After he had the privilege of opening for Buddy Guy at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theatre about ten years ago, Milwaukee native Matt Hendricks decided it was time to move to Chicago. He had already been performing here, traveling the ninety miles for one-night gigs in Chicago, and since the move, he has been a ubiquitous presence on Chicago’s off-Lincoln Avenue north-side blues scene, playing solo, in duos, trios, and in bands. Regularly working at Smoke Daddy, Lagunitas Brewery, and the House of the Blues, he also has a residency at Buddy Guy’s Legends where he has been playing every Tuesday and Thursday evening.
After surviving a 2001 car wreck that technically killed him, he regained his skills and then got serious about his music. Through some reverse engineering, Matt Hendricks worked his way back through the history of blues after first hearing the blues of contemporary arena-style blues and rock players, and shortly discovered roots players Charlie Patton, Skip James, Blind Blake, Tampa Red, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. He developed his own manner of fingerpicking and slide guitar and combined it with a languid singing style, with which he sings and talks his story-songs.
He has self-produced about a half-dozen CDs, the latest of which is titled Let Me In, and in 2009 he won Chicago’s Windy City Blues Challenge, and then won it again in 2016.