Written by Jim Bille
Apr 08, 2009 at 08:00 PM
ImageChicago is famous for a lot of different things, Wrigley Field, deep dish pizza and Michael Jordan to name a few. But for me the best thing about Chicago is the blues. The Chicago blues scene is ripe with history makers like Howlin Wolf, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Hound Dog Taylor. Most of the old time blues greats are gone now but Chicago still nurtures some of the best blues musicians around. The blues clubs are another story. Found throughout the city you can go any night of the week and hear the best gut bucket in your face music this side of Bealle Street. And most of them stay open until four or five in the morning.

One of my favorite haunts when visiting Chi Town is Buddy Guy’s Legends. It’s on the north side of town on Wabash Ave. What’s really cool about the place is that it is actually owned by Buddy Guy.

I showed up Wednesday night around nine for the nine-thirty show to find a small crowd having drinks and a late dinner. Not long after I grabbed my seat at the bar, the club owner Buddy Guy, actually showed up and sat next to me like one of the patrons. No big deal considering that Guy actually hangs out at his own place when not on tour.

ImageOn the bill Wednesday night was local blues boy Linsey ‘The Hoochie Man’ Alexander. Alexander, who has been working the clubs for close to fifty years now, really heated the place up with his traditional Chicago sound. This guy is a true blues veteran who has played with B.B. King, Bobby Rush, Little Milton A.C.Reed and Johnny Taylor so he knows how to shake a place up and that’s exactly what he did Wednesday night. Alexander worked the crowd by cracking jokes and telling stories about drinking and getting high as well as making fun of the men and flirting with the women.

He and his band are a definite must see if you make it to the windy city. This guy really cooks on guitar and has one bad ass back up band as well. The real treat was when Buddy Guy joined Alexander for the last song of the first set. After slugging down a shot of Brandy, Guy and The Hoochie Man performed an improvised version of ‘Give Me Whiskey When I’m Thirsty’. Not sure how long the party lasted after that since I had to leave around midnight, but I’m pretty sure a few more beers and brandys were knocked backed by the crowd before the sun came up.