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Chicago Update: Daily Greens – issue #1

Blues and other scenes

Ian and I are in Chicago for the Green Party Annual National Meeting and Presidential Convention. It is wonderful here.

The views coming into the city were exciting. Some scenes of nature with water everywhere. Some scenes of the grandeur of human progress (like the way the L-Train is integrated into the downtown.) Some scenes of the drawbacks of human progress – like those metal martian electrical towers, hundreds of them, leading into the city like an army of visual ickiness.

I was entertained by one unusual, local scene. In one body of water (could have been the edge of Lake Michigan, could have been an inlet), there were some islands and peninsulas, which usually would have made a pastoral scene. But, planted carefully on most of the islands, was the string of metal, electrical towers. Wait, though. The aesthetic and the human love of nature prevails. Because, the people all around ignored the function (or any danger) from the electrical towers. The Towers were used to prop up boats, and all woven in and out of the string of towers were people sunning or fishing or enjoying the natural part of the view.

Andre Taylor

Andre Taylor and the Blues Alley Cats

Ian and I have our first friendly recommendation. If you want to go to a Jazz or Blues club, please consider Kingston Mines. It is on 2548 N. Halsted Chicago, Illinois 60614. We took the Red Line to Fullerton to get there. This place is fun! This place has local flavor. It is a Blues club with a reasonable price, and pretty good food available. On weekends, they have special shows. And, on Sunday through Wednesday are sets of acts with the “steady gig” as they say. On these days, admission is free with college ID. So, there was a sense of real energy and vibrancy and lots of young people. Ian noticed a young man with a Jimi Hendrix shirt, that Ian guessed was studying blues.

They have a variety of rooms set up, so it feels like a real destination. And, the acts play in two separate rooms. You here one great performer. Then, when they wrap-up, you follow the action to the next room. Ian said it gave it a real festival feel. (They also have a little souvenir booth. This place is really cool, and strives to mix locals, with tourists, with students, with blues musicians. You can get wild t-shirts, or even a frisbee to take to the next outside blues festival.)

Ian watching Jimmy Burns

Ian watching Jimmy Burns

We saw “Jimmy Burns Blues Band“. Great, upbeat music. A few people got up to dance right away. (We were way passed our bedtime, so did not stay long for this show.)

The first act we saw was “Andre Taylor and the Blues Alley Cats.” They were awesome. Classic blues. He even toasted the women in the room. Once he toasted us for being women, but the trick was the next toast was to thank women for doing all the things to men that keep the blues alive. Great solos. Meaningful music. Just enough covers to let the audience sing along.

Looks like July 13th and 14th will be “Eddie Show.” The phone number to Kingston Mines is 773-477-4646.

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