Positively Chicago: Bus Driver By Day, Blues Guitarist By Night

(CBS) – He’s a musician, but he’s also a Chicago bus driver.

Toronzo Cannon  finds inspiration for his art by driving the streets of our city. As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports, he’s Positively Chicago.

At the wheel of his bus, Cannon absorbs images of a diverse city and the tragedies and the joy.

“You have songs everywhere, just laying on the ground,” he says.

The driver also is a dazzling and celebrated blues musician.

One job feeds the other.

“Who wants to sing about despair, but it has to be sung. Songs like that must be heard,” Cannon says.

“Truth-telling music” is what Cannon calls the blues, one of Chicago’s greatest exports he brings to enthusiastic audiences all over the world.

“I have men come up to me crying, overseas, ‘Oh my, I love your music,’” he says. “It’s humbling.”

It’s hard to believe he didn’t pick up the guitar until he was 22. But Cannon worked hard, practicing whenever he could.

“I was manager at a movie theatre. I would make sure everyone was in the movie,” he says. “And I would run upstairs stairs and learn ‘Hey Joe.’”

Today, to accommodate a jammed packed concert schedule, Cannon works four, 10-hour days for the CTA and performs on weekends.

He says he works so much to provide good health benefits to his family.

“I don’t care if I have a cough, but if my daughter coughs I have to take care of that,” he says.

So, for now, it’s double-duty for Cannon.

He performs in Chicago on June 8 at Buddy Guy’s Legends.

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