Photo: courtesy of fleetwood mac
CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL Free! Critic’s Pick
6/6–9 The blues’ brightest young star, the powerhouse singer Shemekia Copeland, performs on Thursday; the New Orleans soul great Irma Thomas and the sleek soul man Bobby Rush on Friday; and the local soul legend Otis Clay and classic Memphis soul acts the Bar-Kays, Eddie Floyd, and Sir Mack Rice on Saturday. A gathering of blues veterans on Sunday, headed by the harmonica legend James Cotton, should end things on a high note. Locations, times: chicagobluesfestival.us.
6/6 at 7:30 Marshall Crenshaw and the Bottle Rockets. Although he’s expanded his sound since his Buddy Holly–emulating early days, Crenshaw remains a pop classicist at heart. The gruff and mighty heartland rockers the Bottle Rockets open and then hold the stage to back Crenshaw and lend some aggressiveness. $25–$35.
6/17–18 at 8 As a session pianist and guitarist, Leon Russell has recorded with just about every rock legend over a half-century career. On his own, Russell puts his rough-hewn voice and honky-tonk pianism to a mix of country and blues. $55–$75. City Winery, 1200 W Randolph. citywinery.com.
6/14 at 8 After three years between tours, the band hits the Chicago area for the second time in two months, further milking the 35th anniversary of its landmark record Rumours, which admittedly is an impeccable work of arty folk-rock. $60–$165. Allstate Arena, 6920 N Mannheim, Rosemont. ticketmaster.com.
6/7–8 at 8 Sting. The former Police chief will devote this show to straightforward renditions of his hits, a mix of estimable jazz-pop and middle-of-the-road blandness. $38–$120.
6/20 at 7:30 BoDeans. $27–$65.
6/26 at 7:30 Jackson Browne. Nearly 40 years after he helped define the sensitive singer-songwriter archetype, Browne continues to deliver pensive reflections in his yearning voice. $38–$90
6/27 at 7 Los Lonely Boys and Los Lobos. The Texas jam band Los Lonely Boys fill their blues-Latin-rock songs with searing guitar. Alejandro Escovedo opens, rounding out a spirited triumvirate. $33–$70.
6/29 at 6:30 Melissa Etheridge, Joan Osborne, and Paula Cole team up for an evening of stirring female rock and pop. $38–100
6/30 at 7 The Go-Go’s and the B-52s. Breezy summer fun should accompany these 1980s new wave veterans, who paired girl-group pop (Go-Go’s) and surf rock (B-52s) with good cheer and catchy guitar hooks. $33–$70. Lake Cook and Green Bay, Highland Park. ravinia.org.
Note: The 6/25 Ravinia show with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings has been cancelled; we wish her well and hope for a full recovery.
6/7 at 8 On Son Volt’s new record, Honky Tonk, Jay Farrar emphasizes the country in his long-standing country-rock band’s music, setting his old-man-of-the-hills singing to two-steps, fiddles, and sighing steel guitar. $25. Park West, 322 W Armitage. jamusa.com.