By TOM BOWSER
FREE blues music related "Preview Events" are scheduled prior to the start of the Chicago Blues Festival. The first preview event my wife and I attended was “Speakin’ of the Blues: Celebrating the Willie Dixon Centennial" featuring the world class blues harmonica player Billy Branch with Dan Carelli playing a "resonator" guitar.
The second 2015 Chicago Blues Festival preview event my wife and I attended was a FREE screening of the documentary film "The Life and Times of Muddy Waters – Can’t Be Satisfied". The event was held in the Claudia Cassidy Theater on the 2nd floor of the beautiful and historic Chicago Cultural Center located at North 78 E. Washington Street. The Claudia Cassidy Theater was the perfect theater for the event, not to large, not to small. The seats are comfortable and the bathrooms are close.
Muddy Waters played a significant role in developing the sound of the "Chicago Style" of blues music. I've always been interested in learning about the people behind the music. Filmmakers - Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville did a good job describing Muddy Waters, the blues music icon, the man, the human being. The movie originally aired as one of the American Masters series on PBS.
Live music was scheduled prior to the movie. Who the band was going to be was not listed on the description of the event by the Chicago Cultural Center. The mystery band was nice a surprise! The band consisted of Chicago blues artists:
- Studebaker John (John Grimaldi) on guitar.
- Rick Kreher (former rhythm guitarist for Muddy Waters) on guitar.
- Grammy Award winner Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith on drums.
A great performance, an interesting movie for the low price of FREE. Fantastique!! Schedule your visit to Chicago to see the 2015 Chicago Blues Festival. Learn more about great free things to do while you visit Chicago at Inspired Chicago.
I've included pictures from the bands performance that night. Click on the small images to see a larger version.
NOTE: For those of you who like to read a good book now and then I suggest "Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters".
Enjoy music, enjoy life, be kind to others. Tom