Louis Myers | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Louis Myers 

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In modern blues, expanding one's horizons usually means delving into the challenging improvisational realms of jazz, funk, or rock--carrying one's music bravely into the future. Here, though, a legendary Chicago bluesman gets a rare chance to stretch out backward. Guitar and harmonica master Louis Myers was among the most important forces behind the 50s-era evolution of Chicago blues from a rowdy retooling of Delta traditions into a sophisticated, jazz-tinged urban pop music. This solo acoustic gig will allow Myers to dig deep into his Mississippi roots and try things he probably hasn't attempted in public for years; there are reports that he's even got a harmonica rack and will be accompanying himself, country-style, on harp. It's somewhat audacious--roughly akin to Jimmy McGriff deciding to dispense with the electric organ and pound out barrelhouse standards on an upright piano instead--but if anyone can pull it off with the perfect combination of authenticity and self-confident panache, Myers can. This is a courageous and tantalizing booking, not to be missed. Thursday, U.S. Blues Bar, 1446 N. Wells; 266-4978.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.

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