Happy In Bag

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Chick Willis

Low key and thoroughly unpretentious, the Kansas City Kansas Street Blues Festival is the antithesis of most summer music festivals.

As it’s on a primarily residential street, there’s no gate. And the best seats are the front porches of the houses. Most people BYOB, but thirsty patrons can walk into the venerable Club Paradox to get a cold one and collect some shade. A few ambitious neighbors hawk barbecue or jerk chicken. It’s an all-American street party.

On Saturday, June 25, local favorite blues man Chick Willis (pictured) gave the people want they wanted. "Ain’t nothing but a party," the "Stoop Down Man" repeatedly chuckled between songs. Wandering the crowd as he played extended guitar solos, his brand of contemporary blues went down easy as the sun began to wane.

Scheduled to follow Willis was a set by local favorite Ida McBeth. Friday's headliner was the ultra-funky Bobby Rush, while Sunday was to feature over a dozen gospel acts.


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