Calendar

 
Sun, Jul 24 - 3pm - $12adv/$15door
For more than forty years Marty Peifer, Al Day, Bob Long and Steve Hashimoto have been playing music together. They have maintained a close friendship, liberally seasoned with a deep love of music - with just the right amount of silliness sprinkled in.Marty Peifer – A while back, Chicago Magazine named Marty Peifer “The Best All Around Entertainer in Chicago”. It's an indication of the incredible appeal of an artist who combines top contemporary material with the power and talent needed to give all audiences an amazingly special experience. He's billed as a genuine American troubador, a collector and interpreter of songs from a wide spectrum of styles and genres. He appeared in Suburbs of Heaven, a musical review written by Thom Bishop, and has shared stages with Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Tom Paxton, Leo Kotke, Steve Goodman, John Prine, Jimmy Buffet, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Bob Gibson – to name a few.Al Day – One of the finest singer-songwriters in Chicago, Al has appeared at just about every venue in town. Al is a superb guitarist, a fine lyricist with a well-honed sense of the absurd. An excellent entertainer in his own right, Al is loved and respected by all who listen to his growly voice and his beautiful lyrics.Bob Long – Perhaps best known for his membership in the ground-breaking ensemble Street Dancer, Bob is an incredible pianist who understands what fellows musicians need to make a song work. Bob is also an excellent songwriter, and has recorded several of his own CDs. Bob has performed at the Telluride Jazz Festival, as well as the JVC and Saratoga jazz Festivals in New York. He has also performed at the Tonda, Montreux and North Sea jazz Festivals in Europe.Steve Hashimoto – One of, if not the busiest base players in Chicago, Steve is a brilliant overall musician. He has been a mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene for many years. Steve is well known as a bassist, composer and band leader. His groups, Mothra and Suenos Latin Jazz have received critical acclaim.
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Mon, Jul 25 - 8pm - $10
Dance Tribute is a biannual series, in which a collections of songs from a single musician/band/genre/artist are selected and paid tribute to through choreography and performance. Past Dance Tributes include: Mr. Bungle, Bjork, David Lynch, David Bowie, and Aphex Twin.This time around... Dance Tribute to JOCK JAMS!!!What are JOCK JAMS?.. Your favorite nightmare. With cheerleaders!Over 40 Chicago dancers/movers/actors/choreographers are involved with every Tribute. It is a night of dance, happy chums, drinks, grub, laughs, art, and only a few uncomfortable moments. Want to see pictures? Check out the website: http://www.kaseyfoster.com/dance-tribute.html
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Tue, Jul 26 - 8pm - $7
Video Village is a Rock duo from Chicago, IL. Full time members Dan Luke (Guitar and Vocals) and John Gagnon (Drums) have been kicking out tunes spanning a full spectrum that's anywhere from Black Sabbath to The Kills to Black Lips or Nirvana for two and a half years. Their second EP "That Which I Declined" was recorded in May of this year and was self-released in June.
Broken Cycles is an aggressive bass, drum, and guitar trio fueled by nostalgia for 90s grunge and 2000s alternative rock. This powerhouse creates impactful songs that reach out and punch the listener in the gut. Originating in Chicago in 2015, Broken Cycles is currently working on their debut EP.
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Wed, Jul 27 - 8pm - $12adv/$15door
The Vulgar Boatmen are an American rock band formed in Gainesville, Florida in the early 1980s by a group of students at the University of Florida, including John Eder and Walter Salas-Humara. In its original configuration the group issued several cassette-only releases, including Women and Boatmen First (1982) and All Bands on Deck (1984). As first Eder and then Salas-Humara departed, the group coalesced around Robert Ray, a film studies professor at the university, who became one of the group's two principal songwriters and vocalists, the other being Indiana musician Dale Lawrence, a former student of Ray's who was a veteran of the early punk band the Gizmos. The band was named as a play on the term The Volga Boatmen. Though they lived and worked in different states, Ray and Lawrence composed songs by exchanging cassette tapes through the mail. Eventually Lawrence merged his own band, Right to Left, into the Boatmen, who since that time have existed as two distinct performing units. In their revised lineup the Boatmen are known for their straightforward but infectious pop melodies, their stark lyrics -- many of which focus on women and automobile travel -- and for their frequent employment of the viola, an instrument relatively uncommon in rock. At least sixteen musicians have been members of the group at one time or another. In addition to Robert Ray and his wife Helen Kirklin, who plays viola, members of the Florida (recording) branch have included Carey Crane (vocals), Jonathan Kaley-Isley (drums, organ, vocals), and Michael Derry (guitar and drums). Current or former members of the Indiana (touring) Boatmen include Dale Lawrence, Kathy Kolata (viola), Andy Richards (drums), Jake Smith (bass), and Matt Speake (guitar). Since 1989 the Boatmen have recorded three albums, You and Your Sister (1989), Please Panic (1992), and Opposite Sex (1995), the last of which was released by Warner Bros (East/West) in the UK and Europe, but was never released in the US. In 2003 the band issued a compilation album on CD, Wide Awake. As of 2013 the Indiana branch of the Boatmen remains active under the leadership of Lawrence, though the Florida branch appears to be dormant or defunct. In 2010, Fred Uhter released a documentary about the group, entitled Drive Somewhere: The Saga of the Vulgar Boatmen.
