Chicago's Got The Blues

26th annual festival kicks off Friday

Koko Taylor would have wanted it this way. On the same day the blues legend will be laid to rest on the opening day of the Chicago Blues Festival.

The 26th annual festival, dubbed the largest free festival of its kind, kicks off Friday and wraps up Sunday in Grant Park.

Entertainment will be spread out on five stages around the Petrillo Bandshell at Jackson and Columbus from noon until 9:30 p.m.

The bad economy forced organizers to slim down the festival to three days this year instead of the usual four.

So who should you absolutely see? The Sun-Times has a few suggestions including:

  •  Big Bill and Mud Morganfield with Pinetop Perkins and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith at 3 p.m. Friday on the Front Porch Stage.
  •  Charlie Musselwhite Band, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Front Porch Stage
  •  Mary Lane's Blues All Stars, 2:30 p.m. Friday, Gibson Guitar Crossroads Stage
  •  Grana' Louise, 6 p.m. Friday, Crossroads Stage
  •  Charles "Wsir" Johnson, 12:30 p.m. Friday, Front Porch; also Saturday and Sunday, 12:30 p.m., Route 66 Roadhouse Stage
  •  Donna Herula, 2:30 p.m. Friday, Roadhouse Stage

Click here to see the entire lineup of artists performing this weekend and Wang Dang Doodle your way on down there.

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