Blue Steel

You ain’t a real bluesman until you get a clever alias like Leadbelly or Howlin’ Wolf. Since 1958, fellow hip-moniker-bearer Sonny Rhodes (born Clarence Edward Smith) has been creating heartfelt music for the jovial and the blue alike. Influenced by B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, and Pee Wee Crayton, Rhodes is a master of the lap-steel guitar, and today is considered one of the top American blues musicians. He’s been nominated by the Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C. Handy Blues Awards) 11 times, and while it’s a low-down dirty shame that such an influential bluesman can only command an $8 cover charge – a commentary on the current state of the blues – it’s good for us in that we only have to pay $8. Maybe it’ll get more folks down to the Rhythm Room.
Sat., Jan. 5, 9 p.m., 2008