Only in Chicago…
As I type this I’m on my 3rd cup of coffee! LOL! The great thing about living in Chicago and being a lover of house music is that you can literally hear some of the best in the business any night of the week. House music has always been a cathartic release for me and so many of my friends. It is the perfect way to let loose and release after a stress filled and hectic day.
Only in Chicago can you come out on a Monday night and hang with legends, world renowned and Grammy nominated DJ’s and producers. Last night was no exception… Dee Jay Alicia, DJ Reg, Greg Winfield, Jamie 326, Gene Hunt and Chosen Few DJ’s Mike Dunn and Grammy Nominated super-producer, Terry Hunter, under one roof on the Southside of Chicago!!! Many of these DJ's come directly from flights to Chicago clubs and bars to play for their fans who have been following them for years. Chicago is always home to them!
I headed to Frances where my friend Dee Jay Alicia was celebrating their one year anniversary along with fellow residents Greg Winfield (BANG Sundays) and DJ Reg. Frances is one of those places where everyone knows your name. The bartender, Maria, knows your favorite drink and mixes it just right. Owner and comedian, Marlon Mitchell has done an amazing job renovating this Southside staple that has been in business over 45 years! Soft blue lights illuminate the dance floor. It always looks like you are dancing on a midnight sky. An elevated DJ booth is located right over the dance floor. It’s intimate…the DJ’s and the dancers share a close space where they can feel each other’s energy. We are connected through music. When you get a little hot and need some fresh air or just want to give your dancing feet a rest, head out back to the patio. It always feels like a backyard party with the music blasting and Reggie on the Grill. You can hear fellow house heads talking about the music, the house scene, the history and sometimes, the conversations get passionate and intense! Chicagoans are passionate about this music! Most of these guys have been around this scene for 20+ years and have a deep knowledge of how house has evolved over the years.
Inside was a bustle of positive energy and music. The drinks were flowing and the music was pumping, people socializing and dancing. I walked in on Gene Hunt on the turntables. Gene is fresh from an overseas stint in Italy. He had the crowd grooving. Gene ran tunes from Disco to Jackin' to Soulful! I barely caught my breath when Jamie 326 took over the tables and played the only way he knows how to…with everything he has!!! He was back in Chicago briefly after touring overseas and on the east coast. Jamie is one of those DJ’s that brilliantly blends the old classics with the new. I love how he transitions from one song to another, always adding that extra special something to them. Then, Dee Jay Alicia closed out the night with nothing but back to back soulful bangers and afro rhythms…including our soon to be released song, “Erotic Symphony”. It’s not rare to hear the occasional dancer go into a full praise shout while the DJ is playing their favorite song. I call it “the release”. Watching dancers move and groove to your music never gets old with me. I love it…its why we make the music we do…it’s for everyone who loves to get on the dance floor and move!!! What I loved more than anything were the different musical styles I was fortunate to hear in one night. Each DJ has their own groove, their own way of playing and blending songs seamlessly and I, as a patron, just get to take it all in and enjoy!
I knew I needed to get home because I had an early day in the morning but I stayed much later than I planned. People were still dancing 30 minutes after closing! Oh well, There’s always coffee in the morning!
Until next time… see you on a dance floor!