By Jerone Tyler
For better than 40 years, music lovers have packed Kingston Mines to hear the best live blues music the city has to offer.
With original owner Doc Pellegrino still managing the establishment, this popular Lincoln Park destination has a blues sound second only to the juke joints along the Mississippi River.
The two stages and popular Southern-style menu make Kingston Mines a unique location for dining and music. In between sets, The Real Chicago sat down with blues front man Linsey Alexander, a fixture on the Kingston Mines’ music scene.
Q: When did you develop an interest in blues music?
A: As a young man, probably 50 years ago in Memphis, I started to sing and play what is considered blues music.
Q: How long have you been performing with your band?
A: We have had a few lineup changes over the years, but I have played with my bass player for over 35 years.
Q: Describe the style of music that you play.
A: My style is a mixture of original blues and Delta blues. The Delta blues is described as the style that you would hear in Tennessee, Mississippi or Louisiana. The Chicago style is what some would consider to be the original style of blues.
Q: How important is Kingston Mines to the Chicago blues scene?
A: The Mines is very important to Chicago. I have been playing here for 14 years, and over the years, the number of tourists continues to increase. When people come here, they expect to hear the blues.
Q: Who are some of your influences?
A: Some people will say B.B. King, others will say Freddie King. I can honestly say I developed my own style over the years. I don’t want to sound like any other blues artists out there. I just like the music, and I think when people come see me, they get a unique show.
A: Sometimes, but the majority of whatyou hear will be my own songs. I haveseveral CDs out, “If You Ain’t Got It,” “MyDays Are So Long,” and “Someone’s Cookin’In My Kitchen,” just to name a few.
Q: What can people expect when they come see a Linsey Alexander show?
A: People can expect to be entertained. There is no discrimination at my shows. I laugh and joke with everyone in the audience. Singing and guitar playing is only part of it. I make people feel welcome, and in turn they show up to my shows, no matter the venue.
For more information on Linsey Alexander, visit www.LinseyAlexander.com
Kinston Mines is located 2548 N. Halsted. (773) 477-4646. www.KingstonMines.com