Sweet Home Chicago Blues
Celebrating 50 Years of Alligator Records
Premieres March 13 at 7 p.m.
Available On Demand through April 11
Tickets: $50/$35/$25 per household
Reserve Your Spot
Sweet Home Chicago Blues will feature internationally renowned vocalist Shemekia Copeland, slide guitar master Lil’ Ed Williams, beloved Chicago blues guitarist and songwriter Toronzo Cannon and legendary harmonica player Billy Branch with his all-star band, The Sons Of Blues. The Sons of Blues will serve as house band for the show, backing each of the headliners.
About the Artists
| ||Billy Branch is internationally hailed as one of today’s greatest harmonica players. The New York Times says, “Branch has a warm, open vocal style and a full command of the blues harp, from wailing notes to chugging rhythms.” With his inventive, deeply rooted playing and gritty, soulful vocals, Branch carries on the Chicago blues tradition that he learned first-hand from icons including Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Carey Bell, Willie Dixon and many others. With his instantly recognizable sound and his band, The Sons of Blues, Branch has traveled the world, delivering his signature brand of Chicago blues for over four decades. Branch’s latest album is 2019’s Roots & Branches: The Songs of Little Walter. The album finds Branch and his band boldly reimagining the renowned songs of Little Walter Jacobs, one of the principal architects of the Chicago blues sound and one of the most influential blues harmonica players who ever lived.|
Shemekia Copeland's groundbreaking Alligator Records debut CD Turn the Heat Up instantly make her a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. The Chicago Tribune says, “Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues singer working today.” Known for her talent, larger-than-life personality, dynamic, authoritative voice and true star power, Shemekia earned three Grammy Award nominations, 12 Blues Music Awards and a host of Living Blues Awards; including being named the 2020 Female Blues Artist of the Year. With her recent albums, Shemekia has broadened her musical vision: melding blues with more rootsy, Americana sounds. Her new album, the soulful and uncompromising Uncivil War, tackles the problems of contemporary American life head on, with nuance, understanding, and a demand for change.
|Upon release of his Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way in 2016, Toronzo Cannon burst onto the international stage as one of the most electrifying bluesmen to emerge from Chicago in decades. The Chicago Reader said, “Cannon is one of Chicago’s finest string-bending storytellers.” He has played major cities all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe and has played the Chicago Blues Festival on ten separate occasions. UK tastemaker music magazine MOJO named his latest album, 2019’s The Preacher, The Politician Or The Pimp, the #2 Best Blues Album Of 2019. Blues Music Magazine says, “Cannon has all the fire and spontaneity of the Chicago legends. His songwriting is a timely and original look at the world, and his assertive voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver the message.” |
Slide guitar blues master Lil’ Ed Williams, leader of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, came to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Living Blues says, "Lil’ Ed plays rough and ready blues with unmitigated intensity…swirling, snarling, riveting slide…scorching and soulful, joyous and stomping."
With nine albums and thousands of performances under his belt, Lil’ Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre. With his latest album, 2016’s The Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Lil’ Ed continues to bring his blistering Chicago blues to fans new and old. His infectious energy, joyful showmanship and masterful playing have been honed to a razor’s edge. The Chicago Tribune says, “Electrifying, raucous, pure Chicago blues….Lil’ Ed is a guitarist extraordinaire…slashing slide and flamboyant stage persona."