Chicago blues artists hope music plays for a new generation - KMSP-TV

Chicago blues artists hope music plays for a new generation

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Blues Fest continues in Chicago through Sunday -- but will the music keep playing for a new generation?

It was creative electric guitar-pickin' by Chicagoans like John McDonald that captured the imaginations of teenagers Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. At the United Center this week and last, the Rolling Stones repeatedly thanked Chicago's blues artists for providing the roots of their rock music; professional respect returned in kind by local bluesmen like John Primer.

"I listen to everybody playin' the Blues, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, all those guys," Primer said.

With so many of Blues' Big Names now collecting Social Security, some worry about the future of the genre. I put that question to 79-year old Bobby Rush, a Louisiana native who spent 47 years in Chicago and has 249 recordings.

"I think [young people are] going to play it, but they're going to play it in a different form. We do the same thing the rappers doing," Rush said. "B.B. King had a song, 'Sweet Sixteen.' He was 50 years old.  He'd get put in jail for that today. That's rap."

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