Floyd McDaniels | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Floyd McDaniels


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When most people think of Chicago blues guitar, they think of the aggressive, hard-driving sounds of musicians who took traditional folk concepts and updated them to fit the harsh, speeded-up realities of urban living; from the Delta-influenced followers of Muddy Waters to the young iconoclasts of the west side who laid the ground in the late 50s for the rock-and-roll rebellion of a few years later. But there's another tradition, exemplified by the elegant musicianship of Floyd McDaniels. It's a sweeter, more jazz-influenced blues style, pioneered by T-Bone Walker in the 50s and adapted by jazz-pop ensembles like the Ink Spots, with whom McDaniels worked for years. Floyd's appearance with the Big Three Trio at the Chicago Blues Festival a few years back proved that his chops are as strong as ever, and the music he plays--swinging, sophisticated, and lyrical, but with enough grit to hold the interest of any blues fan--remains fresh and relevant. Thursday, B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera, 1124 W. Belmont; 525-8989.

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

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