Sidney James Wingfield | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sidney James Wingfield 

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Blues pianist Sid Wingfield can usually be found holding down the stage at Dick's Last Resort, which helps explain why he's often associated with raucous, no-holds-barred boogie-and-barrelhouse flamboyance. But beneath the flashy surface is an unusually varied assortment of emotional and stylistic colorations that sacrifice neither Wingfield's own intensity nor the audience's interest. His strongest suit may be his dexterity: he tears off boogies and more complex contrapuntal arrangements with an ambidextrous flair that recalls James Booker. Driving and propulsive, his lines make you want to get up and dance even as they captivate your intellect with their complex melodic intertwining. Some purists may cringe at the over-the-top style that's become second nature to Wingfield, but remember: at least since the days of Charlie Patton, putting on a rip-roaring show has been an integral part of blues expression. Friday, 9:30 PM, Rosa's, 3420 W. Armitage; 342-0452.

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

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