This is a past event.

Vick Allen, Barbara Carr 

When: Tue., Dec. 31, 9:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $100
Longtime Chicago dancer, emcee, and promoter Lee “Mr. Lee” Kirksy presents this two-night party, featuring up-and-coming local talent on Monday and national acts today. The first night’s lineup includes Mz. Nellie, Sydney Joe Qualls, Jeannie Holliday, and Lee Jr., all favorites on the south- and west-side circuits. The New Year’s Eve show pairs an underrecognized soul-and-R&B veteran with a younger artist who’s working to break out of the regional southern soul-blues circuit. Singer Barbara Carr worked with legendary Saint Louis saxophonist and bandleader Oliver Sain in the mid-60s, recorded a few sides for Chess (and a handful of lesser-known imprints), and then in the 80s released some material on her own Bar-Car label. After signing with Ecko in 1996, she came out with a series of bad-bitch-with-an-appetite throwdowns (“Footprints on the Ceiling,” “Bone Me Like You Own Me”), which earned her national recognition but unfortunately eclipsed more meaningful fare, including “Rainbow,” her heart-ripping cover of the 1963 Gene Chandler hit. Most recently she’s hooked up with El Paso label Catfood; on 2012’s Keep the Fire Burning, her first album for the imprint, she combines traditionalist aesthetics (brawny horns, boogie-charged rhythms) with a modern lyric sensibility that tackles mature themes with bluntness and elegance.

With his crushed-velvet voice, Vick Allen brings to mind spirit-infused soul crooners such as Sam Cooke and Al Green, but he’s no retro-obsessed romantic. The title of his 2004 Waldoxy CD, Old School . . . New Flava, sums up his approach, and he commands an irony-toughened aggression that lends passion and muscle to his sensitive-guy meditations. His latest single, “I’m Tired of Being Grown” (from the 2012 Soul 1st release Soul Music), is his strongest yet: pushed by ominously ramped-up bass and drums, he croons in a plaintive murmur, bringing a chilling vulnerability to his laments about the fallen world that awaits any home-bred child who makes it to adulthood. —David Whiteis Vick Allen headlines; Barbara Carr opens. This concert closes a two-night New Year’s package; tickets are for both nights only, and admission includes buffet dinners.

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