A Cuban-American whose parents fled Castro’s Havana with him still in the womb, Walter Salas-Humara was raised bilingual just across the Florida Straits in Fort Lauderdale. College at University of Florida in Gainesville and a residency with the Vulgar Boatmen left him with a lifelong habit of Mudcrutch/Tom Petty-style crunchy guitar riffs. Chasing the punk prairie fire to New York just in time to sift through the ashes, he formed The Silos in 1985 with guitarist Bob Rupe and violinist Mary Rowell, plugging the main cable of American rock idiom into the jerry-rigged soundboard of Velvets-era feral experimentalism. The unlikely result, as evidenced by About Her Steps (1986), the seminal Cuba (1987) and their RCA debut The Silos (i.e., The One with the Bird on the Cover, 1990) was a loose-limbed conceptual country-rock that in turn influenced (if not outright inspired) the alt-country No Depression movement just around the corner. The band was voted Best New American Band in Rolling Stone Magazine's Critics' Poll of 1987 and appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in 1990. With this apocalyptic agrarianism safely encoded in his band's name, Salas-Humara moved on once that lineup had run its course -- taking with him not the country revisionism that by now could have sustained him in an endless holding pattern, but rather the Lower East Side’s fervid avant-gardism, that high-test mixture of aggression and dissonance the neighborhood wears like a jailhouse tattoo. He forged connections in Austin, another lost outpost tailor-made for his particular set of influences, where he formed the poor man’s supergroup the Setters with songwriters Michael Hall of the Wild Seeds and Alejandro Escovedo of the True Believers. Moving to Los Angeles, he recorded and toured with Tom Freund, Manny Verzosa, Jon Dee Graham, Gary Sunshine and Darren Hess. Those middle records – Hasta la Victoria! (1992), Susan Across the Ocean (1994), Heater (and its remixed mutant twin Cooler) (1998) validated the early acclaim and expanded Salas-Humara’s reputation as one of the finest songwriters working in the American vernacular. In 1998, Salas-Humara moved back to New York and formed Silos 3.0, with Konrad Meissner on drums and Drew Glackin on bass and guitar. Throughout the new millennium, the Silos have continued to release an admirable body of work. Laser Beam Next Door (2001) and Come on Like the Fast Lane (2007) are fierce power trio albums that burst with the crackling intensity of proto-punk legends the Velvet Underground and Television. When the Telephone Rings (2004) and Florizona (2011) are intricately crafted productions, densely layered with glittering detail. With the passing of Drew Glackin in 2008, and the addition of Rod Hohl (bass and guitars), Bruce Martin (keyboards) and Jason Victor (guitar), the band has entered a new phase. Walter Salas-Humara and Silos present and past have marshaled the best of America -- our wide tradition, focused innovation and unfettered optimism. Embrace them as a national treasure. 2014 brought the release of a new Walter Salas-Humara solo album, Curve and Shake. Rolling Stone editor Anthony DeCurtis describes the album - “That sense of being untethered from certainties, of floating, permeates Curve and Shake. The feeling is gentle, not quite scary, but with an element of unease. Letting go of expectations combines aspects of sadness, freedom and even wonder. Like so many great singers, Walter communicates as much by what he doesn’t say as by what he does. His raspy tone provides a rich counterpoint to the genial surrealism, the offhand magical realism, of so many of his lyrics. His words are presented as if they’re describing straightforward events, but they speak a rich, associative poetry that evokes emotions more so than facts. His guitar playing is similarly adaptable – raw and stinging one moment, dreamy and droning the next. 2016 has brought the release of 2 new albums. Work: Part One, an acoustic rendering of Walter's best songs written in the 80s, is the first in a series of acoustic albums defining Walter as a singer/songwriter. It is produced by guitarist extraordinaire Richard Brotherton and includes familiar Silos Mary Rowell on violin and Amy Allison on supporting voice. Explodes and Disappears is an album of new songs, the follow up to Curve and Shake. Walter sings witty songs about modern life, rocks a sweet Spanish melody on guitar, swings a sexy jazz number, and then reaches deep for a soulful expression of values in a troubled world. He tops it all with a funky number chronicling 3 American misfits searching for peace of mind and headed for disaster on the shores of Mexico -- all skillfully blended into a seamless flow. Walter Salas-Humara has shared the stage with the following greats: Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Matthew Sweet, American Music Club, Chris Whitley, Hootie and The Blowfish, Violent Femmes, The Jayhawks, Yo La Tengo, Certain General, The Reivers, The True Believers, The Wild Seeds, Victoria Williams, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Mark Ribot, Ryan Adams, Jon Dee Graham, Alejandro Escovedo, Let's Active, Young Fresh Fellows, Miracle Legion, Living Color, Souled American, The Minus 5, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, Jon Langford, The Waco Brothers, Chuck Prophet, Jerry Joseph, Caitlin Cary, Anders Parker, Tom Freund, Centro-Matic, Spottiswoode and his Enemies, Lynyrd Skynyrd, …to name a few.
