This is your guide to catching the best live music throughout both the city and suburbs... This weekend, Buddy Guy continues his annual run of January shows at Legends, the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival takes over the city's club scene bringing with it laughter and rock and Alejandro Escovedo arrives for two shows in Lincoln Square. All of this plus much more...
In The City...
Buddy Guy (9PM Friday 1/13, 9:30PM Saturday 1/14 & 7:30PM Sunday 1/15 at Legends. 21+, All three shows this weekend are SOLD OUT) – Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials open Friday, Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues open Saturday, and Kate Moss and Samantha Fish open Sunday. The start times listed above are for the opening acts (Acoustic performances take place earlier in the afternoon. Doors open at the club as early as 11AM depending on the day and table seating is on a first-come, first served basis. Non-table seating is general admission, standing-room-only. It is strongly advised that you check www.buddyguy.com for all details). With the possible exception of Blues Fest every July, this is the best month of live blues you'll see annually in Chicago as the city's living legend plays every Thursday through Sunday in January at his own club.
Tomorrow Never Knows Festival (Friday, Saturday & Sunday throughout the city) – A very cool annual music and comedy festival taking place this weekend at Schubas, Lincoln Hall, Metro and The Hideout. Catch comics like Todd Barry (Friday, 21+) or Wyatt Cenac (Saturday, 21+) at Hideout (both are SOLD OUT) as well as great music from The Walkmen (Saturday at Metro, 18+, SOLD OUT), a DJ set by The Numero Group (Saturday at Hideout, 21+), a Tribute to Shel Silverstein (featuring Jon Langford, Nora O'Connor, Cynthia Plaster Caster and more Sunday at Hideout, 21+),White Mystery and Mannequin Men (Sunday at Schubas, 18+) and many, many, many more.
Dan Vapid & The Cheats (9PM Friday at Beat Kitchen. $10, 17+) – The former Screeching Weasel member's newest project is a punk quartet and should be a blast at such a small club. The Heat Tape, Eastland Disaster and About The Mess open.
The Persuasions (7PM Friday at the The Old Town School of Folk Music. $21-25, All Ages) – This a capella singing group has been doing it since 1966 and has covered everyone from Frank Zappa to the Grateful Dead along the way.
Alejandro Escovedo (7 and 10PM Saturday at The Old Town School of Folk Music. Each show is $24-28, All Ages) – JT Nero and Allison Russell open. You'd be hardpressed to find an artist as respected by his peers as Escovedo (just ask Bruce Springsteen) and believe it or not he's related to both Santana and Sheila E (yes, seriously). Escovedo's brand of sometimes punky roots rock is always fun live.
In The Suburbs…
Griffin House (8PM Friday at SPACE in Evanston. $15-27, All Ages ) – Ellery opens. Based in Nashville now, the Ohio native brings a midwest feel to his brand of well-written rootsy rock.
Rare Earth (8PM Friday at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. $19-45, All Ages) – Cool Rockin' Daddies open. I believe there are only two original members left. Nevertheless, this is your opportunity to hear the group perform their biggest hit in a 1969 cover of The Temptations hit "Get Ready."
Poi Dog Pondering (8PM Saturday at Paramount Theatre in Aurora. $35-45, All Ages) – Poi Dog has really been making the rounds of late with several area performances. The Frank Orrall led group brings its diverse array of sounds to Aurora this time around.
Ronnie Baker Brooks (9PM Saturday at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire. $10-20, 21+) – Howard & The White Boys open. Dinner packages are also available. As a member of Chicago's first family of the blues (son of Lonnie Brooks, brother of Wayne Baker Brooks), Ronnie's fiery guitar and soulful vocals lend itself well to wide ranging collaborations with artists anywhere from Kapone to Jellybean Johnson or Shemekia Copeland.
The Jazz Consortium Big Band (6PM Sunday at Fitzgeralds in Berwyn. $5-10, All Ages) – This SEVENTEEN piece ensemble will perform swing and other jazz favorites. Just seeing how they manage to fit SEVENTEEN people on stage at Fitzgerald's alone may be worth the price of admission.
Filed under: Weekend Music Spotlight