Little Milton | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Little Milton

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Little Milton has come under fire in recent years for the increasingly slick direction his music has taken, but his live shows can still embody the essence of contemporary big-city blues revues. His band is versatile and endowed with both sensitivity and punch; he combines sophisticated charm with direct emotional honesty; his voice has deepened over the years, bringing new realms of warmth and intimacy to what was already one of the more expressive vocal styles in blues; and his too-infrequent guitar playing almost always finds that elusive groove between slick professionalism and raw honesty. True, his over-the-top rendition of "The Wind Beneath My Wings" is almost enough to make you yearn for Michael Bolton; but then he'll dig into his roots and come up with a gem like "Annie Mae's Cafe," a celebration of African American community and good times that harks back to the halcyon days of southern soul with its mix of pride, solidarity, and greasy exuberance. Also on the bill is singer Lynn White, whose unique style--equal parts steamy sexuality, vulnerability, and assertiveness--has for years made her one of the southern circuit's most popular blues artists. Saturday, 9 PM and 1 AM, East of the Ryan, 914 E. 79th; 874-1500.

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

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