ou already know what you’re going to get when travelling in Chicago: great deep dish pizzas, massive hotdogs at the baseball parks, great shopping, wonderful views, first-class museums and modern architecture interspersed with classic, historic character-filled buildings. And, of course, the blues. Not just any blues, but Chicago Blues – that cool, soulful cousin of jazz, soul and delta blues. It’s the one thing you really must experience when you’re in this wonderful city.
A Little Bit About the Blues
You don’t really need to go travelling in Chicago to hear this distinctive kind of music, but there’s nothing like hearing it up close and personal. If you’re not familiar with this kind of music, you’ll still have heard its influence every time you listen to Elvis, any early rock and roll, boogie and, of course, jazz and soul. Compared to the Mississippi Delta Blues, it has an extended palette of notes, which makes it jazzier with a rolling bass.
One of the benefits of travelling in Chicago means you’ll find music everywhere, from the minute you get to O’Hare International Airport, walking down the Magnificent Mile,
at the parks, near the public art pieces and seemingly everywhere else. Of course, for best enjoyment, (and to be better able to show your appreciation and support) you should spend a few nights in the places that the blues call home. Here are just a few of the best places to hear and see the blues performed live.
House of Blues
Located on N. Dearborn Street in River North, this is perhaps the most popular and talked-about club when it comes musical destinations in the city. Contrary to its name, though, it isn’t just the blues that’s played in this venue; it attracts big name performers from various musical genres including rock, soul, hip-hop, R&B, rap and more. With an interior that’s a mix of grungy blues bar and flamboyant opera house, you’ll be treated to a wonderful night of music and ambience.
Buddy Guy’s Legends
Local blues acts during the weeknight and big-name touring acts on weekends are what’s in store for you at this Grammy-Award-winning blues musician’s club, which is filled with blues memorabilia. If you’re in the city sometime in January, you’ll catch Buddy Guy himself perform all month long.
If you’re looking for a more stylish and modern club, Blues Chicago, located in the upscale downtown part of the city, is a far cry from the gritty and edgy south side clubs you may know from the movies. Great sound systems, wonderful musicians and vocalists and trendy, oh so cool audiences await.
Blues Heaven Foundation
On the other end of the spectrum is Blues Heaven Foundation, practically a museum of blues history that makes for a great destination for music lovers travelling in Chicago. The former home of Chess Records, you’ll be able to see the recording studio used by so many musical legends.
About the Author: Looking for a hotel for when travelling in Chicago? Roberta Stuart is the Travel Manager for Worldhotels, a company offering the best rooms in a selection of unique four and five star hotels around the world.
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