Willie Kent & the Gents With Big Mojo Elem | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Willie Kent & the Gents With Big Mojo Elem 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Bassist Willie Kent and his Gents have become well-known throughout Chicago and beyond for their no-nonsense, craftsmanlike approach to blues. Less renowned, but just as entertaining, is Big Mojo Elem. Elem played bass for some of the greats--Freddie King, Luther Allison--but in recent years he's concentrated increasingly on singing. His high-pitched voice, remindful of the late J.B. Lenoir's but with a grittier tone, is one of the most powerful in blues: he sometimes lays his microphone down and strolls through the club singing, and you can still hear every word and nuance. When he uncorks his trademark chant of "Ow! Ow! Ow!" or revels in the wry wit of a tune like Lenoir's protofeminist anthem "Don't Dog Your Woman," smiles of delight spread through the room. He's also refreshing in his choice of material, avoiding cliche and digging deep into Chicago's rich lode of neglected blues classics. With Kent and the band shuffling steadily behind him, Elem can be expected to put on a savory show. Friday and Saturday, Rosa's, 3420 W. Armitage; 342-0452.

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

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by David Whiteis

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Not One Batu Berger Park Cultural Center
July 04
Performing Arts
Guards at the Taj Steppenwolf Theatre
June 13

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories