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How would you rate Lee's Unleaded Blues?
This is an excellent club, as has been noted in the comments here, but I just had to laugh at the first review. This bar is in a nondescript section of South Chicago, which is nowhere near Hyde Park. (If you think you're smarter than the average person because you spend money in Hyde Park, stay away from here and work on your self-esteem.) Back to the review: This place is inspiring because the musicians hit excellence without diving into crowd-pleasing clichés and have a comfort level with the audience that is 100 percent genuine. Also, you will never forget the grand entrance made by Sherman "Moody" Thomas. It is a must-see!
LEES UNLEADED BLUES IS NOWHERE NEAR HYDE PARK. IT IS ON THE SOUTH SIDE (GRAND CROSSING, TO BE SPECIFIC). The person who wrote that description does not know the city.
This is an authentic, down-home blues club. The locals go there, that's my test of what's authentic. The musicians are top-notch and homegrown.
There was no drink minimum on the night I went there, but the ones I did order were not watered down.
Get there before 9 pm to make sure you get a seat because this is a small club. And make sure you have a ride or the number of a cab. The area is not on a commercial strip so you won't find cabs on the street. However, the management will get you one if needed.
I've been here twice and the bands are really good. Great place for live jazz or blues
Awesome Blues and Jazz
I've been twice. Once during Bluesfest and they have a free shuttle to and from. I went Sunday night after the fest and it was an amazingly enjoyable carryover. Shorty Mack with the wireless mic outside the joint! What? I went solo too because my brother had too much wine so I bust his balls to this day. I had to catch a flight to NYC early but I had no worries. Chi-town and NYC are kings.
Transparency: I haven't been in two decades so things may have changed.
That said: My best blues experience ever in my seven years of living in Chicago and frequenting blues clubs. True Memphis. Authentic. Not a tourist trap.
Can't wait to get back!
I've marked this great bar CLOSED on Google. If you want authentic Chicago blues, you must come to the South Side. Your money talks: The white yuppification of blues (and jazz, for that matter), and its movement to the North Side from the 1970's, is a kind of economic tragedy. To pay $20 to get into one of those fake clubs, to avoid the South Side as categorically "risky," is not a healthy thing to do as far as culture is concerned. Better to spend your time looking online for a proper South Side blues club, and come out and enjoy the authentic people, atmosphere, as well as the more authentic music. Lee's was one of those places.
I've been going to Lee's Unleaded for about 8 years or so. I do not plan on returning to this club anymore! I remember when they closed down for a while and...read this and 17 more