Lucky Peterson | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Lucky Peterson

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Bluesman Lucky Peterson began his career early--his first single, "1-2-3-4," came out in 1971, when he was six--and since then he's exultantly leapt between styles, genres, and attitudes while retaining his attachment to the blues. On his 2003 album, Black Midnight Sun (Dreyfus), which features collaborations with Bill Laswell and P-Funk drummer Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey, Peterson's ebullience sometimes crosses the line into buffoonery: on "She's a Burglar" he bellows "She's a burg-uh-lah!" over some crunching blues-rock that sounds neither erotic nor rebellious. Mostly, though, the pastiches on the record succeed in simultaneously evoking and tweaking rootsiness. Most audacious is his surrealistic remake of Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightning," a swirling sonic miasma seasoned by an exotic flute line from Henry Threadgill, interwoven with electronically enhanced vocal moans. Amid the album's high-art grandiosity, Peterson's own Diddley-by-way-of-New Orleans "Changes Your Ways" is refreshingly straightforward. Fri 1/28, 9:30 PM, Rosa's Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage, 773-342-0452, $15.

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

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