This post contains a list of 4 of the best Chicago blues clubs chosen by our walking tour guides. Chicago is considered by many as the blues capital of the world. As the blues evolved and developed, many talented Blues musicians left the south and spent their most influential years in Chicago. Some of those musicians include Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Charlie Musselwhite, and Little Walter.
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Chicago loves to celebrate great music during the city’s annual Chicago Blues Fest and Chicago Jazz Fest during the summer. (By the way, the festivals are completely FREE.) If you are itching to listen to some Chicago Blues; however, you don’t have to wait until summer. Below are some of our favorite Blues clubs.
This club is a great place to enjoy the Chicago Blues. It is small, but mighty! In fact, it is so intimate that you may find yourself sharing a table with your favorite blues artist on their day off. If you are an out-of-towner you will quickly learn that Chicago Blues lovers are a friendly bunch. They offer a special promotion- Pay the cover at BLUES and get into Kingston Mines for Free!
Rosa’s Lounge is owned and operated by Tony, an Italian-born blues drummer. This club feels like coming home, which makes sense consider they are “ Chicago’s friendliest Blues lounge”. And it is family run! Rosa is actually Tony’s Mom. The space is intimate and feels gritty but in a good way. The blues speak for themselves. This place is a little far west for folks without a car. We would recommend taking a cab from the L train.
Kingston Mines has been in Chicago for a LONG time and there is a reason why they have lasted: Quality. They have two stages at their venue so there is always a lot to see (or hear). Another bonus is that they have BARBEQUE. That’s right. You can enjoy your blues with a heaping plate of ribs. Because they serve food and have a restaurant license minors are welcome (with a guardian). However, if you are NOT a minor Kingston Mines is open very late (or shall I say early?) It closes at 4am most days and 5am on Saturdays.
Well the name says it all! If Buddy Guy is involved, there will be good blues! He is the King of Chicago Electric Blues, after all. One unique things about Buddy Guys is that they are actually open before 6 pm! That’s right- they have a lunch hour set. Acoustic sets are free (with cover) but there are ticketed shows. They are also known for the Cajun food. Yum.
+++Don’t forget to check out our famous pay-what-you-like walking tours of Chicago!!+++