This show, billed as a tribute to the late Sammy Lawhorn, features both a contemporary and a student of the legendary guitar master. Louis Myers is best known as the guitarist for the Aces, the jumping little combo that brought swing and sophistication to the driving Chicago blues sound in the early 50s. He's famous for his keening slide, jazzy jump-blues chording, and the harmonic and melodic sophistication of his leads. He's also a master harpist, with an aggressive, supple tone recalling the glory days of Chicago blues. Steve Ditzell, on the other hand, is raw post-60s fire tempered with an intuitive feel for phrasing and time that is Lawhorn's legacy--where Myers leaves empty spaces scattered tastefully throughout his solos, Ditzell is likely to fill those spaces with notes, but the notes are generally so well-conceived that you don't mind. His slide work is hauntingly emotional, with breathlike vibrato and a modal approach that harks back to the Delta masters. He's got a puckish sense of humor (the theme from Green Acres is a Ditzell staple), but he's devoted to the emotional honesty of blues expression, and he's got the chops to back it up. Sunday, Rosa's, 3420 W. Armitage; 342-0452.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/George Robinson.