News flash: You don’t have to wait for the Chicago Blues Festival to enjoy three straight days of blues-related fun. Chicago Blues Weekend is now upon us, and while it may cost a lot more than the annual free event in Grant Park, it’s still worth a gander. Here’s the schedule for the next few days:
Friday: Chicago Blues Express. You’ll visit three South Side clubs (Lee’s Unleaded Blues, For the Good Times Lounge, Taste Entertainment Center) during this five-hour tour. A $75 ticket price includes two drinks and a download card for Chainsaw DuPont’s “The Real Guitar Hero,” plus shuttle transportation from Lizzie McNeill’s (400 N. McClurg).
Saturday: Chicago Blues Tour. The 20th annual event includes 10 clubs and 11 performers, including Michael Coleman, Super Percy and Chainsaw DuPont, all for just $45. Lizzie McNeill’s is the hub, with buses departing every 10-20 minutes from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Sunday: Maxwell Market Shuttle Tour and Blues Jam. Take a shuttle down to the famed Maxwell Street District and enjoy a 50-minute historical walking tour, shopping at the Market, a live blues jam and more during this $10 event. Downtown pickups are at Lizzie McNeill’s and the Jazz Record Mart (27 E. Illinois), with departures at 9:30, 10:15 and 11 a.m.