By Tom Marker

Ronnie Baker Brooks and (Big Head) Todd Park Mohr at City Winery on Friday! True to my word, whenever Ronnie Baker Brooks is in town he’s my Weekend Live Blues Pick. He’s a master musician who was born into the blues. He’s got a blues family tree. Not raised on a plantation in the Delta, but born in Chicago, raised up on the South Side of town. He doesn’t often play locally, and playing in Downtown Chicago is even more of a rarity. But the newest venue in town, City Winery, is a new home for top shelf blues, booking Mavis Staples and Shemekia Copeland over the past couple of months. And Todd Park Mohr will be there too!  Todd is best known as the front man of Big Head Todd and the Monsters, a Colorado based band that is still active and, in fact coming to Chicago for a 93XRT show at House of Blues on March 2nd.  But for a number of years now Todd has been living in Chicagoland and more and more he shows up at special blues events and benefits and, even more recently, he’s been on the stage at the same place and time as Ronnie.

If you haven’t been to City Winery yet, this would be a great night to check it out. They do some things differently than most nightclubs. For one, when you buy your ticket you get a reserved seat at a small table. You can order a dinner or apps, though if ordering a whole meal I would recommend ordering well before showtime. If you’re a wine drinker you’ll find a lot of good choices. If you’re a beer drinker, don’t worry, they have plenty of really good beers, too. The location is one of City Winery’s big advantages. They’re close to the new Morgan Green Line/Pink Line stop and, being just west of downtown on the Randolph St. restaurant row, they are convenient to every side of town by expressway.

Todd will open up the show at the usual City Winery sorta early start time of 8:00pm, then Ronnie and his band take the stage and we all expect Todd to come out and join Ronnie for a bit, at least. See you there!


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