Vocalist Barkin’ Bill is a Chicago veteran whose resume extends back to work with the likes of Tampa Red and others in both Chicago and Detroit. He also did stints with various R & B and jazz aggregations, honing his deep, slippery baritone croon into its current mix of Brook Benton and the bluesy soul of a rawer Joe Williams. Bill’s success depends largely on the musicians he gathers around him; in recent years that’s made some of his shows iffy, but his current alliance with guitarist Dave Specter has brought a level of elegance to Bill’s work that had been missing for some time. Bill has been expanding his repertoire beyond the usual jazz-blues standards, pushing that supple croon of his into new and exciting areas. Monday, B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted; 528-1012.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.