Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Review Sun Jun 12 2011

Review: Booker T @ Old Town School of Folk Music, 6/11

Booker T Jones was a musical prodigy who got his start at Stax in Memphis while still in high school. That was nearly 50 years ago and his career shows no signs of ending. Saturday night he was at the Old Town School of Folk Music for two shows. Playing in support of a new album, The Road From Memphis, it was no surprise when the early set began with two of its tracks - "Harlem House" and "Down in Memphis." The former was a nice introduction that showcased some of Booker T's absolutely sick skills on a Hammond organ. The latter was a rather pedestrian bluesy number.

But then the fun began with "Green Onions", one of the most iconic instrumental songs of all-time. It wasn't completely faithful to the version everyone's heard a hundred times, though. A few guitar licks differed and the tempo was just barely slower. But if you figure Booker T plays it at every show, the man's allowed some leeway. At any rate, it certainly excited the crowd. That trend would continue on numerous songs with freestyling and improvisation peppering music that's been in his repertoire for years and even some that's new. After the first of three from 1968's Soul Limbo album ("Born Under a Bad Sign"), Booker T (now on guitar) and his backing band rolled through covers of "Take Me to the River", "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" and "Ain't No Sunshine."

Back to behind the Hammond (where it seemed most of the audience wanted to see him), he and the band returned to an original in "Soul Limbo", which was preceded by an anecdote about the BBC's usage of it for their cricket Test Match Special and featured a lengthy drum solo. A cover of Lauryn Hill's "Everything is Everything" followed and sounded the freshest of the new album songs with a funky beat and Jones' organ skills highlighted. A trifecta of stone-cold Booker T classics closed the set. "Hip Hug-Her", "Time is Tight" and "Hang 'em High" each drew rousing applauses of recognition and were elevated by the wealth of talent on stage. Even though the band was pulled together between Oakland and Boston, those boys could play and they dropped an abundance of tricks into those three. It may not have been some transcendental event, but it definitely had stirring moments from one of the finest organists ever.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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