...resulted from the migration of American blacks from the South. Delta Blues, with the addition of electric guitars and drums - this may be part of the origin of the term rhythm and blues. Its most famous exemplar was probably Muddy Waters (who wrote "Rolling Stone"), but don't forget Willie Dixon, Otis Spann... Many of their 40's/50's tunes later ended up in the repertoires of aspiring rock bands, sometimes inspiring lawsuits when people had brain cramp with respect to copyright law.

Uptown swing and downtown grind are the flipsides of the Chicago Blues coin. The aforementioned Muddy Waters being my favorite practitioner of the latter and the incomparable B.B. King (27 children by 20 women and he takes care of them all) is the champion of the former (though he now lives in New Orleans).

Chicago is the finest blues city in the world. New Orleans and Austin, TX might argue, but New Orleans doesn't have the blues -- that jazz has always sounded like R&B to me. Austin OTHO has had some great players come through it, but the Austin scene is so diversified that the blues are just one element of a great music scene. Blues dominates the Chicago music scene.

Some good places to see blues in Chicago on any given night are:

  • B.L.U.E.S.
  • B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted,
  • Kingston Mines (open till 6AM)
  • Buddy Guy's
  • Checkerboard Lounge
  • Beale Street Blues Cafe,
  • Mulligan's
  • the Blue Note (make sure its blues not jazz... then again it's all good)
  • Rosa's
  • Maccaw's
  • The two Blue Chicagos

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