President Obama has been stretching his vocal chords these days. On Tuesday night, he showed his melodic skills by singing Sweet Home Chicago during an intimate blues show at the White House.
On Tuesday night, the East Room of the White House became a blues club, featuring some of the most famous names in the biz - like Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Jeff Beck and Mick Jagger. But, the most notable performance of the night was when President Obama sang an impromptu performance of Sweet Home Chicago.
Buddy Guy cajoled the president into singing the tune of his hometown. You gotta keep it up, he said, referring to Obama's singing Al Green's Let's Stay Together recently.
Come on, baby don't you want to go, the president sang. He then handed the mic to King before taking it back to sing the last bars of Sweet Home Chicago.
Obama said that there are times when being the president is difficult; but, on nights like Tuesday, celebrating something intrinsically American and wholly unifying, it is all worthwhile.
This music speaks to something universal, Obama declared. No one goes through life without both joy and pain, triumph and sorrow. The blues gets all of that, sometimes with just one lyric or one note.
Michelle Obama swayed along while the all-star guests performed songs like St. James Infirmary, Let Me Love You, Brush with the Blues I Can't Turn You Loose and Commit a Crime. The final song of the evening was Sweet Home Chicago.
For Michelle and me, the president said, there's no blues like the song our artists have chosen to close with - the blues from our hometown.
Obama's musical performance comes on the heels of his official campaign playlist release. The playlist includes the following tunes:
Different People - No Doubt Got to Get You Into My Life - Earth, Wind & Fire Green Onions - Booker T & The MG's I Got You - Wilco Keep on Pushing - The Impressions Keep Reachin' Up - Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators Love You I Do? - Jennifer Hudson No Nostalgia - AgesAndAges Raise Up - Ledisi Stand Up - Sugarland This - Darius Rucker We Used To Wait - Arcade Fire You've Got the Love - Florence and the Machine Your Smiling Face - James Taylor Roll with the Changes - REO Speedwagon Everyday America - Sugarland Learn to Live - Darius Rucker Let's Stay Together - Al Green Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra My Town - Montgomery Gentry The Best Thing about Me Is You - Ricky Martin, featuring Joss Stone You are the Best Thing - Ray Lamontagne Keep Marchin' - Raphael Saadiq Tonight's The Kind of Night - Noah and the Whale We Take Care of Our Own - Bruce Springsteen Keep Me In Mind - Zac Brown Band The Weight - Aretha Franklin Even Better Than The Real Thing - U2 Home - Dierks Bentley.