Snowy roads got you down? The man in the sleigh not groovin' to your pad? At the Cabaret we know how you fine folks feel...
That's why it'll be a Blue Christmas at the Cabaret tonight! Here in the Windy City they know the Blues, and with some of the Delta's finest musicians makin' the pilgrimage up here to Cow Town where better to celebrate a Blue Christmas than here? Cow Town's been a music town for a while, even bringing the world Gene Krupa, as you may recall from our last visit here. [image via WQUT.com]
Yep, time's are gettin' beyond rough for sharecropeprs down in the Delta, particularly what with all the Jim Crow and the Klansmen in Public Office and Strange Fruit poppin' up as sick tree trimmings. The Delta ain't a much nicer'a place than it was when we visited her last 'fore the War. Progress indeed! Blues, that salve for the wounds of injustice, is moving out of the juke joints and into the big city with a revival of epic proportions. Big names like Leadbelly and Ethel Waters are being joined by new young blues masters like John Lee Hooker and Big Mama Thornton and Muddy Waters and B.B. King with the sound being played as far away as England (B.B. just got a fan letter from a kid in Liverpool, can you beleive it?). We at the Cabaret are hoping these ambassadors of a painful system will be instruments of real change where it is sorely needed. And if we're going to be banned from the stage in Atlanta and Birmingham as a result...so be it.
Play on, Blues Man, play on! Let your guitar be like Gabriel's Horn for a modern day Jericho!
And to that aim we have an extraveganza for you tonight, folks. Here at the Universal Recording Hall we've assembled more of Chicago's finest blues musicians on one stage to ring in the holidays with a sound a lot more soulful than Rudolph and Frosty (I'll be glad when these kitchy new holiday jingles get discarded in favor of real music...lord knows they can't live forever!).
Up first, Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker, Shakey Horton & Dr Ross:
That's how you do it, folks!
And now, Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim, Willy Dixon, Otis Spann and more singing Bye Bye, Baby!
Bringing Soul to the Silent Night!
And now, what's Blues without whiskey? That'd be like...Swing without gin, or something! For tonight, the Scotch Mist Cocktail, a name which belies the utter simplicity of it. But calling something "Scotch on the Rocks with a Twist" doesn't quite capture the holiday mood. Remember folks, no fightin' and never accept a bottle that's already been opened!
Here's to real change this Christmas!
Scotch Mist Cocktail:
[image from lifestyle.sympatico.ca]
Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Pour Scotch over ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Merry Christmas, C'happy C'hannukah, Blessed Eid, Sacred Solstice, or whatever else keeps your soul warm this winter, everyone!