Led by the husband-and-wife team of singer/guitarist Jake Smith and drummer Freda Love (formerly of the Blake Babies), the Evanston-based alternative pop band the Mysteries of Life debuted with the album "Keep a Secret” on RCA in 1996. Following a pair of indie label EPs, the Mysteries resurfaced with the full-length "Come Clean" on RCA in 1998. They later released several indie albums: "Distant Relative" (2001) and "Beginning To Move" (2006). They have recently released an EP of new material, “Bad Advice,” available at https://themysteriesoflife.bandcamp.com/releases
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Thu, Jul 28 - 8pm - $10
The Grateful String Band puts an bluegrass spin on the music of the Grateful Dead! Anything related is fair game too. Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, David Grisman, Old & In The Way, and of course, Bill Monroe! TGSB's family includesJim Boukas - guitarKris Nowak - guitarDuff Driscoll - uprightEric Lambert - guitarMatt Arendt - guitarBen Wright - banjoJason Berger - mandoSteve Haberichter - mandoPat Lyons - mando/dobroTom Murray - fiddleWavy Dave - banjoGreg Morland - mandoDan Andree - fiddleSpencer Savoie - banjoGrateful Gary - upright bassJames Chrzan - keysMike Krieglstein - upright bass
What began as a few friends playing songs down by the Fox river has now formed to become the bluegrass/newgrass band that is the River Valley Rangers. They have developed a high-energy stringband sound that will keep you stompin’ your boots all night long! The Rangers have shared the bill with acts such as the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, the Larry Keel Experience, Hot Buttered Rum, Pert Near Sandstone, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Henhouse Prowlers, and many more. Burning like a Midwestern prairie fire, they aren’t slowing down any time soon!
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Fri, Jul 29 - 9pm - $8
Stampy is a mutation of several already established Chicago-scene acts. The diversity of musical styles combined with the longstanding friendships of Stampy's members contributes to a new and upcoming flavor of music that will soon be served at a venue near you.Stampy's sound is produced by an eclectic cast of musicians from Chicago groups In La Kesh, Terrapin Flyer, SMOKER, The Great Sky Band, Doug Shotwell and the Right Hand Band, The Dancehall Twigs, The Dropper, The Localvores, and The Blind Staggers. With influences spanning multiple genres and artists, Stampy's original material travels many musical avenues. From soulful grooves to high energy dual guitar solos, Stampy brings a versatile set to the table that is sure to please a variety of palates. Stampy is about to finish up their debut LP with Treehouse Records, set to release sometime late summer 2016.
The Selectones are a 7 piece reggae/ska band from Chicago. Formed in the Fall of 2015, The Selectones boast a full 3 piece horn section, stunning and powerful vocals and harmonies, and a solid rhythm section, which all blend seamlessly together to create an incredibly tight sound. Bolstered by an unmatched energy, their style of reggae and ska begs to be danced to, assuring their live shows are not to be missed. With their first official studio release forthcoming, The Selectones are set to explode onto the Chicago music scene in 2016.
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Sat, Jul 30 - 3pm - $10 - ALL AGES
OPEN
Sat, Jul 30 - 7pm - $10adv/$12door
Hailing from Chicago, Suspicious Fires burns through your stereo with crashing drums, jangling guitar riffs, spine-tingling vocal harmonies, booming bass and a raucous rockery that mixes grunge with new pop sensibilities. Coming to a dive bar near you.
Smidgen are the makers of neo-classic rock with strong melodic hooks and a good dash of alternative vibe that makes great music. These Chicago music veterans have a strong lead vocalist and dynamic musical chops that have impressed audiences with packing local venues like Elbo Room, Hard Rock Cafe, Reggies, and Red Line Tap. Get free downloads of their album/cd and watch their videos at smidgenmusic.com., Hard Rock Cafe, Reggies, and Red Line Tap. Get free downloads of their album/cd and watch their videos atsmidgenmusic.com
Curious Grace & Black Rabbit is the newest indie art rock collective featuring the work of husband-wife songwriting duo Tom and Mary Erangey. It’s a music-melding experience that unites the talents of six performers who draw on everything from 70s/80s Brit rock, jazz, and classical, to Irish traditional, show tunes, and metal rock.
Just when you thought it was safe to listen to pop music, Van Go comes tearing by like a tornado through a trailor park. Yeah, we like memorable melodies, raggedy guitar sounds, sing-along choruses, MSG in our Chinese food and right turns on red---especially in school zones. So what are YOU going to do about it? Hooks so big you can hang an entire side of beef on them. Guitars so fat that they stick to leather chairs in the humid Chicago summers. Drums so drum-like that we can't even think of another analogy to go over the top with. Fact is, we won't sleep at night until we force every pop music lover in the USA, hell maybe even the damn whole world, to have our songs rattling around in their heads like a pachinko ball played by a rabid Japanese dowager until they beg for mercy. Remember the magic; remember ...Van Go.
The Chicago trip hop band, Our Fathers began as a duo between vocalist Madeline Smith and instrumentalist Brandon Suarez. The two recorded dozens of tracks before discovering the talents of Sam Johnson (keyboard/guitar) and Alvin Varghese (drums). The band experiments with blending hip hop beats with smooth, occasional 'jazzy' instrumentals to create a noir pop sound. The instrumentals are then garnished by sluggish yet poignant vocals that both penetrate and mount the music.
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Mon, Aug 1 - 8pm - $5
Kilgubbin Brothers features Chicago fiddle legend and band leader Sean Cleland (Drovers, Bohola) & powerhouse percussionist Jackie Moran (Drovers, Comas) on vocals, bodhran, banjo and shoe with All-Ireland Fiddle Champion Brendan Bulger, Master guitarist Jesse Langen (Ensemble Dal Niente) and Ray Quinn (producer Laurence Nugent, Bua) on electric guitar and voice. With a focus on songs and tunes from the rich history of Irish music in Chicago, Kilgubbin Brothers will be here the first and last Mondays of the month, Slainte!
