Willie James & Maxwell Blues | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Willie James & Maxwell Blues 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

It'll be a little strange to hear these guys in the elegant confines of a sophisticated Lincoln Park bar--this is one of the bands that rock the Maxwell Street market with blues, soul, and stripped-down R&B on summer Sunday mornings. Ebullient guitarist Willie James adds his trademark length-of-the-fretboard triplet runs to a note-by-note improvisational style that seems to owe equal amounts to laid-back traditionalists like Jimmy Reed and string benders in the B.B. King mold. Meanwhile drummer Froggy Daniels thrashes away at his tubs with raucous abandon, occasionally contributing a larynx-tearing vocal rendition of "Down by the River" or Buddy Miles's "Them Changes." The resulting atmosphere is vintage Maxwell Street: a no-frills celebration of times both good and hard, buoyed by an underlying affirmation of life and haunted by a pervasive sense that both the music and the scene are tottering on the edge of either transcendence or dissolution. Tonight and Saturday, Lilly's, 2513 N. Lincoln; 525-2422.

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

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 10
Galleries & Museums
Chicago Works: Deborah Stratman Museum of Contemporary Art
November 13

Popular Stories