Hey Baby! It’s the Fourth of July! Nearly every year around this time Dave Alvin performs the song, “Fourth of July” at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn. It’s a song he’s recorded a number of times though first when he was with the band, X. Dave is one of the regulars who will be returning this weekend for the 32nd Annual American Music Festival. Another band Dave Alvin was a big part of was The Blasters. It was also 32 years ago the band released their first album. Dave wrote the title track, “American Music.” Coincidence? This part of the song pretty much describes the musical line-ups of these festivals for the past three decades:
“We got the Louisiana boogie and the delta blues
We got country, swing and rockabilly, too
We got jazz, country-western and Chicago blues
It’s the greatest music that you ever knew
It’s American music, it’s American music, it’s American music
It’s the greatest sound right from the U.S.A.”
Dave Alvin will be at Fitz Fest both today (Friday) and Sunday. He’ll be joined by 40 other bands, both regulars and newcomers, over four days.
For the purpose of this “Live Blues Pick” let me say that Sunday is the most blues related day with bands like trance/folk/blues specialists and fest first-timers Otis Taylor featuring Chicago’s Anne Harris, the Louisiana/Austin boogie/blues of regular Marcia Ball, the loud-folk-blues of Dave Alvin and the Houston based zydeco-blues of CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band. Saturday will include performances by Baton Rouge’s swampy-soul blues act Kenny Neal. But all the music will be real American roots based music that will truly make all fans proud of their country. And please go there very hungry as this is the one time during the year that you have the opportunity to sample the full array of Cajun BBQ as prepared by Tom “Fourth of July” Cimms and his expert team.
The fest begins this afternoon and continues on Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday at 6615 W. Roosevelt Road, near the Eisenhower I-290 Expressway, not far from the Oak Park Avenue stop of the CTA Blue Line.