If there were justice in the world, Jimmy Rogers would be as famous as Muddy Waters. They were compatriots in those thrilling days of the early 1950s, when the primal sounds of Delta blues became transformed into a modern urban folk music in the clubs and on the street corners of Chicago's south and west sides. Rogers's work from that period ranks as a standard by which contemporary blues expression is judged; several of his own recordings--"Sloppy Drunk," "That's All Right," "Walking by Myself"--are classics of the genre. Time hasn't slowed his abilities, nor has it caused him to compromise his integrity: he continues to play in the vintage Chicago vein, his guitar lines reflecting both the Robert Johnson-style picking and descending chord patterns of the Delta traditionalist and his own trademark urban sophistication. Tonight and Saturday, Lilly's, 2513 N. Lincoln; 525-2422. Tuesday, B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted; 528-1012.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.