Eddie Burks | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

They used to call Eddie Burks "Jewtown"--his intense vocals and raw-edged harmonica style sound as if they were nurtured in the hardscrabble blues atmosphere of the Maxwell Street Market. Burks has been a blues mainstay in Chicago for years, gigging on his own and occasionally with Jimmy Dawkins and other bandleaders, but until recently he's never had the opportunity to front a regular band that did him justice. Fresh off a successful CD that put him on blues playlists all over the country, he's finally gotten that luxury, and his music reflects the change. His voice cuts fiercely to the sinew of slow blues and roars with exalting abandon on roadhouse-rockers; his harp, as elemental and ragged as ever, is supported by sidemen who find the feeling in Burks's groove and milk it for all it's worth. The way he's going, Burks may be the latest in a long line of veterans to take on the label "most promising newcomer" after years of scuffling. Tonight and Saturday, B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted; 528-1012.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Maureen Walker.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →