Monday night near the blues Capital Chicago

Posted on 5/27/2009 by Monica Yasher

80 Miles south of Chicago with Ana Popovic

I have been fortunate enough to see Ana Popovic perform in a small venue located in Bradley, Illinois. It was then and still is struggling to survive. The club contains two main bars, one in the front and one in the back. The back bar is where they have live music and that area seats about 75 people.

I first heard of Ana in Vintage Guitar magazine. My friend Ricky directed me to the article. Rocking Rick, as I call him, is a walking encyclopedia of musical trivia. Ricky served as “Question Mark and the Mysterions” road manager for three years (96 Tears). When Rick tells me about an artist I have a tendency to listen. The man knows what he’s talking about and I thank him for leading me to Ana.

I walked into that Bradley club and paid the $5 cover. You are reading that correctly 5 bucks. The stage was set with all the equipment and the blues were pounding through the sound system. The show was sponsored by a local blues organization called “The Friends of The Blues”. The only requirement for membership is to attend the gigs. Kind of a loose knit bunch of blues fanatics very weird, but fun. They book bands that are in between gigs. They offer the visiting groups food and lodging and some spending money.

Ana’s band opened up with a couple of numbers. They were quite good. Then it was Ana’s turn. You know how a picture sometimes does not capture the essence of its subject. I had seen her photo in Vintage guitar magazine, but was not prepared for the person. Ana is HOT!!!!!!!!!!

Every head in the club turned and every eye fixated on her pure beauty. She slowly walked from the back of the room towards the front like a Queen. She climbed the four steps that led up to the stage as if she was Queen Cleopatra and Queen for the night she was. She carried a royal scepter and it was her Fender Stratocaster. She carried that guitar like a mother carries a newborn child. She hooked it up counted 1,,2,,3,,4,, and she took us into a steamy den of iniquity. She caressed that strat with such pure innocent sexuality that half, no three quarters, of our jaws dropped. I overheard one woman tell her boyfriend that all the men in the place wanted to make love to her and some of the women too. At that point in time every mothers son was love smitten. Her love flowed through the crowd like fog rolls into a seaside town and we breathed deep, very deep. You know the old adage if you look up a certain word you will find a picture of someone next to it. Go ahead and look up the word sexuality Ana Popovics picture is next to it. She handles a guitar like an exotic dancer handles a pole. I wish I could be her Stratocaster for just one gig.

Once you get past her unusual beauty and extreme sexuality you find a very accomplished talented guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, a woman after my own heart. Her musicality is way beyond most current artists. In short she has SOUL and knows how to use it. Her playing comes from a much deeper place then few have ever been.

She was raised in war torn Serbia and lived there during the horrid years of the Milosovic regime (1990-1996). Milosovic was a tyrants’ tyrant. He was directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. Can you imagine walking down the street to get basic necessities while snipers try to kill you? Crime was rampant and unemployment was at a record 80%. That is a form of the blues that few people have ever experienced.

Out of tragedy comes goodness and that goodness is Ana Popovic. She is a blues angel sent to us from a very special place and no one can deny her right to play the blues. Thank you Ana , thank you.

I have to admit I am in love with Ana and I would gladly string her guitar anytime, anywhere, any place.

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
Nelson offers a Friday column of blues photography and pictorial support for the interviews covered by the team.

Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

We head to the big state of Texas! Abby Owen, our Texas correspondent.

Another big area to cover, the West Coast with Casey Reagan, Casey will feature many artists and events on this ocean's shores.

Lastly, we have our roving blues entertainment writer,
Chef Jimi.

And of course, we will surprise you sometimes!

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