starting at 12:30 p.m. the JB Ritchie Blues Band performs. They will be followed by Kingston Mines regular guitarist Joanna Connor. At 4:45 the Smiley Tilmon band will entertain with a special two set bonus. If you haven’t seen Smiley before, make a point of catching his show. This writer witnessed his shows at this year’s Chicago Blues Festival and thoroughly enjoyed both his acoustic duet with bass player Tom Rezetko and his set with the full band. If the crowd is lucky, they may do the same again. The headliner for the evening is the one and only Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials.

Get out there early and spend the whole day. If you never have seen Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials you are in for a special treat. Lil Ed may be the most entertaining individual in all of blues, not just in Chicago. His rockin’ boogie was taught to him by his slide guitar blues playing uncle JB Hutto. It also reminds one of Hound Dog Taylor.
If you can’t make it on Sunday because you gotta’ work, then make sure to catch Duke Tomatoe with his blues humor. Duke has been around since the 70s when he fronted the All Star Frogs. His party blues will get you dancing in the street.
Chicago born guitarist Michael Coleman is a seasoned musician who earned his stripes playing with blues legends Junior Wells, James Cotton and John Primer.

Nigel Mack is a transplanted Canadian from Vancouver. He left Vancouver because the Canucks really suck. No seriously, he moved here to play blues in the city famous for it. He’s a triple threat playing guitar, harmonica and singing.

Joanna Connor is a Kingston Mines regular. She usually does an acoustic show at the beginning of the evening before playing on one of the stages opposite the featured act for the evening. Check her out to see what she might have in store.