South Loop music: Johnny Rawls at Buddy Guy’s restaurant this Thursday

Looking for a fun music scene to drop into this Thursday night in the South Loop? Check out Johnny Rawls at Buddy Guy’s Legends on 700 S. Wabash Ave.

On November 21 starting at 9:30 p.m., guitarist and vocalist Johnny Rawls will perform his first concert back in the United States after touring earlier this month for the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland. Rawls is a seasoned musician, having landed his first big job in the mid-70s as bandleader and musical director for soul singer O.V. Wright. In 1980, Wright suffered a fatal heart attack, and Rawls led Little Johnny Taylor’s band until 1985, when he began touring on his own as a solo artist.

On his current CD, Remembering O.V., Rawls pays tribute to his old friend and mentor by reprising some of Wright’s best-known hits, according to The Chicago Reader. He also wrote a personal memorial with bassist, producer, and Catfood Records owner Bob Trenchard called, “Blaze of Glory.” The album also features Otis Clay, 71, in three songs including Wright’s 1977 hit “Into Something (Can’t Shake Loose),” in which he sings a capella.
Buddy Guy’s is the place to see Johnny Rawls with its long reputation as one of Chicago’s premier blues clubs. Since June of 1989, the club has featured some of the world’s most famous musicians like Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, David Bowie, ZZ Top, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Greg Allman. Even Buddy Guy himself performs every January, selling out over a dozen shows year after year.

The atmosphere of the joint parallels classic blues style with the walls covered in Buddy’s and blues history, records, photos and Grammys, as well as personal items from some of the world’s most influential performers. Over the main bar there are myriad guitars signed by B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, as well as Jimmy and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

So, if you like southern Cajun soul food and blues, go over to see Johnny Rawls at Buddy Guy’s this Thursday! Admission is $10.

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