June 2005

Chicago’s 22nd Annual Blues Festival
June 9 – 12, 2005 Grant Park Chicago
Report & Photos by Gloria Ellis

One of the largest free blues festivals in the world took place on June 9 – 12, 2005 in downtown Chicago on the grounds of Grant Park.

Henry Gray

Hubert Sumlin

The 22nd Annual Chicago Blues Festival drew record-breaking crowds of blues enthusiasts who found shade under huge tree branches, behind park benches, and in the cover of buildings blocking out the sun as temperatures rose to 90 degrees for most of the weekend.

Fans enjoyed music from six stages arranged about the park with performances by some of the greatest blues legends such as: David “Honey Boy” Edwards, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Pinetop Perkins, Homesick James, Koko Taylor, Aaron Moore, Henry Gray, Carey Bell, Hubert Sumlin, Bob Stroger, and Willie ”Big Eyes” Smith.

Some of Chicago’s very own locals performed as part of the Harmonica Project, including Little Addison, Dusty Brown, Larry Cox, Russ Green, and Omar Coleman. Koko Taylor, Mavis Staples and Buddy Guy also hail from Chicago.

Artists who performed for the first time on various stages were -- Sharrie Williams, Eddie Kirkland, Calvin Cooke, John Mayall, George Stancell, and Fernest Arceneaux.

There were also celebrations of centennials for piano greats, with performances by Bob Hall, Lucky Peterson, Henry Gray, and Erwin Helfer to name a few, that gave the festival an edge. Additionally, the festival celebrated the centennials of Jimmy Walker, Meade Lux Lewis, and Big Maceo. And, let us not forget the 90th birthday performance celebrations of David “Honey Boy” Edwards, and Robert Jr. Lockwood; both were greatly appreciated by fans.

The four-day festival provided blues fans with some of the best blues entertainment ever, with many artists for all ages on six stages. For those of you who did not attend this year’s festival, there is always next year!

Koko Taylor

David "Honey Boy" Edwards
We welcome your comments and feedback
• • • • • •
Gloria Ellis
• •
for The Live Music Report

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