There will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate the 4th of July with American blues music. The Chicago area celebrates our nation’s 238th birthday with blues music in most of the usual places.
The biggest party will be at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn, Ill. for the 33rd American Music Festival. The music kicks off on Wednesday, July 2 and runs through Saturday the 5th. Although this festival is not strictly blues, there is a lot of blues to be had here.
On Wednesday, The Holmes Brothers are scheduled to be performing at 6:15 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Marcia Ball, who has been a part of this festival from the very beginning, will take the stage at 10:30 p.m. until 12:00. Thursday night check out harmonica playing Joe Filisko and guitarist Eric Noden at the sidebar at 6:30 p.m. Friday will be the highlight featuring Shemekia Copeland and Jerekus Singleton. These are two of the freshest new talents of the blues. Jerekus takes the stage early at 4:30 p.m., playing until 5:45 p.m. Shemekia is scheduled to be on the stage from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Both are coming off of nice performances at/near the 2014 Chicago Blues Festival that was held June 13th through the 15th. Sunday will feature the talents of Louisiana natives C.J. Chenier and Terrance Simien. Terrance starts at 5:00 p.m. and C.J. and his Red Hot Louisiana Band come on at 10:45 p.m.
There’s no festival at Buddy Guy’s Legends in downtown Chicago. However, there is plenty of entertainment throughout the day. Featured artist on the 4th is Georgia native Tinsley Ellis headlining the day’s events at 10:30 p.m. Kicking off the entertainment at noon is acoustic guitarist/singer Chicagoan Fruitland Jackson. At 5:30 p.m. Chicago harmonica legend Billy Branch will perform an acoustic set. At 9:00 Osee Anderson will open for Tinsley. Another local talent, Osee got his start playing guitar for Lonnie Brooks. Tickets are $20.00 starting with the 9:00 p.m. performance.
Another choice would be to head to Chicago’s north side club Kingston Mines. There Blues Hall of Famer saxophonist Eddie Shaw will appear. He’s the best brass man around. Appearing on Kingston’s second stage will be Joanna Connor. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Joanna does an acoustic set at 7:30 p.m. The two performers will do alternating sets on the two stages starting at 9:00 p.m. with Joanna. Eddie’s first set will be at 10:30 p.m. Cover is $15.00.
Rosa’s Lounge will be cooking with the guitar of Mike Wheeler. Mike is coming off a fine performance at the Chicago Blues Festival also. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., show time is 9:30 p.m. Cover is only $10.00.
B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted is featuring another fine Chicago born guitarist, Lurrie Bell. Son of legendary harp player Carrie Bell, Lurrie has turned his misfortunes around and has got it going now. He has released a couple of really good recordings with his 2012 “The Devil Ain’t Got No Music” and 2013 “Blues In My Soul”. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., show starts at 9:30 p.m. Cover is hard to find on their website.
Blue Chicago on Clark St. has the Charlie Love Blues Band with vocalist Laretha Weathersby. Cover is $10.00. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., music starts at 9:00 p.m.
St. Charles, a western suburb of Chicago, will have will have Rockin’ Johnny performing at The House Pub at 9:30 p.m.
Smoke Daddy on Division St. in Chicago has harmonica man Dennis Gruenling playing from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.