Johnny Sayles | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Johnny Sayles is yet another Chicago-based artist who performs both blues and soul with equal enthusiasm and proficiency. He cut his musical teeth with the famous Ike Turner bands of the late 1950s, but the mid-60s found him moving to Chicago, where he developed alongside artists like Otis Clay and Tyrone Davis as they worked to fashion a new, emotionally exhilarating music out of the city's rich and diverse black popular music tradition. Unlike some, Sayles has retained a good measure of blues feeling in his style, but the highlight of his show remains his way with a ballad. Tender and soulful, his ballad interpretations are imbued with a steaming sensuality and can be some of the most intensely intimate experiences to be found on the Chicago music scene. Tonight and Wednesday, Rosa's Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage; 342-0452.

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