Thursday, June 8, 2006 09:38 pm
Kinds of blue
John Lee Hooker Jr. among featured blues performers in town this week
This week is chockfull of the blues. The cerulean goings-on start around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 8 — yes, that’s tonight, if you picked up the paper when you’re supposed to — as local blues gurus Black Magic Johnson bring it all home through a mix of standards and originals at Thirsty’s Playground (1975 W. Wabash, 217-787-7273). Acclaimed blues chanteuse Candye Kane starts a night of azure musical wonderment at 9 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at the Underground City Tavern (Hilton Springfield, 700 E. Adams, 217-789-1530). Kane is an acclaimed performer who has traveled the world, entertaining legions of music lovers who believe that bawdy is beautiful — and is it ever. After she’s finished with you, catch your breath and hang around for the Springfield debut of Duwayne Burnside, son of the late R.L Burnside, known to aficionados of the cobalt-colored music as the “reverend of the blues.” Burnside the younger, a former member of the North Mississippi Allstars, plays real down-home, honest-to-goodness, tell-it-like-it-is blues in the vein of his famous father. Speaking of famous fathers, John Lee Hooker Jr. performs next Wednesday, June 14, also at the UCT. Hooker Jr., after performing off and on during his teenage years with his blues-legend dad, spent most of his adult life struggling with substance abuse, romantic entanglements, and the authorities. In 2004 he got his act together and released his debut CD, Blues with a Vengeance; was promptly nominated for a Grammy; and won the W.C. Handy New Artist award. Hooker, now signed with Telarc Records, will release a CD of fresh material, titled Cold as Ice, on June 27. There’s a new hangout in town. Located above the Capitol Steakhouse, at 620 S. First St., it’s called the Loft, and it features blues and jazz on weekend nights. The club, which is voluntarily smoke-free, presents bluesman Michael Taylor, 9:30 p.m.-12:30 am. Friday, June 9. Call 217-744-3333 for further information. No relaying of the blues in Springfield would be complete without listing Blue Monday at the Alamo (115 N. Fifth St., 217-523-1455). This week, the KMC Blues Band hosts the long-running get-together, which is sponsored by the Illinois Central Blues Club. My cup o’ blues runneth over.