Keyboard veteran Mose Vinson is a throwback to the days when jukes throughout the Delta and honky-tonks along Beale Street resonated with the sounds of pianos, string bands, jug bands, guitars, and the occasional harmonica. Vinson's playing incorporates virtually all of those influences, although these days he tends to concentrate on gently flowing melodic improvisations that evoke both melancholy and a sense of hard-won peace. Vinson's voice has deepened through the years, and he often sings in a soft, gritty croon. But he isn't mired in autumnal introspection--he's still capable of erupting into a romping barrelhouse breakdown, and his sly incorporation of myriad stylistic shadings--stride, boogie, good-timey hokum, and urban as well as rural blues influences--means you can always anticipate a surprise, no matter how familiar the tune. Friday, 8:15 PM, and Sunday, 6:15 PM, 34th Annual University of Chicago Folk Festival of Traditional Music, Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th; 702-7300.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.