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2011 Chicago Blues Festival

Hello Blues friends this is Leroy host of the Blue Monday show reporting for WNMC 90.7FM. I just got back from Chicago after attending the world renowned blues festival held in that great city. A good time was had even though the weather wasn’t the greatest it didn’t dampen the spirits of the performers or the audience.

There was so much to see during the 3-day festival. It was packed with great artists and I couldn’t possibly cover each one in its entirety, but I can sure give you some highlights.

James ‘Super Chickan Johnson’ stole the festival’s Juke Joint Stage on Friday with a stellar set of electri-fied Delta Blues. He was very entertaining playing an array of his homemade guitars among his all girl group, including his daughter on the drums.

On Saturday the afternoon got off to a rocking start with the deep Northern Mississippi Hill Country Blues of Dwayne Burnside (son of the late great RL Burnside). Dwayne and his band drove the crowd crazy with the hypnotic deep grooves that the Burnside family is well known for.

Later that evening I got to see Dave Spector and his fine band lay down some nice blues grooves with the great Jimmy Johnson joining the guy’s for a few numbers. Jimmy’s voice just ages like fine wine (85 years old –the man looks great!) and the guitar interplay between Dave and Jimmy was a treat to see and hear.

After that set next up was Carl Weathersby in what can only be described as an outfit that only an ex Marine can get a way with wearing! Decked out in a hot pink suit he came out just as hot blazing away on his guitar with his excellent band in tow. They put on a smoking set of blues with a touch of soul. Carl’s singing and fret work was something to behold and the crowd just loved it!

Then came the final set of the night by the fabulous Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues. With Billy looking dapper as always in his lavender suit he and his band put forth a stellar set of authentic Chicago blues that had the crowd in a frenzy, on top of that Billy brought out the legendary Magic Slim for a few workouts of some blues classics.

All in all it was a great night of spectacular blues by some wonderful musicians performing in a great city! The Chicago Blues Festival is a “don’t miss” for the next time ‘round 2012.

That’s all for now keep listening to our blues program’s on this great Northern Michigan music stage WNMC! Tune in and stay up on what is going on in the blues music scene. Visit our schedule grid for all of the great blues programming.

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