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After a period of indecision and uncertainty, guitarist Johnny B. Moore is performing regularly again, showing the world why he’s been hailed as one of Chicago’s most accomplished younger blues artists. His knowledge spans the breadth of Chicago blues, from the prewar days of the Bluebird label through to the modern era; he’s as likely to tear off a rollicking version of a Sleepy John Estes classic as he is to mellow down and play a dreamy, tender version of Latimore’s “Let’s Straighten It Out.” His most distinctive musical trait is his ability to provide his own chords behind his leads; even on complex funk patterns, as in Tyrone Davis’s “Can I Change My Mind,” he doesn’t miss a note or a beat. Vocalist Destiny Diamond is a recent addition to Moore’s show, and she looks like a keeper: though still developing, she has a distinctive high-soprano voice (like a less-shrill Minnie Riperton) that wraps itself cozily around soul and pop ballads. It stands in dramatic contrast to the gritty Chicago intensity with which Moore plays, and it brings additional variety to what’s already one of the most eclectic sets in town. Friday and Saturday, Lilly’s, 2513 N. Lincoln; 525-2422.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.