Picking up the banners of our immigrant forebearers to celebrate both victories and defeats. Irish-American Dynamite Skunks bred here in the states.
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Wed, Aug 3 - 7pm - $20
The Chicago Tribune: “I have seen the future of rock 'n' roll, and its name is Tributosaurus.”Tributosaurus strives to do for rock and roll what a symphony orchestra does for classical; treat the music with the respect it deserves, and deliver it to a listener’s ear in glorious detail. They accomplish this goal by utilizing the finest musicians Chicagoland has to offer, and by cutting no corners. If a Stevie Wonder tune has 6 horns, 3 keyboards, and 4 strings, then that’s what you get on stage. If a Santana song needs 3 guitars and 4 percussionists, so be it. Every month, one band is given the treatment, now totaling more than 90 over the first 9 years of the project. The members of Tributosaurus are musical anthropologists, as songs are excavated, dissected, and reconstituted to replicate the original with proper reverence. They aren’t really a tribute band, but are every tribute band. There are no costumes and there is no make-up, because with Tributosaurus, the music is the star.The band is comprised of five core members (Dan Leali, Curt Morrison, Chris Neville, Jon Paul, and Matt Spiegel), who are joined by artists with credits too numerous to mention. Tributosaurus has sold out shows all over Chicago, and their gigs are an event. Fans commune with the musicians, paying homage to songs that made us all fall in love with music in the first place.
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Thu, Aug 4 - 7pm - $10
Characterized by the baritone vocals of Nate Donnis, the precise/intricate rhythm section of Phil Woodring (Drums) and Denis Sluka (Bass), the Donnis Trio is a folk/rock band from San Diego, Ca. Their music has received over 25 million plays on Pandora radio and music from their albums has been placed in shows like Skins (UK), Breaking Amish, 90210, MTV, and more. Stylistically their music gravitates towards influences such as Tom Waits, Wilco, and Eddie Vedder. Their latest album "Chroma" furthers this tradition with rich arrangements and artfully crafted songs.
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Thu, Aug 4 - 9:30pm - No Cover
free
A night of drinking, dancing, socializing, networking and non-stop music since 1991. For die hard rockabilly devotees and civilian music fans. Over the last decade, this highly organized vibrant jam session, held the first Thursday of every month at Martyrs', has become rockabilly central for many of the musicians & fans of Chicago's American roots scene. Although the monthly jam is devoted to rockabilly, the Big C Jamboree has also offered the span of '40's-'50's Amereicn roots music from Hillbilly Boogie to Western Swing, Jump Blues and 1st generation Rock-n-Roll. The night is run swiftly and simply: a host band performs a short set, followed by a myriad of roots musicians who do 3 songs each. The party like atmosphere includes socializing, drinking & dancing galore while the rotating line-up onstage usually features the raucous sounds of pompadoured rockabilly musicians wailing away on upright basses and hallow-bodied electric guitars; and there's NEVER a cover! It's one of the most dedicated evenings of music in the city.
Tikis are Chicago's premier surf and instrumental band.
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Fri, Aug 5 & Tue, Aug 9 - 8pm - $44
***ALL AGES SHOW!***COMBO TICKET to enjoy both shows at a reduced price!
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Fri, Aug 5 - 8pm - $25
***ALL AGES SHOW!***The Drumming All Stars are back in Chicago and ONLY at Martyrs’! Join us for two amazing concerts on August 5 and 9. On August 5, Mark Guiliana (David Bowie/Brad Mehldau) brings his next-generation skills to the stage. Mark’s band with Donny McCaslin was featured on Blackstar, David Bowie’s final release. Then, Virgil Donati (Steve Vai/Planet X) brings his legendary progressive rock skills to the stage! Virgil is one of most exciting and intricate drummers on the planet. Both drummers will play a variety of tunes with an all-star band, featuring Baron Browne (Billy Cobham/Jean-Luc Ponty), Vinny Valentino (George Benson/Vital Information), Chrissi Poland (Dave Weckl/Sam Moore), and Chicago native Stu Mindeman (Kurt Elling/Gloria Estefan). You can expect both drummers to jam at the end! Get your ticket here, or purchase a COMBO TICKET to enjoy both shows at a reduced price!
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Sat, Aug 6 - 9pm - $8
Groove Witness is a 5-piece funk/jazz/soul band from Chicago. Following in the tradition of other jazz-funk groups like Liquid Soul, Galactic, and Soulive, Groove Witness plays mostly instrumentals, occasionally adding vocals when the collective muse demands it. Groove Witness plays mostly original songs, and most of the band's original music is collectively composed by the entire band. A tune is usually born with a contribution from a single member - an entire form and chord progression; a simple bass line and a bit of a melody; a guitar riff and a couple chords - and then the band goes through many live iterations of a tune, trying out different musical ideas and concepts before settling on the final arrangement. This organic process keeps the music original and fresh, and tunes evolve somewhat of their own volition as they are played time and again in rehearsal. Our collective musical soul is rooted in jazz harmony and rhythm with a good helping of funk, soul, and rock flavor as well. We hope you dig the music... we have lots of fun playing it.
Enveloping synthesizers and moody vocals abound, JETDRIVER is a unique band with a unique original name. Founder synthesist Christian Xavier trades lead vocals and harmonies with bass playing chanteuse Erica Ramanauskas along to an array of rippling guitars and a rhythm section more complex but just as moving as such influences as The Cure, Joy Division and The Psychedelic Furs. No slaves of musical fashion, JETDRIVER wears their inspiration proudly but writes new songs for the present day denizens of the night and nightclubs.
