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Toronzo Cannon

"I want my songs to be heard and experienced, not just listened to," says cliché-defying, internationally beloved Chicago bluesman Toronzo Cannon. With his richly detailed, truth-telling original songs, blistering, inventive guitar work and impassioned vocals, Cannon is on the cutting edge of today's contemporary blues scene and is known as one of the genre's most creative artists. His sound is inspired by his heroes, including Hound Dog Taylor, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Albert King, Son Seals and Jimi Hendrix. On his third Alligator Records album, Shut Up And Play!, Cannon blazes his own path with 11 emotionally-charged originals. From serious to humorous, his imaginative songs are fueled by his powerful, cathartic guitar solos and his soulfully authoritative voice. 

Shut Up And Play!, co-produced by Cannon and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, finds Cannon, a former Chicago Transit Authority bus driver, delivering timeless stories of common experiences, often unfolding in uncommon ways. His passionate and focused guitar playing sets his lyrics ablaze. From the first radio single, the unassailable I Hate Love, to the gospel-inspired, autobiographical Had To Go Through It To Get To It, to the slow-burning, reflective Guilty, to the deeply personal Message To My Daughter, Shut Up And Play! tackles the gamut of human emotions. Song subjects range from the heartbreak of lost love, to the humor of daily life, to the pain of feeling invisible in today's society, all as seen through Cannon's wide-open eyes. 

Shut Up And Play! is bookended by two of Cannon's most striking compositions, both a mirror of the times. The opener, the exuberantly performed blues scorcher Can't Fix The World, shines a light on hypocrisy and duplicity, while unleashing dynamic, memorable guitar solos echoing the intensity of the vocals. The closer, Shut Up And Play!, takes a deep look inside, as Cannon vents his anger at being told to keep his opinions about the world to himself. As the defiant vocals command attention, Cannon's frustrations pour into every note. Chicago's New City declared, "Toronzo Cannon spins the innate human capacity of misery and regret into a kind of furious ecstasy." 

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Friday September 27th
Doors Open @ 7:00pm
Show starts @ 8:00pm
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Tickets $40-$45
All fees Included
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Tickets On Sale!
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