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EVENTS -- 2009 Chicago Blues Festival

2009 Chicago Blues Festival

“And this is Free”

Pinetop Perkins 2008

Pinetop Perkins by Jennifer Wheeler

The Chicago Blues Festival kicks off June 12 through June 14 in Grant Park.  Daily festival hours are from 11a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

            This free and critically acclaimed event showcases the talents of Blues musicians known throughout the world. Always rooted in the struggle, the music often is as uplifting as it is entertaining.  Each day of the fest tells a different story about life, loss, independence and freedom and this year we will celebrate the life and work of Robert Nighthawk on the centennial of his birth.  In homage to the slide guitarist you can be part of the “Art of Slide Guitar” session featuring Jeremy Spencer, Lil’ Ed, John Primer  and Elmore James, Jr.

Nighthawk, born Robert Lee McCollum, in Helena Arkansas was known as a rambling man.  At the age of 15, he hit the road playing his harmonica. His life would forever be altered when his cousin, Houston Stackhouse, taught him slide guitar. Arriving in Chicago in the 1930s, he became a fixture on Chicago’s historic Maxwell Street but always considered the Mississippi Delta his home.

On Friday June 12th, there will be a special 70th Birthday Party for Eddie C. Campbell!  He is considered one of the most distinctive, original bluesman ever and is one of the last of the originators of the West Side sound of Chicago blues still performing.  Eddie C. is a master at deep funk blues grooves, mesmerizing audiences with his devastatingly wild, vibrato guitar and powerful, resonating vocals, along with a unique, personal songwriting style. The celebration begins at 8:20 p.m., Friday on the Petrillo stage in Grant Park.

Saturday and Sunday belong to the women of blues!  Bettye LaVette performs at 8:20 p.m., Saturday at the Petrillo stage.  LaVette is one of the greatest soul singers in American music history and possesses an incredibly expressive voice that exudes a formidable level of strength and intensity as well as vulnerability. Closing out Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. on the Petrillo stage is Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings.  Jones, once disregarded by record producers in the 1970s, is now considered a legend for making new music sound “Old School.”  A Georgia native, Jones has the moves, the roots and the soul. And The Dap Kings, sometimes aback-up band to Amy Winehouse, have been sampled by everyone from Kanye West to Jurassic 5. Together Sharon and The Dap Kings promise to funkify the Blues Festival.

The Old Town School and the Mayor’s Office of Special Events celebrate the 30-year anniversary of one of Chicago’s venerated Blues labels, Earwig Music.  Join in the celebration all weekend at the fest and for pre-events held at The Old Town School featuring Johnny Drummer & the Starliters and Liz Mandeville & the Blue Points.  Visit:

For more info, visit:

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Prowling Nighthawk"

Eddie C. Campbell

Eddie C. Campbell by Jennifer Wheeler

(schedule is subject to change)

 Front Porch (12:00-8:00 pm)

• 12:00-1:00 pm - Blues in the Schools

• 1:30-2:30 pm - Gloria Thompson Rogers

• 3:00-4:30 pm - Big Bill and Mud Morganfield with special guests Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith

• 5:00-6:00 pm - Andrew Jr. Boy Jones

• 6:30-8:00 pm - Charlie Musselwhite Band


 Gibson Guitar Crossroads (1:00-7:00 pm)

• 1:00-2:00 pm - Chicago Blues Experience featuring Vince Agwada and Russ Green

• 2:30-3:30 pm - Mary Lane’s Blues All Stars

• 4:00-5:30 pm - Sherman Moody Thomas and the Lee’s Unleaded Revue

• 6:00-7:00 pm - Grana’ Louise


Zone Perfect Route 66 Roadhouse (12:30-8:00 pm)

• 12:30-2:00 pm - Charles Wsir Johnson

• 2:30-3:30 pm - Donna Herula

• 4:00-5:00 pm - Remembering Nighthawk:  Mary Lane, Pinetop Perkins, Charlie Musselwhite

• 5:30-6:30 pm - Beginning Blue Progression Workshop

• 7:00-8:00 pm - East of the Edens Soul Express


 Mississippi Juke Joint (12:30-8:00 pm)

 • 12:30-1:30 pm - Eddie Taylor Jr. with Harmonica Hinds

• 2:00-3:00 pm - Maxwell Street Revisited: featuring Dancin’ Perkins, Iceman Robinson, Smilin’ Bobby, Bobby Too Tough and Frank “Lil Sonny” Scott Jr.