Jesse Santoyo is a Mexican American singer/songwriter and actor born and raised in Pilsen, a Latino neighborhood in Chicago. Jesse currently lives in Nashville TN with his wife and children. His close friends know him as “fuser,” A nickname given to him by his younger brother. Jesse has been performing and writing music since the age of 15 both as a guitarist and drummer. His music and lyrics take him back to his tough upbringing in Chicago. Raised by his Mom and Dad who migrated from Mexico to the US, his journey has been far from the fairytale but of a story of survival and triumph. Jesse has collaborated with many artists in Chicago and other US cities and continues to do so. He was the front man for a Chicago based band for almost 8yrs and worked hard on building trust and a faithful following of supporters in the Chicago scene, Miami, Nashville and parts of Asia. Jesse recently took on his first solo music endeavor by writing and producing an acoustic EP that is set to release 12.12.11. The EP titled ‘-fuser+” features songs and dark romantic stories set to an acoustic guitar a sea of live strings and subtle percussion. This is the first of multiple EP’s set to release in 2012. Jesse continues to work as an Indy artist and continues to collaborate with others in the arts, music, film and humanitarian efforts overseas.
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Mon, Aug 8 - 8pm - $7
Congress of Starlings is a long-time favorite on the Chicago indie folk rock scene. Aerin Tedesco and Andrea Bunch have been called ‘two of the most beautiful noises on the planet.’ Lindsay Weinberg rounds out the complex and heavenly harmonies. Greg Nergaard and Janet Cramer lay a skilled groove foundation under gorgeous original tunes. The Starlings have brought their music to dozens of famous venues like Milwaukee’s Summerfest, The National Women’s Music Festival, Halsted Market Days and to beloved Chicago venues like Martyrs'!
Chris's move to center stage comes after 15 years working as a sideman in Chicago bands like The Right Now and 56 Hope Road. After digging into his love of songwriting, Chris began giving a few of his favorite songs the acoustic treatment at his many solo shows - but now he and his band take them to new heights. A rock-n-roll kid addicted to soul music, Chris blends heavy backup vocals with a rock-band framework and comes out with heartfelt songs that skew toward Elvis Costello or Sly & The Family Stone. The band behind him (Greg Nergaard, Anne Hamilton-Katzfey, Bob Garrett, and Andrea Bunch), bring their own wealth of talent and experience to each song, knowing innately just how rough or delicate to be, and the result is stirring. Chris has been playing lead and rhythm guitar on the Chicago music scene since the late 90s with acts like The Right Now, 56 Hope Road, and many others. He's toured much of the US and played nearly 2,000 shows, opening for acts like George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic, Fitz & The Tantrums, Bernie Worrell, Soulive, and others.
John Mead is a Chicago-based musician, writer, artist, and teacher. His band, Coyotes, is a vehicle for his original songs—dark, lyrical music that displays influences from ‘70s soul to Led Zeppelin to Dylan. The band includes singer/guitarist Andrea Bunch of Congress of Starlings, Little Queens, and Crumbs Off the Table, singer/keyboardist Lindsay Weinberg of Lindsay and the Lights Go Out and the Yeh-Yehs, bassist Greg Nergaard of numerous Chicago bands including The Right Now, and drummer Peter Manis of Mystery Train and Great Moments in Vinyl.
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Tue, Aug 9 - 8pm - $25
***ALL AGES SHOW!***The Drumming All Stars are back in Chicago and ONLY at Martyrs’! Join us for two amazing concerts on August 5 and 9. On August 9, Antonio Sanchez (Pat Metheny/Birdman Soundtrack) brings his incredible Latin and jazz playing to the stage. Then, drumming legend Dave Weckl (Chick Corea/Mike Stern) returns with his amazing jazz fusion an funk playing. You can expect Antonio to join him on the stage before it’s all over! Both drummers will play a variety of tunes with an all-star band, featuring Baron Browne (Billy Cobham/Jean-Luc Ponty), Vinny Valentino (George Benson/Vital Information), Chrissi Poland (Dave Weckl/Sam Moore), and Chicago native Stu Mindeman (Kurt Elling/Gloria Estefan). Get your ticket here, or purchase a COMBO TICKET to enjoy both shows at a reduced price!
