I am back in Chicago the 2nd time this year. This time I drove from California over the Rocky Mountains through Utah to Colorado, then to Kansas, Missouri, Illinois over 2000 miles. Every time I drive across the country, I realize how huge this land is.
Upon my arrival to Chicago, I went to see one of Rockin’ Johnny’s “homecoming” shows. I have worked with him several times in California. He kindly let me sit in to play a few songs that night. It was a good start to my stay.
When you perform well, people would appreciate it whether you are in California, Chicago, or any other states. But, the audience in Chicago, the home of the blues, knows the traditional style of blues from its heyday.
When I throw in some of the Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Robert Lockwood Jr, Eddie Taylor guitar licks, they know exactly what they mean. It felt as if water being scattered on sand was absorbed immediately.
The purpose of my revisit to Chicago this time is my way of soul searching and a “pilgrimage to the mecca”, after playing the blues for over three decades. In reality, however, I have to find something tangible if I am to pursue my professional career here.
Namely, how deep can I dig this town within the limited amount of time and resources that I have is the question. For that, meeting the right people and building networks are crucial.
It comes down to not only my musical talent, but also my interpersonal skills will be tested. Being introverted by nature, it is not an easy task for me. I am pushing myself toward it by writing my determination here.