• 3:30-4:30 pm - Sam Lay

• 5:00-6:00 pm - Fernando Jones and the Columbia College Blues Ensemble

• 6:30-8:00 pm - Festival Jam Session


 Petrillo Music Shell (7:00-9:30 pm)

• 7:00-8:10 pm - Shirley Johnson - celebrating her new release on Delmark - Blues Attack!

• 8:20-9:30 pm - Eddie C. Campbell -70th Birthday Celebration  - celebrating his upcoming Delmark debut release - Tear This World Up!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

“Sweet Black Angel”

Bettye LaVette

Bettye LaVette by Elizabeth Fladung

(schedule is subject to change)

Front Porch (12:00-8:00 pm)

• 12:00-1:30 pm - Earwig Record’s Tribute to Sunnyland featuring Aaron Moore, Allen Batts and Dennis Binder

• 2:00-3:00 pm - Holle Thee Maxwell

• 3:30-4:30 pm - Ray Allison

• 5:00-6:00 pm - Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials

• 6:30-8:00 pm - Nolan Struck with King Edward and special guests


 Gibson Guitar Crossroads (12:00-5:00 pm)

• 12:00-1:15 pm - Lurrie Bell

• 1:45-3:00 pm - Cyrus Hayes and Lady Lee

• 3:30-5:00 pm - Travis “Moonchild” Haddix


Zone Perfect Route 66 Roadhouse (12:30-8:00 pm)

• 12:30-2:00 pm - Charles Wsir Johnson

• 2:30-4:00 pm - The Art of the Slide Workshop: Elmore James Jr., Jeremy Spencer, Lil’ Ed, and John Primer

• 4:30-5:30 pm - Samuel James

• 6:30-8:00 pm - East of the Edens Soul Express


 Mississippi Juke Joint (12:30-8:00 pm)

• 12:30-1:30 pm - Terry Harmonica Bean

• 2:00-3:00 pm - Eden Brent

• 3:30-4:30 pm - Little Dave Thompson

• 5:00-6:00 pm - John Primer and the Real Deal Blues Band

• 6:30-8:00 pm - Festival Jam Session-hosted by Demetria Taylor


 Petrillo Band Shell (5:00-9:30 pm)

• 5:00-6:30 pm - Walter Scott hosts Southside Angels featuring Miss Peaches, Claudette, and Miss Jessie

• 6:40-8:10 pm - Trudy Lynn with the Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings featuring “Daddy G”

• 8:20-9:30 pm - Bettye LaVette


Sunday, June 14, 2009

“Every Day and Night”

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

(schedule is subject to change)

 Front Porch (12:00-8:00 pm)

• 12:00-1:00 pm - Lee Boys

• 1:30-2:30 pm - Christland Singers

• 3:00-4:15 pm - Lou Pride and the Blues Disciples

• 4:45-6:00 pm - Rabbit Factory Soul Revue

• 6:30-8:00 pm - Vernon Harrington and the Atomic Blues Band


Gibson Guitar Crossroads (12:00-5:00 pm)

• 12:00-1:15 pm - Tre’ and the BlueKnights with Lady Kat

• 1:45-3:00 pm - Ernest Lane and the Kings of Rhythm

• 3:30-5:00 pm - Lee Boys


Zone Perfect Route 66 Roadhouse (12:30-8:00 pm)

• 12:30-2:00 pm - Charles Wsir Johnson

• 2:30-4:00 pm - Eden and John’s East River Band with special guests Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton and Dom Flemons

• 4:30-6:00 pm - Change Blues Films to Record Collecting through the Ages

• 6:30-8:00 pm - East of the Edens Soul Express


Mississippi Juke Joint (12:30-8:00 pm)

• 12:30-1:30 pm - Ben Payton

• 2:00-3:00 pm - Big Jack Johnson

• 3:30-4:30 pm - David Honeyboy Edwards and with Devil in a Woodpile

• 5:00-6:00 pm - Grady Champion

• 6:30-8:00 pm - Blues Festival Pro Blues Jam-Gary Gand


 Petrillo Band Shell (5:00-9:30 pm)

• 5:00-6:00 pm - Johnny Drummer and the Starlighters

• 6:10-7:10 pm - Big Jack Johnson and the Oilers

• 7:20-8:20 pm - Jeremy Spencer

8:30-9:30 pm - Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings


Pinetop Perkins, Sonny Landreth, Buckwheat Zydeco, Kinsey Report
June 26-27 Urbana, IL
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June 11, Thursday
Jody Williams
James Wheeler
Billy Flynn
Lurrie Bell
SPACE, Evanston

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