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Thu, Aug 11 - 7:30pm - $10
Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Genesis etc.): I love the CD...the sheer skill and gusto with which they tackle it makes you laugh out loud. Great drumming. Jonathan plays and writes like a demon. Congratulations to them.John Wetton (King Crimson, UK, Asia): 'Can't take you with me' is dynamite. I wish you luck, you're a good band, and deserve success, see you on the broad highway.Roine Stolt (Flower Kings, Transatlantic): Your band is one of the very few I can see a real true potential in and I'm sure you have many new fabulous albums coming in the near future.Jim Derogatis (NPR's "Sound Opinions", Rolling Stone Magazine): District 97 is a wildly ambitious progressive-rock group whose youth belies its accomplishments onstage and on its new "Hybrid Child" CD.District 97 is undoubtedly the most musically adventurous rock band in the world to feature an American Idol Top 10 Female Finalist. The release of 2012's critically-acclaimed Trouble With Machines ushered in an exciting era for the Chicago-based Progressive Rock band; In 2013, the band toured both Europe and the US with legendary bassist and vocalist John Wetton (King Crimson/UK/Asia), which was documented on 2014's live release, One More Red Night: Live in Chicago. 2013 also saw the band nominated for a Breakthrough Artist Award by Prog Magazine. Rather than rest on their laurels, District 97 took to the studio in 2014 to record the new material they'd been honing at home and on the road. The resulting album, In Vaults (due in June 2015), continues and accelerates the upward trajectory of great songwriting and incredible musicianship that's been evident since the band's 2010 debut, Hybrid Child. One listen perfectly illustrates why John Wetton says, “I've said it before, and I maintain that D97 is the best young progressive band around right now. Gifted players, great material, and a brilliant, charismatic singer in Leslie Hunt."DISTRICT 97 was formed in the fall of 2006 by drummer Jonathan Schang, keyboardist Rob Clearfield, bassist Patrick Mulcahy and guitarist Sam Krahn (replaced in 2008 by current guitarist Jim Tashjian). The foursome from Chicago honed a no-holds barred style of Liquid Tension Experiment-inspired Instrumental Rock before deciding the right vocalist was needed to complement their sound; enter 2007 American Idol Top 10 Female Finalist, Leslie Hunt. With a look, sound and stage presence comparable to a young Ann Wilson from Heart, Leslie's dynamic performances pushed the band into a new direction that forged a unique marriage between accessible, catchy vocal melodies and an adventurous instrumental prowess. She was followed shortly thereafter by one of Chicago's finest young guitarists, Jim Tashjian. With this new blend of charisma and stellar musicianship in place, their live shows over the past several years at festivals such as RoSfest and Prog Dreams II, and numerous appearances across the USA, UK and Europe cemented the band as a force to be reckoned with onstage, as well as in the recording studio.In August 2015, Rob Clearfield and Patrick Mulcahy left the group and were eventually succeeded by Andrew Lawrence and TIm Seisser, respectively. The new lineup will debut in tours across Europe and the US in 2016.
Mano is a heavy rock chimera breaking through beyond the gate, spewing flames from its neck,the inside of which is armored with scar tissue from infancy onwards. It has waited all its life forits righteous moment of power and is hell bent on annihilation. Completion is a vision bathed inembers; metamorphosing in an instant from middle eastern-grooves to tumultuous rockfrenzies. The collective members of Mano push their razor-sharp tones to the limit in virtuosicgroup improvisation. At its core, Mano is a rock trio, but at its most barren, Mano brings themoment down to a simmer bustling with subterranean tension instituted largely in part by the[insert pretentious adjective] string section. A flute tops this most unholy concoction. The sonictendencies invoke images of desolate sandscapes with the dusty copper only interrupted by theblack of the ashen state of now dissolved life.
Bad Forum consists of Larry Beers (Sonia Dada; Michael McDermott; Mavis Staples; Ulele, and Mucca Pazza) on drums, ace sound-man James Coffey (Dagnabbit; Urban Twang) on guitar, and Mitch Straeffer (Falstaff; Space Rhino; Motion to Fix; and Ziplock and the Body-bags) on bass. Formed By Coffey in 1999 from members of his favorite bands that he mixed for at numerous Chicago venues, the lineup has achieved a solid following of fans who enjoy the band’s unique instrumental rock. The music is based, according to Coffey, on jump blues and swing riffs, but quickly the band expanded from those beginnings into a type of experimental surf, with each player contributing to the compositions. Bad Forum consistently challenges the notion of what music is and can be."
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Fri, Aug 12 - 9:30 - $25
Whether seen on HBO’s Treme or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they have also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound. “Rebirth can be precise whenever it wants to,” says The New York Times, “but it’s more like a party than a machine. It’s a working model of the New Orleans musical ethos: as long as everybody knows what they’re doing, anyone can cut loose.” In the wake of the sometimes-stringent competition among New Orleans brass bands, Rebirth is the undisputed leader of the pack, and they show no signs of slowing down.Following the Grammy-winning Rebirth of New Orleans, Rebirth Brass Band is at it again with Move Your Body, an infectious, groove-laden collection of hip-shakers sure to saturate the dance floor.Rollicking originals like "Who's Rockin, Who's Rollin'"? and "Take 'Em to the Moon" reaffirm the band's position as head of the brass throne while the rasta-esque "On My Way" and leave-nothing-to-the-imagination lyrics of "HBNS" showcase the unit's talent for penning unabashed party starters.Boasting a mastery of Rebirth's signature "heavy funk" sound, Move Your Body pushes and swings, leaving behind an 11 track thumbprint, approved by the Frazier brothers themselves, of a sultry Tuesday night spent dancing on their home court at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans.
In November of 2012, Robert Dicke began hosting a weekly jam session at The Tonic Room in Chicago. The house band began as a rotating cast but very quickly found it’s core members— guitarist Jared Rabin, bassist Dan Kristan, keyboardist Carl Kennedy, and of course Robert Dicke behind the drums— the Calamity Flamtet was born. The sound of the band is the ever elusive fusion of Jazz, Funk, and Rock. There is a fine wave that the band attempts to ride by including elements from these genres, while maintaining the essence of each. By the time Dicke’s Jam Session came to a close at the end of 2014, the group had developed a cohesiveness that was undeniable and that would be unfair to keep from the general public. A decision was made to document this original music and give the band a chance to thrive in other clubs and musical circles. Dicke was able to obtain a grant from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation that made it possible for them to record nine of his original compositions. The debut album “Class” is a bit of a play on words. The Tonic Room is located just a half block from DePaul University School of Music, where the group met and where Dicke was completing his Masters Degree while running the jam session. The album will be released at the end of August and the saga will continue.
