Touted blues singer performs Saturday

Published 6:54 am Friday, April 2, 2010

Chicago blues makes its way to Austin this weekend with soulful songstress Nora Jean Bruso.

Bruso sings at the Paramount Theatre Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in a concert also featuring blues band Little Bobby and the Storm.

Bruso’s gospel-influenced blues have been called “show-stopping” and earned her a title as “the next queen of blues” by Chicago-area critics.

Hailing originally from Greenwood, Miss., a town famous for resident and blues great Robert Johnson. Less famous blues musicians from the area include Bruso’s father and uncle.

Bruso’s family moved to Clarksdale, Miss. when she was a young girl. It was there, working in the cotton fields alongside her family, where Bruso began singing the blues, according to her biography.

Since moving to Chicago in 1976, Bruso has appeared at major festivals throughout Europe and the United States, including the King Biscuit Festival in Helena, Ark., and the Chicago Blues Festivals. She has appeared on several blues records as well as solo CDs.

Bruso received a “Keeping the Blues Alive” award from the Black History Association for her 2002 comeback; a Big City Blues five star rating for her 2003 CD “Nora Jean Bruso Sings the Blues”; was named one of 10 Great Women in Chicago Blues by Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry; and was nominated for a 2009 Blues Music Award in the “Traditional Female Blues Artist of the Year” category.

Bruso plays in St. Paul clubs before and after her Austin appearance and heads back to Chicago for the 2010 Chicago Blues Festival in June.

Tickets to see Bruso at the Paramount Theatre are $8 for adults and $5 for students.

For more information go to www.norajeanblues.com.

Nora Jean Bruso Concert

Where: The Paramount Theatre

125 Fourth Ave. NE

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $8 for adults, $5 for students