I was on Groupon again when I discovered a ticket special to Rosa’s Lounge, which for $10 included admission to a concert and a free drink. (DEAL ALERT, in law school it is all about finding the bargains.) Historically, Chicago is known for its blues scene and I was excited to dive into it.
Tony, an Italian immigrant, came to Chicago in 1978 with his family. He opened the lounge in 1984 and named it after his mother Rosa and as tribute to the blues tradition. Throughout the years it has been host to some pretty big names, Homesick James, Billy Branch, Eddie Taylor Jr. and Lurrie Bell.
I cashed in my groupon to see Suga Blue perform. He has been called the Jimi Hendrix of harmonica and is well known throughout the world. He has recorded with legends like Bob Dylan and Prince. This Grammy winner, has played from the United States to Africa to Europe.
And I have to say he lived up to the hype. Admittedly, I do not know much about blues and I don’t play a musical instrument, but I loved listening to him play. Every song was filled with enthusiasm and personality. The venue was small and intimate, allowing him to connect with the crowd. I never knew a harmonica could be played like that.
Rosa’s itself would more accurately be described as a bit of a dive bar, with a variety of decorations piled on top of each other from the years’ celebrations. Despite its bit chaotic décor, it was rich with history, memories, and good times. The people were nice and Suga Blue’s music brought the place to life.
It was a fun way to spend the night and be immersed in another aspect of Chicago’s culture. I intend to continue to visit more blues lounges throughout the city, so stay tuned!
Questions for Amie? Email law-admissions [at] luc [dot] edu with the subject “Ask Amie” and she will make sure to answer them.