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Live blues in Chicago for upcoming weekend

Byron Bay Blues Festival in Australia April 18
Byron Bay Blues Festival in Australia April 18
Photo by Matt Roberts

The best thing about living in or near Chicago is the availability of live blues music seven nights a week. There are several bars that have live blues every night. Others might have it on weekends or a night designated for blues.

Many of the artists make the rounds playing the blues circuit. Some tour nationally, but are here enough to be considered Chicago based. In the city there are at least five clubs that you can choose from. The suburbs provide additional options.

The backbone of the Chicago blues clubs are Buddy Guy’s Legends, Kingston Mines, B.L.U.E.S., Rosa’s, House of Blues Back Porch Stage and Blue Chicago. These venues provide blues every night. No excuse to not go out to see some blues unless you got the unemployment blues. This writer knows about that.

After the five main city options, you have the Harlem Avenue Lounge in Berwyn. They don’t have music every night, but it’s all blues when they do. SPACE in Evanston and Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn also have nightly music, but not always blues. Beer Geeks in Highland, In. features blues on Tuesday night only. Shaw’s Crab House and Smoke Daddy’s, both in Chicago feature blues several nights a week.

Let’s have a look what is in store for the weekend beginning on Friday May 2, 2014.

Buddy Guy's Legends:

Friday – Vino Louden (Koko Taylor’s guitarist), J.B, Ritchie opens Saturday – James Armstrong (California bluesman), Tom Holland opens Sunday – Blue Coast Band

Blue Chicago:

Friday – The Shirley Johnson Blues Band Saturday - The Shirley Johnson Blues Band Sunday – Nellie “Tiger” Travis Blues Band


Friday – Chicago Blues Mama’s featuring Deitra Farr, Holle Thee Maxwell and Peaches Staten perform for a Mother’s day tribute to Koko Taylor Saturday – Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang perform a sendoff party for Blues Hall of Fame induction in Memphis

Kingston Mines:

Friday – Joanna Connor & headliner Nellie “Tiger” Travis Saturday - Joanna Connor & headliner Nellie “Tiger” Travis Sunday – Sharon Lewis & headliner Linsey Alexander

Nick’s Beer Garden:

Friday – The Rockin’ Johnny Band Saturday – The Jimmy Burns Band

Smoke Daddy:

Friday – Special 20’s Saturday – Paul Kaye Trio

Fitzgerald’s Nightclub:

Saturday – Ronnie Baker Brooks

Harlem Avenue Lounge, B.L.U.E.S and House of Blues Back Porch Stage are either having website problems or have not updated this weekend’s events. All three do have live music every weekend.

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