Blues Brunch at the Mart
Captured live at Chicago’s Jazz Record Mart, a longstanding retail outlet and important cultural touchstone in the Windy City, this 2005 edition of the Blues Brunch—an annual in-store institution held on Sunday morning prior to the final day of the free Chicago Jazz Festival in June—features a cast of revered Chicago-blues icons with guitarist Michael Coleman and the Backbreakers serving as house band.
Guitarist Lurrie Bell provides some sting on a shuffling “I Need You So Bad” and delivers Lowell Fulson’s slow blues “Reconsider Baby” with smoldering intensity. Bassist-vocalist Willie Kent lights up the room with his infectious shuffle “Something New,” while soulful singer Bonnie Lee testifies on “Sad and Evil Woman,” which features some sweet, B.B. King-inspired guitar work from Coleman. Other highlights on this festive Sunday morning gig include Zora Young’s urgent slow blues “Toxic,” Shirley Johnson’s sly, confessional take on “As the Years Go Passing By,” Steve Behr’s boogie-woogie-piano romp on “Memories of Albert Ammons” and Aaron Moore’s stirring and unaccompanied vocal-piano showcase, “Wading in Deep Water.”