Little Milton | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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There's an elegance to almost everything Little Milton does--the rich timbre of his vocals, the bluesy sophistication of his guitar leads, the classy professionalism with which he runs his show. Milton's career has spanned nearly four decades: he first recorded for Sam Phillips's Sun label in Memphis in the early 50s, and although he's sometimes been accused of being too imitative (his early records were masterful reproductions of the techniques of such stars as Roy Brown, B.B. King, and Fats Domino), he fuses his Memphis roots with a resonant deep-soul delivery that's both buoyant and satisfying. Unlike B.B. King and other commercially successful bluesmen, Milton has never crossed over to a white listenership. His hits ("Little Bluebird," "Annie Mae's Cafe") have been some of the few straight-ahead blues to receive widespread airplay on black urban-contemporary radio in recent years, and he tours consistently on the southern-based chitlin circuit. This rare north-side appearance is a special opportunity for fans who've never seen this master showman and modern blues legend up close. Tonight, B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera, 1124 W. Belmont; 525-8989.

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