This is your guide to catching the best live music both in the city and throughout the suburbs. This weekend, Buddy Guy wraps up his annual January residency with three more sold out shows at Legends, Rise Against brings a call to action to the west side, and the Drive-By Truckers bring a rocking taste of the south to Bucktown to wrap up the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival. All of this plus much, much more...
In The City...
Buddy Guy (9PM Friday 1/27, 9:30PM Saturday 1/28 and 7:30PM Sunday 1/29 at Legends. 21+, All three shows are SOLD OUT) - Linsey Alexander opens Friday, Nu Blu Band opens Saturday, and Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang opens 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 and these are the final three shows of the 2012, sixteen night residency... and all three are SOLD OUT. Until next year...
Joe Henry (7:30PM Friday at the Old Town School of Folk Music. $21-25, All Ages) - An excellent songwriter and producer who has worked with everyone from Elvis Costello to Bettye LaVette.
Joe Rogan (8PM Friday at the Chicago Theatre. $49-59, All Ages) - Did you know the host of Fear Factor and one time star of NewsRadio is also a stand-up comedian? Well he is.
Little Big Town (10PM Friday at Joe's Bar. 21+, SOLD OUT) - An authentic country music quartet featuring great four part harmonies. Gotta love harmony.
Rise Against (7PM Friday at U.I.C. Pavilion. $42-50, All Ages) - A Day to Remember and The Menzingers open. The Chicago punk quartet has been at it for over ten years and they remain one of punk's finest. Somehow they've managed to not only make their music consistently mean something but they've made it sell too. It's generally not easy to accomplish that in punk rock and it's always nice to see such intelligent music find a wide audience. Friday should be a fun homecoming concert for Rise Against (touring in support of their sixth studio album Endgame).
The Drive-By Truckers, Dawes and Joe Pug (4PM Saturday at Congress Theater. $35-100, All Ages) - The third installment of the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival. A very cool show that will feature three stages of live music at the cavernous Congress this Saturday. The Drive-By Truckers flat out rock but it's actually several local bands earlier in the day that have me intrigued. Great Divide, Paper Thick Walls, Michele McGuire and many, many more will be performing on smaller stages in the Congress lobby and balcony all afternoon so if nothing else this show will be unique. For more information on the fest, as well as on local bands like Great Divide and Paper Thick Walls, check out the CBB Fest concert preview that I wrote up earlier today.
Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding (9:15PM Saturday at Reggie's. $17, 17+) - The Honeybees and Reckless Ones open. Jerry Lee Lewis once called Robert Gordon "the real deal." I could probably stop there. He's worked with Link Wray. Still not sold? This will be a rollicking evening of real rockabilly at its finest. Go now.
Dolly Varden (9PM Saturday at Schubas. $15, 21+) - Jason Narducy opens. The local quartet is in the process of recording a new album but in the meantime you'll have to settle for this show celebrating the re-release of Mouthful of Lies. Jason Narducy has performed with everyone from Bob Mould to Robert Pollard and most recently Telekinesis (though he's best known here as a founding member of Verbow) and regardless of who he's playing with he's always great live. This will be a fun show.
American Babies (8PM Sunday at Schubas. $10, 21+) - Aunt Martha and Micah Walk open. Touring in support of their second album Flawed Logic, the band writes songs about the struggles of the average everyday person that their brand of roots rock fits well.
In The Suburbs...
The Steepwater Band (9PM Friday at Brauerhouse in Lombard. $6, 21+) - Ryan Mumbly and Mikey classic's Lonely Spur open. Chicago's own have performed with everyone from Bon Jovi to Cheap Trick and bring their brand of rock to the western suburbs on Friday.
Jordan Knight (8:30PM Friday at Moejoe's in Joliet. $35, All Ages)
Jordan Knight (9PM Saturday at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire. $35, 21+) - Aryk Crowder opens on Saturday.
The New Kids on the Block frontman travels from the far south side to the far north side this weekend and is currently touring in support of his third solo album Unfinished (believe it or not the album made it to #48 on the Billboard 200 albums chart).
Otis Clay (9PM Saturday at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn. $15, 21+) - One of the city's more soulful blues vocalists in one of the suburbs' finest rooms.
Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater (8PM Saturday at SPACE in Evanston. $27) - Heartfelt live blues guitar from one of the genre's best showman.
Filed under: Weekend Music Spotlight