Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Eddie Shaw & the Wolf Gang/Jimmy Dawkins

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This summit of west-side blues legends promises to bring back as many memories as it generates. Tenor saxophonist Shaw's style--raucous roadhouse honks ascending into free-form screams, all anchored by a soulful sense of melodic. development--has changed little since the days when he was Howlin' Wolf's sax player, but his voice has strengthened and his repertoire has expanded into more contemporary directions. His son Vaan is one of our most outrageously exploratory blues guitarists: he spits fire all over the fretboard, often departing entirely from the blues form and pulling the music into strange, unrecognizable shapes as his father boots blissfully away, apparently oblivious to the genre-busting anarchy going on beside him. Dawkins, in contrast, is stolid and intense; he lingers savagely over each note, wresting the lost drop of emotion. from it before moving on to the next. In performance he sometimes seems detached, but his new LP on Earwig indicates that he's found a new commitment to emotional honesty. If this show is half as incendiary as that disc, it'll burn out your ears. Saturday, 10 PM, Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash; 427-0333 or 427-1190.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/James Fraher.

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