Monday, June 18, 2018

This year's Blues on the Fox festival at RiverEdge Park in Aurora provides lasting memories


By ERIC SCHELKOPF

With Chicago being the blues capital of the world, it only makes sense that a Chicago musician would rule the day during the second day of the 22nd annual Blues on the Fox festival at RiverEdge Park in Aurora.

The sweltering heat on June 16 did not slow down Cannon, who also is a bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority. He works just as hard on stage and probably won over many new fan that day.

His electrifying guitar playing was on full display during the song "John The Conquer Root," and was just another example of why his presence on the blues scene – both locally and worldwide – continues to grow.



But his storytelling skills are just as strong as his guitar playing. He used those skills to draw the audience in, and make them feel they were part of his show as well.



Slide guitar master Sonny Landreth also put on an impressive set. At the same time, he showed that sometimes less is more, such as on the haunting song "A World Away."





But for those who wanted some fireworks, he was happy to provide them, such as he did in covering the Elmore James song, "It Hurts Me Too."



At age 77, Aaron Neville is still an incredible force on stage and his vocals remain in fine form. It is not an exaggeration to say that Neville has a voice of an angel.



He ran through the hits and then some, delivering a tender version of "Tell It Like It Is," a song that remains vibrant and fresh years after Neville first recorded it in 1966.



Another high point of his set was a moving version of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come."


 

In closing his set, he drew upon his New Orleans roots and presented a rousing version of  "You Never Can Tell (C'est La Vie)." 


                                     

This year's Blues on the Fox festival provided many lasting memories. Let's hope the festival will keep on providing memories well into the future.