(Arlington Heights, IL) – Winter has traditionally been a slow season for music
festivals in Chicagoland while folks recover from their holiday hangovers.
Other than the TNK Festival in Chicago, a sturdy and dependable showcase of
emerging talent, there’s not been the equivalent in the suburbs.
The folks at Hey Nonny and Straight Arrow Productions are changing the indoor music festival landscape with the first annual Winter Blues Summit, which runs from January 31 through February 2 on four stages at both Hey Nonny and Metropolis in Arlington Heights [Illinois]. “Just about every Chicago blues great will be appearing at the Winter Blues Summit,” Hey Nonny co-owner Chip Brooks told IE. Straight Arrow Productions president Dave Katzman added: “Hey Nonny has become the go-to destination for true Chicago blues in the northwest suburbs, so this seemed like a natural fit.”
Headlining the event will be
the on-stage reunion of Chicago blues legends Jimmy and Syl Johnson. The
Johnson brothers were born and grew up in Holly Springs, Mississippi, but moved
to Chicago in the 1950s, where they quickly became part of the exploding
Chicago electric blues scene with pioneers Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and
Little Walter. Through those early years, Jimmy Johnson played with Freddy
King, Albert King, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, and Eddy Clearwater. Syl Johnson also
played with Magic Sam (his neighbor), as well as Billy Boy Arnold, Junior
Wells, and Howlin’ Wolf. He went on to release the hit records Different
Strokes and Is It Because I’m Black on Chicago’s Twinight Record
label. He also recorded “Take Me To The River and “We Did It” for the Hi