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Sat, Aug 13 - 9pm - $12adv/$15door
Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, 5-piece modern-folk Americana act, The Way Down Wanderers, draw listeners in with energy, originality and soulful generosity. Playing, performing and writing together for just 2 years, the Wanderers have built an enthusiastic and fast-growing following. Youthful and professionally trained, these young men captivate audiences with soaring instrumentals, foot stomping sing-alongs and a lively stage show and have created a buzz for themselves with their unplugged, off-stage encores and propensity for performing self-titled, “restSTOMPS” - free acoustic sets at rest & truck stops along their tour routes. The band’s debut EP, "Path to Follow” and their brand new live EP, “Wellspring” are available wherever music is sold. The band’s first full-length album, produced by Mike Marsh of the Avett Brothers and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso TX, is due to release on July 15th of 2016.
Idea Garden is an original acoustic duo, named after a small plot in the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign Arboretum. Dan Andree on Fiddle/Vocals, and Aaron Dorfman on Guitar/Vocals, perform a set primarily of original songs sprinkled with contemporary covers and traditional classics. Aaron's hard and clean flat-picking cuts right through his buttery voice as Dan's soaring fiddle lines put air in his bellowing lungs. The audience is taken for a sonorous adventure of sight, sound, and sentiment as the music softly suggests to sit a spell and stop to smell the flowers.
Formed in the summer of 2014, Still Shine is a group of like-minded, seasoned musicians blending acoustic roots and progressive bluegrass. Mixing mandolin, harmonica, banjo, acoustic guitar, upright bass, and tight harmonies they quickly gained a following around Central Illinois area and the local Midwest. Along with some well received original music, the band performs an upbeat, energetic show you won't want to miss!. They're sure to get your toes a tappin' and your shine on!!
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Tue, Aug 16 - 7pm - $20
Skerryvore first formed on the tiny lsle of Tiree off Scotland's west coast in 2005. Back then, the band consisted of Tiree-born brothers Daniel Gillespie (accordion) andMartin Gillespie (bagpipes, whistles & accordion) who bonded with holidaymaker Fraser West (drums & vocals) and friend Alec Dalglish (lead vocals & guitar) over a shared love of music: everything from traditional to rock and iazz. It was this mix of musical styles and sounds that set the path for the band's 2005 debut album, 'West Coast Life.’ The more the fledgling band experimented with fusing together this mix of musical styles, the more their signature sound evolved, aided by the arrival of Barry Caulfield (bass & vocals) and Craig Espie (fiddle) in time for their second album, 'On The Road', in 2007.But it was with the release of self-titled third album, 'Skerryvore', that the band found themselves catapulted into the musical limelight winning a string of prestigiousawards, including SNMA Record of the Year 2011 and STMA Live Act of the Year 2011, and garnering much critical acclaim:"Skerryvore are the most promising young band in Scotland today''Mick MacNeil, Simple MindsIn June 2012 the band released what is undeniably their most polished and radioready album to date. 'World of Chances' weaves together the band's spine-tingling musical talents with the award winning songwriting abilities of frontman Alec Dalglish(Frankie Miller Songwriter of the Year 2011). At times uplifting, at times reflective, the result is a brighter, breezier, feel good sound that looks set to broaden the band's appeal even further. In Autumn 2012, bassman Barry Caulfield decided to move on and was replaced by former Wolfstone bassist, Colin Cunningham.When not touring the different corners of the globe, the band can still be found performing relentlessly, contributing to projects by Live Music Now (LMN), The Royal Blind School, Artlink Central and HMP Cornton Vale as well as special needs schools throughout the UK. They also feature in a current VisitScotland TV commercial aimedat international audiences.To quote the words of one local journalist:"Six of the best musical ambassadors Scotland could ever have wished for... a living,breathing, l2 legged party waiting to happen."The Falkirk Herald, Scotland
More often than not, the road to country music stardom originates in Texas, Tennessee, or another time-honored Southern destination. John Ballantyne’s story arc reads way different. Fast becoming recognized as one of Chicago’s premier country singers and songwriters, Ballantyne was born and raised in Scotland, though you’d never know it from his earthy vocal delivery and immaculate lead guitar. Both resonate with the twang and raunch of classic honky-tonk country, also known these days as Americana. A frequent presence on the Chicago club circuit, John and his band Crazy Heart ( Bassist Gus Noble, and drummer Leslie Walle-Santos) will take their musical exploits to a whole new level this year, building on a recent hugely successful tour of Scotland , the highlight of which was two mainstage appearances at the prestigious Tiree Music Festival.
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Wed, Aug 17 - 9pm - $20
Terrapin Flyer began in 1999 as the house band for the Sunday Grateful Dead Jam at the Boulevard Cafe in Chicago. Through the many associations developed there and many that have continued since, the band has grown into one of the premier Grateful Dead inspired touring acts in the nation. Terrapin Flyer has been performing with a revolving cast of some of the finest musicians in the Grateful Dead family and continuing the tradition of bringing the familiar music of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band to bold new improvisational places. The band draws from the a variety of skilled musicians including Grateful Dead keyboardists Tom Constanten, Bob Bralove and Vince Welnick (RIP). They also tour with Jerry Garcia Band organist Melvin Seals and Ratdog guitarist Mark Karan. Additionally, they have done one off shows with guest musicians such as grammy award winning blues harpist Sugar Blue, guitar prodigy Fareed Haque, Furthur guitarist John Kadlecik and musician, songwriter and music journalist David Gans. With these icons of Grateful Dead music, Terrapin Flyer has performed at prominent venues and headlined large festivals across the United States keeping the spirit of the Grateful Dead alive.
