Bill Coday | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Bill Coday


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R & B veteran Bill Coday has reemerged, seemingly out of nowhere and with all of his gifts intact, to become one of the most exciting players on the contemporary blues scene. Coday's recording career dates back to 1969, when Denise LaSalle discovered him in a Chicago nightclub and brought him to her record company, Crajon Productions. On Crajon he waxed several local hits, and in 1971 he hit the national charts with "Get Your Lie Straight," one of the unheralded masterpieces of the soul era. He followed that up with several superb offerings on Crajon, Galaxy, and other labels and eventually joined LaSalle's revue as a backup singer. But after the mid-70s he did virtually nothing under his own name until 1995, when his CD Sneakin' Back yielded "Doctor Thrill Good," a brawny testimonial to erotic prowess that became one of the most requested records on blues radio. His follow-up release, Can't Get Enough, further demonstrates that his voice has lost none of its power or suppleness; full-bodied on up-tempo burners and sensuous on ballads, Coday draws from a range of emotional and musical subtleties that's rare in today's bombast-saturated blues world. The disc's centerpiece, "Come On," is a heartfelt message to would-be deadbeat dads; Coday avoids preachiness, and the backing is tasteful enough to let his nuanced vocal delivery speak eloquently for itself. If he continues on his current trajectory Coday may soon join Johnnie Taylor in the front ranks of the keepers of the blues flame in the 90s. Friday and Saturday, 9:30 PM, Rosa's, 3420 W. Armitage; 773-342-0452. DAVID WHITEIS

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.

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