It’s happening again! South Side production company, SoPro, presents its 31st Annual Thanksgiving Chicago All-Star Blues Revue Saturday (11/30) with a stellar cast of musical talents onboard.
SoPro partners BUD MONACO and RED ROSE have fine-tuned this event over the years, as players step on and off stage in a timely manner for mini-sets of blues classics and original fare. Although meticulously structured the show never comes off mechanical, as participants embrace the jam-heavy, free form style inherent to the blues.
“We’ve got a lot of the familiar faces back with us and we’re back for a second year at Sullivan’s Irish Pub & Eatery (4660 West 147th St.) in Midlothian,” said Monaco. “Sullivan’s is a perfect venue for this kind of multi-artist show because it has a full size stage, in-house sound and lights, and plenty of free parking.” Sullivan’s offers a varied menu, so blues fans can opt for a full dinner/concert experience.
This year’s event features performances by FRANCINE MARIE and PEACHES STATEN, harmonica player/vocalist DOUG LEE, and guitarist/vocalist BILLY KING. Those folks and others will be backed by THE CHICAGO HORNS (featuring Bill McFarland, Hank Ford, Kenny Anderson and Tony Ferraro) and a crack band of instrumentalists -- bassist JOHN FALSTROM, keyboardist GREG WOLFMAN, drummer SCOTT BONSHIRE, and guitarists FRANK ANASTOS and JOEY DRADA.
Special guest Sopro Records recording artist Bobby Dunne will open the show with an acoustic Blues segment.
The parade of local blues stars begins at 9pm. To keep attention focused on stage during moments of musician-swapping, Monaco will dish our door prizes and provide banter as the evening’s emcee.” More: sopromusic.com.
ROCK TO THE RESCUE: Helping Tornado Victims
At deadline for this week’s column came the news of a special benefit concert being organized by Midwest classic rock bands STYX and REO SPEEDWAGON to help victims of the recent wave of storms and tornadoes in the Midwest. The event -- “Rock To The Rescue: Extending A Hand To Those In Need” -- happens December 4 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, IL. It will feature both bands, plus a bevy of special guests unconfirmed at press time but soon to be announced. All artists, vendors, crew and local staff will forgo any personal compensation for the evening.
STYX guitarist and Chicago native JAMES “JY” YOUNG said, “As we come to the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, I’m reminded of his famous quote, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ The good people of Illinois lent support and a helping hand to every artist on this bill at different times in their respective careers, and we owe a tremendous debt. It’s our turn to ask what we can do for this great State, and the best way we know to help those in need is to get on stage and let the incredible healing power of music play its part in rebuilding Illinois."
For updated show info: uscellularcoliseum.com. Donations: Rock to the Rescue at: rocktotherescue.net.
• Fresh from another round of national touring THE STEEPWATER BAND, releases a new live concert album on December 3 called “Live & Humble,” expanding the blues group from Griffith’s recording catalog to 7 albums.
“We recorded the album at the now defunct Ace Bar on Fullerton in Chicago with engineer TIMOTHY POWELL of Metro Mobile Recorders, who for over 30 years has recorded all the ‘Sunday Night Concerts’ and live shows for (Chicago radio station) WXRT,” said Steepwater drummer JOE WINTERS, noting his group is thrilled with the audio quality of the album. “Timothy Powell has recorded live shows by everyone from Buddy Guy to Pearl Jam.”
“Live & Humble” will be released via Diamond Records as a physical CD and digital files via iTunes. Steepwater fans can get an advance copy at the quartet’s CD release party this Friday (11-29) at Chicago’s Double Door (1572 North Milwaukee) with special guests THE MUGGS and THE NICK MOSS BAND. Showtime: 8:30pm /21 and older. More: Steepwater.com.
• Chicago-based Americana-rockers CORNMEAL bring their acoustic-electric sound back to the stage of The Vic Theatre on Saturday for the group’s 13th Annual Thanksgiving Show with special guest WILLIE WATSON (formerly of Old Crow Medicine Show). More: cornmealinthekitchen.com.
• Lakeshore Public Radio station 89.1FM serves up a “second helping” for the Thanksgiving holiday of the celebrity-driven weekly radio program “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges.”
The first helping is a special edition at 6pm Friday (11/29) at 6pm spotlighting the acoustic sound of international Renaissance/Folk group, BLACKMORE’S NIGHT with guest CANDICE NIGHT, band vocalist and the wife of guitar legend/bandleader, RITCHIE BLACKMORE.
The second helping is during the program’s regular 6pm Tuesday (12/05) timeslot when in-studio guest East Chicago music icon, JIM SKAFISH, takes part in “Tidings Of Comfort & Joy: A Jazz Piano Trio Christmas.” Tune in to 89.1FM or stream live in real time at: lakeshorepublicmedia.org/radio.