Chicago was home to legendary blues artists like Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo, and Buddy Guy. The blues in Chicago were so different from all other genres that they earned themselves their own name, with their city proudly displayed. To this day, the annual Chicago Blues Festival (June 6-9) is the largest free blues festival in the world and the largest music festival in Chicago. This year's lineup captures the unparalleled excellence of the Chicago Blues scene, and here are the acts I'd rather break all of my toes than miss.
She has a voice that reverberates through the walls and a delivery that will send a chill down your spine. At 2011's Chicago Blues Festival, she was named "Queen of the Blues." She certainly commands any stage as if it is her kingdom and sings every song with precision and soul. She sings classic blues with a modern twist.
With gritty, rock-influenced hooks, and funky bass lines, Bobby Rush plays a style of blues that will get everybody at the festival moving. Rough, sexy, and full of soul, Bobby Rush's show is one that you will remember for a long time
This Blues Hall of Famer is a 50 year veteran in the music industry, but still puts on a show like a man of half his years. Otis' raspy soulful voice perfectly compliments his Motown enhanced style. After one show, trust me, his albums will be on repeat in your home. Don't miss this blues legend in all of his electrifying glory.
One of our hometown legends, this Grammy winner is all Chicago, heart and soul. Alternating between killer harmonica lines and his commanding baritone singing voice, Billy Branch and his band are the quintessential Chicago group to see.
This wouldn't be a good list without a stellar blues guitarist. Billy Flynn certainly fits that mold and then some. Flynn can make his guitar sing, somehow making the object have as much soul as any weathered artist. Catchy hooks accented by his deep voice make Flynn's act one to stick around for.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and commenters and do not reflect the views of Choose Chicago.
Never miss a deal, subscribe to Chicago Like a Local to receive Hotel Deals of the Week in your inbox.