In Chicago (4)


Among many blues jams happening in the city, there are three blues jams I am now hitting hard every week - Rosa's Lounge, Water Hole Lounge, and Harlem Avenue Lounge. 

 

At Rosa's, Chicago Blues veterans Lil’ Ed, Mary Lane, and Willie Buck alternate headlining the jams and they hang out in the audience. 

 

The other two places, I sit in with the house bands for the opening sets to gain exposure and have fun. In particular, Lori Lewis and her band members have been treating me as their regular guest while I am in Chicago this time. For that I am very grateful. 

 

I have seen Jimmy Burns stop by the Water Hole Lounge a few times on their jam nights. Toronzo Cannon was jamming at the Harlem Ave Lounge last night. These scenes can be casually seen only in Chicago. 

 

Jam sessions are transient by their nature and can be self indulgent sometimes. However, I always consider playing in public a performance, because bad words tend to spread faster than good ones. 

 

Spontaneity and improvisation are often expected in a jam session, but they only work well when you have a solid foundation. 

 

Chicago is a fun city for blues music. If I keep my mind open to look for good music, I cannot seem to get enough of it every day.

 

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