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Chicago’s 22 Best Classic Rock, Blues, and Soul Concerts in November

The Blind Boys of Alabama, Built to Spill, the Black Crowes—and that’s just the B bands in the city this month.

The Blind Boys of Alabama play Old Town School of Folk Music on November 9.   Photo: Courtesy of The Blind Boys of Alabama

The Black Crowes

11/1–2 at 8 Making their third area appearance after a three-year hiatus, the Crowes serve up their mix of blues rock and Southern boogie. $45. Riviera Theatre, 4746 N Racine. jamusa.com or etix.com.

City Winery

11/1 at 8 Ronnie Spector. The voice behind such classics as “Be My Baby” and “Walking in the Rain,” Spector presents her Beyond the Beehive show, a two-hour multimedia account of her life, from Phil Spector and the Ronettes to current day. $45–$60.
11/4–6 at 8 Sinead O’Connor. Her troubles and outbursts have overshadowed her talent for much of her career, but O’Connor’s singing remains a thing of wonder. $115–$150.
11/24 at 8 Rick Springfield. The Australian pop rocker foroges the bombast of power ballads like “Jessie’s Girl” for a more intimate show. $75–$125.
City Winery, 1200 W Randolph. citywinery.com.

Gary Clark Jr.

11/19 at 7:30 Overeager music writers have saddled the singer-guitarist from Austin, Texas, with the “future of the blues” tag, but Clark is too expansive a talent to be pigeonholed. $28.50. Vic Theatre, 3145 N Sheffield. jamusa.com or etix.com.

Fitz And The Tantrums

11/22 at 7 Every generation must have its own Hall and Oates, or at least its own Darryl Hall, and the L.A. band fits the bill with its blend of pop and retro soul, thanks to frontman Michael Fitzpatrick’s fervent singing and the group’s propulsive accompaniment. Capital Cities open. $27.50. Aragon, 1106 W Lawrence. jamusa.com or etix.com.

Lincoln Hall

11/2 Lee Fields & the Expressions. The urgency of James Brown meets the vulnerability of Percy Sledge in late-blooming veteran Fields. $18.
11/6–7 at 8 Sparks. Brothers Ron and Russell Mael combine arty, idiosyncratic electronic pop with theatrical performances, influencing everyone from Depeche Mode to Arcade Fire. $30.
11/15 at 9 Jonathan Richman. After decades of making deliberately childlike pop, Richman has taken a more mature stance lately, while still maintaining his musical simplicity and emotional directness. $18.
2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com.

Metro

11/13 at 8 Old 97’s. The veteran Texas quartet embraces its more country roots while remaining as catchy and melodic as ever. $25.
11/14 at 8 Built to Spill. By now, the indie rock band has thoroughly absorbed its classic-rock influences (particularly Neil Young and Pink Floyd) into its songs, creating vast, spacy, melodic music that’s best appreciated in concert, where bandleader Doug Martsch gives his dazzling guitar heroics free rein. $26.
3730 N Clark. metrochicago.com.

Old Town School Of Folk Music

11/9 at 8 The Blind Boys of Alabama. Formed in 1937 and still featuring original member Jimmy Carter, the storied gospel group continues to mix traditional songs with savvy contemporary material. Their new album, I’ll Fly Away, recorded with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and other contemporary indie folk admirers, shows the group’s members can still blend their voices to mesmerizing effect. $45.
11/14 at 8 Kelly Hogan. The longtime staple of the local country-rock scene got the showcase she deserved on last year’s I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, a blend of soul, country, and rock graced with Hogan’s exquisite singing. $22.
11/16 at 8 Garland Jeffreys. Combining streetwise swagger with a poetic sensibility, most notably on his 1973 classic Wild in the Streets, Jeffreys makes a welcome return to music after a long absence. $24.
11/22 at 8 Rickie Lee Jones. Now nearing 60, the jazz-folk singer-songwriter still conveys both vulnerability and wide-eyed wonder with her street urchin voice. $45.
11/23 at 7 The Dream Syndicate. In the 1980s, the L.A. band combined Velvet Underground–indebted guitar churn with spiraling psychedelic flourishes, leaving an enduring influence on alternative rock. $30.
$2 discount for all shows for school members. 4544 N Lincoln. oldtownschool.org or ticketweb.com.

Space

11/2 at 7:30 Cowboy Junkies. The band has spent more than a quarter of a century proffering a languid take on American roots music, centered around Margo Timmins’s hushed, haunted singing. $28–$68.
11/4–5 at 8 Living Colour. This group paved the way for every rap-rock band with a mix of Hendrix-style hard rock and funk on its 1988 debut Vivid—which will be performed in its entirety to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its release. $40–$65.
11/8 at 7:30 and 9:30 Alan Touissant. A key figure in New Orleans’s rich musical history, Touissant is legendary for his work as a songwriter and producer for the likes of Fats Domino. His own solo music is characterized by sly singing and jubilant piano playing. $24–$64.
11/14 at 8 Leon Russell. As a session man, the pianist and guitarist has recorded with just about any rock legend you care to name, over a career spanning more than half a century. On his own and in his recent collaboration with Elton John, Russell puts his rough-hewn voice and honky-tonk piano to a rollicking mix of country and blues. $40–$75.
11/15–16 at 8 Sonny Landreth. A virtuoso blues slide guitar player, Landreth shines on instrumentals but doesn’t fare as well as a songwriter and singer. $27–$46.
SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. evanstonspace.com.

Straight No Chaser

11/30 at 3 and 8 The buoyant, breezy a cappella band of Indiana University alumni take a turn to the soulful on their latest, covering classics by the likes of Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. $32.50–$52.50. Chicago Theatre, 175 N State. ticketmaster.com.

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