LEE BOYS | Essay | Chicago Reader

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This Florida-based family act (three brothers and three of their nephews) rocked the crowd at last year's Blues Festival with the gospel of Jacksonville's House of God church, birthplace of the "sacred steel" tradition, which adorns crowd-pleasing R & B shout-alongs with lap and pedal steel guitar. Its pioneers were inspired by the Hawaiian steel guitar music popularized in the 30s, but the genre has developed into something a lot more like Hendrix for Jesus. And the sound is Almighty--it snakes and coils and unfolds and runs deep as Langston Hughes's rivers, promising joy and threatening terror. Tonight's performance is part of the American Music Festival; for a complete schedule, see page 22. The Lee Boys also play the House of Blues Back Porch Stage on Thursday, June 28, at 10 PM. a 9:30 PM (music starts at 5 PM), FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118, $25, $20 for the first hour, $5 for kids 12 and under (with legal guardian until 10 PM), no advance tickets. --Monica Kendrick

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