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YOUNG SLINGS RIFFS

One good thing about bringing your own back-up band, as veteran Chicago blues guitarist Mighty Joe Young did Friday night at the Music Machine, is that it gives a traveling bluesician the freedom to stretch out on something besides the usual roundup of 12-bar standards, which nevertheless made up half of Young’s brief (35 minutes) first set.

The other, more interesting, half was devoted to a subtle, funky, soul-blues style reminiscent of the late Jimi Hendrix’s late period. A full-throated singer and a facile riff-slinger, Young is every inch the equal of his middle-aged Windy City peers: Son Seals, Jimmie Johnson, Lonnie Brooks, Fenton Robinson, all of whom keep the true blue flame burning, if seldom incandescent.


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