Jelly Roll Kings | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jelly Roll Kings 

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It was over 25 years ago that these same Jelly Roll Kings debuted on the legendary King Biscuit Flour radio program on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas; the world has changed since then, but their music is pretty much the same. Harpist/pianist Frank Frost learned at the feet of both Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf; he fuses these influences with a raw, gutbucket vocal style and a refreshingly witty way with lyrics. Over the top, guitarist Big Jack Johnson fires off intense staccato phrases with classic Delta dirtiness and an elusive melodic subtlety. With percussionist Sam Carr, son of the great Robert Nighthawk, laying down the elemental blues rhythm, this band can legitimately claim to be carrying on in the most honored and venerable traditions in the blues. Saturday, B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera, 1124 W. Belmont; 525-8989.

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