Chicago Blues Festival 2022

 Thursday


The Keeshea Pratt Band

An enjoyable start to the Festival for me!



Erwin Helfer and His Boogie Woogie Ensemble

Erwin is now 86, and still plays an enjoyable boogie woogie styled blues



Joanna Connor

She is a solid, powerful guitar player and singer!


Toronzo Cannon

Friday


Ms. Jody

Subtle - she is NOT - but most enjoyable!



The "guest" was an audience member!

Joey J Saye

Solid! 


Thornetta Davis

Strong, warm and great show!   20 minutes after she finished - I passed her walking up the isle





Mike Wheeler

A Very Solid Guitar Player and Singer!


Billy Branch




First off, I must admit my prejudices!   Billy Branch is, in my estimation, the greatest living blues harp player.   I've seen him perform perhaps 20 or more times.  This set started out in a non-descript manner.  Then it simply Took Off!   "Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom" - was one of the initial, incredible songs.   There was a tribute to Theresa's Lounge (Junior with Buddy - wonderful there decades ago - as well as most memorable New Year's Eve with James Cotton.   The set got better, and better and better!   It was the most wonderful set I've ever heard Billy Branch play!   I will remember it well into the future!  Normally Billy Branch plays with a four or five piece band and things are adlibbed at least in part.  Clearly here - with an 11 piece band - things were orchestrated - the horns - had sheet music;   It was perfectly scripted and performed!


Saturday



Melody Angel

Previously, I'd not appreciated Melody Angel's music!   Her talent has always been apparent.

Finally, I enjoyed a portion of her show, while not enjoying another part of the music.  She will never be a favorite of mine!


I had heard of Rico McFarland, but knew nothing about his music.  I was most pleasantly shocked with his incredible, incredible set!   His talent as a guitarist and singer is great!   His mild manner, together with most intense, solid music is wonderful!   I highly recommend hearing him perform!

I left the Festival before Ronnie Baker Brooks's headliner set.  I couldn't imagine that he could top McFarland, and wanted to savor his performance as long as I could!


Lurrie Bell

Lurrie Bell is another of my favorites!   When he is really at his most incredible, his haunting - deep feelings are most apparent in his music.   While this was more of an "average" set, it still is well above the quality of nearly all other blues guitarists!   He also had a quite capable harp player today!




On the whole, particularly given the evident limited budget, the music was wonderful!   I hope that The New Orleans Heritage Jazz Festival - will feature:  Billy Branch, Rico McFarland, Lurrie Bell and Thornetta Davis - at a minimum!


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