Album Review: TORONZO CANNON

The Chicago Way (ALLIGATOR)

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Chicago bus driver by day, dynamic bluesman by night.

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Toronzo Cannon has been part of the Chicago scene for over two decades, first as a sideman for artists like Wayne Baker Brooks, later fronting his own band. A pair of albums for the legendary Delmark Records cemented his status as a bona fide working class blues hero, the guitarist driving a city bus by day and performing live at night.

Now, Alligator debut The Chicago Way illustrates why Cannon has become such a Windy City institution. His emotional guitar on The Pain Around Me is matched by soulful vocals and socially conscious lyrics, while the humorous Walk It Off turns Chicago blues tropes upside down, the stellar fretwork complemented by Brother John Kattke’s piano.

With Cannon’s fiery guitar and fierce vocals also shining on standout blues rocker Strength To Survive, The Chicago Way is an impressive label debut that should keep him off the buses.