A Perfect Night for Chicago Blues: Rico McFarland at B.L.U.E.S.
A Perfect Night for Chicago Blues: Rico McFarland @ B.L.U.E.S.
There’s Blues and then there’s Real Chicago Blues. It’s important to discover/know the difference, from both a historical perspective and a pleasure perspective. If you want the real blues scene in Chicago, then one club not to miss is B.L.U.E.S., located @ 2915 N. Halstead, Chicago.
If you want one of the best Chicago Bluesmen, then you want to see Rico McFarland. In a perfect night of Chicago Blues, you see Rico @ B.L.U.E.S., which is exactly what I did just a few weeks before Chicago Blues Festival.
B.L.U.E.S. is where you can easily find the realness of the Chicago Blues scene, whether it is other veteran musicians in the crowd, international fans, college students, and local fans, all of which have the appetite for authenticity and passion for Chicago Blues.
The cover charge is reasonable and the drinks are decently priced. There’s not a lot of room, which is why you get there early for a seat, and plan to stay late, because you never know who else may stop in to play along with the featured band. You can find their calendar on their website: http://www.chicagobluesbar.com/
Rico McFarland has one of the richest resumes I can think of, as he has performed/toured with: Little Milton, James Cotton, Lucky Peterson, and Jimmy Johnson, to name a few. Rico’s guitar playing is captivating (I can literally listen to him play for hours while I lose track of time and whatever nonsense I was thinking about before he starts playing), as he plays with the level of emotion that grabs hold of my soul.
His interaction between his band and the audience, combined with the tidbits of history he shares while he transitions between songs, is what also puts him on the short list of ‘must see’ Chicago Bluesmen. He is always loyal to the history by paying respect to those who came before him and influenced him, and he is very encouraging of younger blues musicians, as he tells them: “keep up the good work, you give me hope the Blues will stay alive!”.