Buddy Guy's Legends gets new life

June 8, 2010 7:31:01 AM PDT
June 2010 will serve as a month-long grand opening celebration for the club's new incarnation at 700 South Wabash Avenue in the South Loop. An official grand opening party is scheduled for Tuesday, June 15, flanked by an almost week-long Legend's Blues Festival schedule kicking off Wednesday, June 9 and a 3-day lead-in to Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival starting Thursday, June 24.

The move to a new location has been an ongoing process since 1999 when the building Buddy Guy's Legends has been leasing for the last 20 years was anonymously donated to Columbia College. After an exhaustive search, the opportunity to purchase the building at 700 South Wabash presented itself. Mr. Guy is now the sole owner and proprietor of the building and the club will occupy all 16,000 square feet on two floors.

(PERFORMER JIMMY BURNS)

Singer, guitarist, and songwriter, Jimmy Burns is a contemporary bluesman who combines his Delta roots with R&B and soul to come up with a sound uniquely his own. Burns is a charismatic performer with an expressive, soulful, voice and a melodic guitar style to match.

With a keen sense of his musical heritage Burns has created an upbeat style that has won critical acclaim both at home and abroad. Born near Dublin, Mississippi in 1943, Burns was fascinated by music early on. He loved the sounds coming out of the church, and the blues he heard on the streets. Burns' sang in church and taught himself how to play guitar while he was still in the Delta. One of his particular favorites was Lightnin' Hopkins, His oldest brother, renowned Detroit bluesman Eddie Burns, is also a guitarist who played with John Lee Hooker for a number of years before striking out on his own.

Burns was 12 when his family moved to Chicago. Within a year he was singing with a gospel group called the Gay Lites. Secular music also beckoned. Living on the Near North Side, he was caught up in the music of The Impressions and Major Lance who would rehearse in a park near his home. In 1959, at the age of 16 he joined The Medallionaires, an established vocal group, and did some recording. Burns was also part of the folk scene in the early 60s. He sang and played guitar at The Fickle Pickle, (booked at that time by Mike Bloomfield), the Gate of Horn, and coffeehouses around town.

As R&B turned to soul in the 60s Burns cut a few soul singles for the USA, Minit, Tip Top and Erica labels. One of his Erica singles, I Really Love You, is a collector's item in Great Britain. Burns traveled throughout the Midwest, with a band called the Fantastic Epics. They appeared at the Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago on a bill with Jeff Beck and the Yardbirds. He formed his own band in the late 60s called Jimmy Burns and the Gas Company. The reality of raising a family however, cut short Burns' full-time musical career. Throughout the 70s and 80s he stayed close to home, continuing to play clubs and concert venues around town.

Legend's Blues Fest Weekend 2010!
Buddy Guy's Legends
700 S. Wabash Avenue
Starts tomorrow - Sun.
312-427-1190
buddyguy.com


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