XRT Live

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XRT Live
By Thaddeus Krolicki

On Thursday, June 9, from 6 to 7:30, Buddy Guy’s Legends hosted the annual XRT Broadcast and Blues Festival kick off with MC Tom Marker.  This year, the performers were veteran Chicago guitarists, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater and The Brooks Family Dynasty. It was a thrilling experience to witness a back-to-back performance by two fifty-year veterans of the Blues scene who are still going strong.  Clearwater’s performance featured his band, including Tom Crivelone on second guitar and Shoji Naito on bass.  Ronnie Baker Brooks also sat in on guitar.    They ripped through a few tunes from Clearwater’s most recent album, 2008’s West Side Strut, including the straight ahead, authoritative blues tune “A Good Leavin’ Alone” and the Chuck Berry style rockin’ Blues, “Too Old to Get Married, Too Young to Be Buried.”  All three guitarists took stunning, intense solos and each received a strong reaction from the audience.  Clearwater could not stay for long, as he had a television performance directly following the XRT broadcast.  Although I would have liked to see him play another and perhaps perform with Lonnie, I am glad that he is getting recognition. Lonnie Brooks, Wayne Baker Brooks and Ronnie Baker Brooks all took the stage seated, playing only with their electric guitars at a moderate volume.  They played a set of old-school Blues, each taking turns leading a song.  It was nice to see these extremely versatile musicians go back and do some straight ahead blues.  They performed standards and some originals, each taking a turn fronting a song.  Between songs, Tom Marker interviewed the performers, and it was fun to see the banter between them.  During some of the Brooks’ songs, he remained on stage and bopped along with them.   Marker should be commended for the many years he has dedicated to promoting Chicago’s Blues musicians.   Altogether, the musicians drew a large crowd, making it a very energetic and enjoyable time. And don’t forget to check out the full Blues Broadcast Gallery (http://wxrt.radio.com/2011/06/16/photos-xrt-blues-broadcast-2011/#photo-1)

Mark Augustine

Mark Augustine

Mark Augustine is a faculty member at Columbia College Chicago and a staff writer at BG: Blues And Music News.

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