Chicago >Blue Chicago
The center of a burgeoning blues empire in River North..
Gino Battaglia's Clark Street blues clubs are fast growing into a River North mini-empire. The flagship club, located at 736 N. Clark Street since March 1995 (after enlivening State Street for nearly a decade), is an attractive room dominated by a large oval bar, exposed-brick walls and vintage booths; playbills from the genre's heyday adorn the walls. Unlike the overpowering music volume at many blues clubs, the sound level here is actually sometimes too mellow, maybe to not disturb the gentle conventioneers and tourists who dominate the audience.
Battaglia's long-standing penchant for female singers influences the schedule (there's even an annual "Blues Women Weekend" each March), but reliable veterans of both sexes keep the place hopping, especially on weekends. Regular acts include Big Time Sarah and the BTS Express, Grana Louise Blues Band, and Willie Kent and the Gents.
Nothing says Chicago like the Blues. Whether you're visiting Chicago or live here, you should experience Chicago Blues. Blue Chicago is intimate, never over-crowded, and always sure to please.
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