You can talk all you want about the Mississippi Delta or the tales of Robert Johnson and the Crossroads, but Chicago will definitely lay claim to being home of the blues. Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Chess Records, Alligator Records, Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials, and so on and so forth.
But what of the young people, those who are a generation removed from the golden age of the blues, who have not known real suffering yet and for whom the blues refers to boxes of a certain brand of macaroni and cheese? Do they have a sense of their great local music? Leave it to comedian, late-night host and occasional musician Conan O'Brien to find out. While in Chicago, O'Brien visited the Frances Xavier Warde School in Chicago to compose some blues songs with the students. The stories the kids told were classic blues fodder: stolen teddy bears, being forced to eat edamame (the same territory as Iron Leg Jefferson's "(Don't Give Me No) Edamame") and antagonizing siblings ensued.
O'Brien has been in Chicago this week taping a string of episodes at the Chicago Theatre through the night of the 14th, coinciding with the week of the Just For Laughs Chicago comedy festival. Other performers at Just For Laughs Chicago, which began Tuesday and runs through the 17th, include Sarah Silverman, Stephen Merchant, Aziz Ansari, Patton Oswalt, Mike Birbiglia, Amy Schumer, Natasha Leggero and Henson Alternative's "Stuffed and Unstrung." A full schedule can be found here.
Watch Conan wail with some baby bluesmakers below. Goodnight, everybody!