The cure for a rainy Sunday: Live music at Jimmy’s
Gray, rainy, cold—and with one less hour of sleep on Saturday night—it was an all-around gloomy weekend. But I found a ray of sunshine in an unlikely place on Sunday night: in the back room of Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap in Hyde Park, where a group of musicians gathers every Sunday evening to play blues and jazz tunes.
Jimmy’s, known for its cheap burgers, fries and beer ($3 for a pint of suds, $15 for a pitcher of higher-end brew like Fat Tire), fills up with students from nearby University of Chicago on Friday and Saturday nights. But the rest of the week, the patrons dotting the black vinyl seats are mostly neighborhood people looking to quietly unwind. There weren’t more than a half dozen folks in the back room listening to the music, but we were all in for a treat. The band—laid-back guys in jeans and T-shirts sipping wine and playing guitars, a harmonica and drums—beckoned a regular from the audience, a woman with a strong, soulful alto voice, to take over the mike.
After wrapping for the night, they made a point of thanking the small group of listeners for stopping in: “We’re here every Sunday from 4 to 8pm, so come back and feel free to spread the word.” (I have a feeling these guys will continue jamming in the back room even if no one shows up to listen.) The beer was so cheap, the music was so easy to listen to—and the vibe was so mellow and unpretentious—that it took the gray right out of the dreary weekend.