Chicago blues or “electric blues” is distinguished by electric guitars, drums, harmonica played through a microphone, bass guitar, and guitar amplifier. Although, the blues originated from the South, Chicago blues became the most popular form of blues. Chicago became home to world renown blues artists, including Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Koko Taylor. Blues artists like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley influenced mainstream popular culture and Rock-N-Roll. Moreover, it clear why Chicago is considered the “Blues Capital of the World.”
The 30th annual Chicago Blues Festival kicks off this Thursday at Millennium Park. The festival is the largest free blues festival in the world, boasting more than 500,000 attendees and five stages (the Petrillo Music Shell, Bud Light Crossroads Stage, Pepsi Front Porch, Mississippi Juke Joint and the Windy City Blues Society Stage). A myriad of blues legends have performed at the festival, including Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, and Koko Taylor.
This year headliners are Bobby Rush, the Bar-Kays, Shemekia Copeland, Otis Clay, and Eddie Floyd. The blues fest will run from June 7-9, music starting each day (except Thursday) at 11:15 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The fest theme is “Rolling Up The River,” which will cover blues from Mississippi & Louisiana, to Memphis & St. Louis and finally ending in Chicago.