Every time some professional genius declares that blues music is officially dead, someone with new ideas and hot licks comes along to cancel the funeral. One of this year’s best reasons to believe is the Kinsey Report, the brother act from Gary, Indiana, whose brand of progressive blues is as progressive as it is bluesy. After years of accompanying their father, Lester “Big Daddy” Kinsey, a fine blues musician in his own right, the Kinsey brothers have come into their own with the release of the new Edge of the City, one of my favorite blues albums in recent memory. Lead guitarist Donald Kinsey’s cliche-free playing reflects the broad range of his experience, which has included collaborations with everyone from Albert King and Roy Buchanan to Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. Like Donald, the band’s crack rhythm section (Kenneth Kinsey on bass, Ralph Kinsey on drums) makes the music swing in ways that are unexpected in urban electric blues. These talents make Edge of the City a terrific blues record for people who think they hate the blues. The up-tempo bass-driven “Poor Man’s Relief” gives the dance-music crowd a run for its money; the stark, passionate “Full Moon on Main Street” should be the envy of singer-songwriter types everywhere. Tonight, 10: 30 PM, Riviera Night Club, 4746 N. Racine; 769-6300. Saturday, P.J. Flaherty’s, 2535 W. 95th, Evergreen Park; 423-3046.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jon Randolph.