Travis Haddix | Rosa's Lounge | Blues, Gospel, and R&B | Chicago Reader

Travis Haddix Recommended Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Fri., April 3, 9:30 p.m. and Sat., April 4, 10 p.m. 2009

The gulf between contemporary soul-blues and more traditional 12-bar styles can seem insurmountable these days, but Cleveland-based guitarist and singer Travis “Moonchild” Haddix straddles it without so much as a stretch. He got his start in the 60s playing on shows with soul-blues pioneers like Little Johnny Taylor, and his songwriting credits include sides recorded by modern soul-blues heavyweight Artie “Blues Boy” White. But on his own he plays vintage-sounding Memphis-to-Chicago 12-bar themes, heavy on the shuffles and with a distinct juke-joint flavor; he leavens them with his sweet-soul voice and playful lyrics, which are full of the kind of double entendres and trickster tales that permeate modern soul-blues. On his latest CD, last year’s Daylight at Midnight (Earwig), his fretwork alternates between molten intensity and T-Bone Walker-style breeziness, and despite his solid roots in 12-bar shuffles he can segue without a hitch into propulsive funk and R & B cadences. Onstage Haddix tweaks the stereotypical bluesman’s image with a toned-down machismo that’s affable and nonthreatening—with his impish grin and flashing eyes, he both seduces and reassures. —David Whiteis

Price: $15

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