Chicago blues scene offers a lot more than only life music, it seems that Chicago's life is absorbed by carefully kept traditions of bb king blues and other blues directions in the U.S. Blues clubs (there are no less than fifteen of them in the city), festivals, concerts and other attractions draw many of foreign tourists and Chicagoan music lovers.
The Chicago blues festival, the world largest free-admission event, had its 22nd anniversary this year, on June 9-12. The Chicago blues festival 2005 went under the theme "Chicago breakdown", determined by the song of Big Maceo with the same title, and celebrated the centennials of Big Maceo, Meade Lux Lewis and Jimmy Walker. The centennials of piano greats were celebrated by showing the blues and boogie playing of Henry Grey, Roosevelt Purifoy, Erwin Helfer, Barrelhouse Chuck, Detroit Jr., Bob Seeley, Lucky Peterson, and the legend of the British piano, Bob Hall. This year, Bob Hall played with Kim Simmonds honored the British Blues invasion and Savoy Brown's 40th Anniversary.
The hit of Thursday, June 9, 2005 was "Honky Tonk Train Blues" Meade Lux Lewis and one of the most interesting performances of that day became "Blues in the Schools" show, taking place at the U.S. Cellular Front Porch Stage. The second day of the Chicago festival amused the audience by the surrounding theme of the song "Wang Dang Doodle", performed by Chester A. Burnett. The visitors were impressed by one from many events of Friday 10, "Sunnyland Slim Memorial Piano Set", featuring Barrelhouse Chuck and Henry Gray on the US Cellular Front Porch, Route 66' Wolf's Family Birthday Party and Centennial Celebrations of Henry Gray, Bob Hall, Roy Meriwether, Pete Crawford, and Jim O'Neal. Day number three went under the theme of the famous Jimmy Walker's "Where is my money" and included Aron Burrton's salute to Jimmy Walker, featuring Homesick James, Steve Freund, Tino Cortez, Jake Crosby, Glenn Davis and Aaron Moore. The song "Worried Life Blues" by Major Meriwether started Sunday, June 12. The day was full of music performances of more than fifteen blues artists, bands and honored songwriters, such as George Jackson, Bruce Bromberg, Bob Jones, who were hosted by Larry Hoffman.
The Chicago blues festival was open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily, with music performances starting at noon. The schedule was fully complete with events, satisfying all tastes of blues fans and filling in every spare minute. Moreover, the Chicago blues festival was the "end" of the blues season in Chicago, which commonly lasts for a month. As always, the Chicago blues festival 2005 brought to the stages of the Grant Park people of all ages from the whole world to enjoy the best new and old in blues. There were many first time performers, such as John Mayall and his Blues Breakers, Eddie Kirkland, George Stancell, Fernest Arceneaux, Sharrie Williams, and Calvin Cooke. The Chicago Blues Festival was programmed and produced by the Mayor's Office of Special Events and presented by the sponsor Best Buy, along with the generous support from the corporate sponsors, including WXRT-FM, B.J.'s Market & Bakery, Billy Goat Grill, Bud Light, Chicago Jazz Magazine and many others.