The Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival celebrates its fifth birthday January 1 through February 1, 2014, by ushering in its most impressive lineup to date. It continues to be a warmly welcomed chance to hear rural sounds in an urban setting. 

The festival changes formats once again, spanning three weeks and four venues-Concord Music HallCity WineryTonic Room and SPACE (in Evanston, Ill.). There are plenty of local and national acts to check out and the balance between bluegrass and blues is solid. This may not be the same type of blues music that conjures images of Buddy Guy and B.B. King in your mind, but it's blues music (with a touch of country love) nonetheless. 

Justin Townes Earle-a rolling stone who started his journey in Nashville and has expressed his love of Chicago on more than one occasion--and Greensky Bluegrass top the bill this year. If you're weary of the sometimes old-timey appeal of bluegrass music, you'll want to check out Greensky Bluegrass for a refreshingly modern take on the genre. 

David Grisman's JazzFolk Trio offers an acoustic experience with a warm embrace. Rusted Root never miss an opportunity to please fans with a live rendition of their most popular tune. You might also recognize Leagueselectric-sparked single from Bose commercials

The CBB Fest offers plenty of homegrown local talent, too. You might not know who The Autumn Defense is (yet) but you might recognize members John Stirratt and Pa Sanson's other project, a little band called Wilco. It's also nice to see CBB Fest regulars The Giving Tree Band and seriously soulful trio Nick and the Ovorols on the lineup this year. 

A full list of shows, locations and ticket links for the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival follows:

  • 01/10/14 - Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater w/ Will Jacobs Band at SPACE BUY TICKETS
  • 01/10/14 - Leagues & The Autumn Defense w/ The Giving Tree Band, Dick Prall at Concord Music Hall BUY TICKETS
  • 01/11/14 - Acoustics Anonymous w/ Clusterpluck at Tonic Room BUY TICKETS
  • 01/13/14 - Jonathan Batiste at City Winery BUY TICKETS
  • 01/14/14 - Tiny Miles & The Big Kids at Tonic Room BUY TICKETS
  • 01/15/14 - David Grisman JazzFolk Trio at City Winery BUY TICKETS
  • 01/15/14 - Great Divide w/ Nick and the Orovols at Tonic Room BUY TICKETS
  • 01/16/14 - David Grisman JazzFolk Trio at City Winery BUY TICKETS
  • 01/16/14 - Evergreen Grass Band at Tonic Room BUY TICKETS
  • 01/17/14 - Shemekia Copeland at SPACE BUY TICKETS
  • 01/17/14 - Justin Townes Earle & The Felice Brothers at Concord Music Hall BUY TICKETS
  • 01/08/14 - Greensky Bluegrass w/ Escondido at Concord Music Hall BUY TICKETS
  • 01/18/14 - Shemekia Copeland at SPACE BUY TICKETS
  • 01/18/14 - American Babies at Tonic Room BUY TICKETS
  • 01/23/14 - Huckleberry Green at Tonic Room BUY TICKETS
  • 01/25/14 - Rusted Root w/ Donna the Buffalo at Concord Music Hall BUY TICKETS
  • 02/01/14 - Swear and Shake at SPACE BUY TICKETS