Hello there, fellow roadies! Bet you didn’t know Chicago has its own seasonal song now, did you? Actually, this baby will do for a general holiday song. And since tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, we figured we’d better get our holiday greeting out there to everyone (don’t worry, Buddhists like me still celebrate Christmas and Saturnalia; Joe and Keith, on the other hand, are strictly Christmas guys). Besides, I’m late in sending Hanukkah cards to my Jewish friends … but never mind that.
This holiday greeting is being brought to you courtesy of 1) the Cindy Lyn Motel on Route 66 in Cicero, Illinois via us, because I got a shot of their holiday decorations (though they don’t look half as good in sunlight) and 2) the Lowdown Brass Band, Chicago’s own second-line guys. Those of you who have been to New Orleans know what a second line is, I hope – and it usually requires a jazz brass band (they show up for jazz funerals, too). These guys don’t just stick to New Orleans brass band tradition, though: they mix it up with blues, modern funk, hip-hop, reggae, whatever. Their home page has a great clip of them playing the funk classic “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” with guest artist jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers. It’s got GROOVE, dudes. You need to give a listen (honestly, you won’t believe it’s a brass band instead of the brass section of a jazz orchestra). Besides, the video has some great shots of Chicago, especially along the lakefront (in summer — looks warm!).
And the best news is that if you like these guys as much as I do, they’ll be doing the New Year’s Eve gig at Andy’s Jazz Club this year – 11 E. Hubbard St., starting at 9 pm. You can hear them live! Make your reservations now.
So: here’s our holiday greeting to all of you roadies, curious travelers and armchair cruisers: Merry Hanukkah, Happy Christmas, Blessed Solstice, Groovy Kwanzaa, and an Unrepentant Saturnalia all!!! Here’s your rendition of “Chicago’s Where I Wanna Be” (ain’t that the truth) by the Lowdown Brass Band, y’all:
Your Route 66 elves,
Marie, Joe and Keith