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Thu, Aug 18 - 8pm - $10
Business As Usual is a four piece dance-rock band based out of Chicago, IL. Forming in 2013, they’ve spent the last year playing high energy, multi-set shows all over Chicago. Each BAU show is a one-of-a-kind experience, taking the listener on a musical journey. Seamlessly blending elements of rock, electronica, funk, dub, and even bits of ska, the genre-hopping quartet is able to launch off into sections of exciting and memorable improvisation as they guide through different odds and ends of their catchy compositions. You've just been warned, your next Business meeting is mandatory.
Earphorik is a Progressive rock, jam band based out of Fort Wayne, IN. Comprised of: Chris Treesh, Austin Robinson, Nolan Opper and Ryan Moreno. Showcasing high-energy funk, vast genre ranges, and explosive peaks. Formed in 2013 as a collaboration of several Fort Wayne IN area bands, Earphorik released their first album "A Year From All Angles" to spotify and Itunes in August 2014 and are preparing to release a new album recorded at Boondock Studio in Niles, MI, which is being produced and mastered by Jake Cinninger. The album will drop in early 2016. Earphorik has made a defining presence in the Midwest and several venues while also having multiple sit ins by some very well known artists such as Nick Gerlach (TURBO SUIT),Rob Chafin (THE WERKS),George Gekas (THE REVIVALISTS), Jesse Clayton (FAREED HAQUE) and Jake Cinninger (UMPHREYS MCGEE) and several festivals including Hyperion and Summer Camp Music festival.
Ocean Disco started out on the streets of New Orleans playing clubs in the historic french quarter neighborhood in 2014. Influenced heavily by electronic music, hip hop, jazz and the New Orleans funk music scene the group melds together these influences to create a truly unique musical atmosphere. Using a combination of electrified instruments, digital samples, and analogue synthesizers, the band strives to create an interactive musical odyssey at their live shows. Capturing the full spectrum of emotion their music seems to continually evolve within itself from one moment to the next. Heavily improvised live sets is where the band shines as they constantly push their own boundaries to assure that each Ocean Disco show is a one of a kind experience.
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Fri, Aug 19 - 9pm - $30adv/$35door
The Golden Gate Wingmen are a jam band formed in November 2014, featuring John Kadlecik (of DSO, Furthur, Phil Lesh & Friends), Jeff Chimenti (of The Dead, Dead & Company, Ratdog, Furthur), Reed Mathis(of Tea Leaf Green, Jacob Fred's Jazz Odyssey), & Jay Lane (ofPrimus, Furthur, Ratdog).
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Sat, Aug 20 - 9pm - $10
The Lucky Dutch are a four piece Chicago blues based rock n roll band led by Nathan Graham. Heavily guitar driven, this act is keeping the roots of rock n roll alive.
Grabbing influences from all over the musical spectrum, the Ars Nova has something for everyone. They pride themselves in never having two shows be the same and embrace the musical freedom that is their improvisational jams. From Umphrey's McGee to Led Zeppelin, from STS9 to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, from Jimi Hendrix to Kings of Leon, the Ars Nova is a must-see act. After breaking on to the festival circuit in the summer of 2014 at Summer Camp Music and Arts Festival in Chillicothe, IL, everything has been up hill for the Ars Nova. Catch them all over the Chicago area and be sure to follow them closely on Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter, and Instagram. Do NOT forget the name 'The Ars Nova'.
Formed in the basements of Urbana in 2011, indie rock group Namorado has undergone several metamorphoses to become the 4 piece operation it is today. Drawing from diverse musical influences, they combine energetic rock with group harmonies into a delicious ham and cheese sandwich.
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Wed, Aug 24 - 8pm - $10
Dynamo is a Nashville-based, nationally touring band whose music fuses jazz, rock, and funk with elements of soul and R&B. The culmination is a sound that’s both spontaneous and composed—and an energy that’s undeniably infectious. Formed in late 2012, Dynamo consists of nine core musicians. When they’re not performing or recording in Nashville, the band is on the road, spreading their unique brand of feel-good music to audiences all over the world.
Formed in late 2014 and based in Chicago, the Atticus Lazenby Group plays original instrumental music that combines funk, jazz, rock, hip-hop, and world music. Their self-titled debut album is available for pre-order on Bandcamp and will release on July 24, 2016.
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Thu, Aug 25 - 8pm - $10
The Talking Heads hits – ‘Psycho Killer,’ ‘Burning Down the House,’ ‘This Must Be The Place’ and many more – re-imagined reggae/Caribbean style. The Talking Dreads is the brainchild of Jamaican born Mystic Bowie, best known as a vocalist of the Tom Tom Club, the hit side project of Talking Heads co-founders Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. Authentic on so many levels, The Talking Dreads deliver iconic hits driven by joyous rhythms and jubilant island vibes. “Reggae’s dance-inspiring, feel-good vibe is universal as are many of Talking Heads’ songs” – Mystic Bowie. “The combination of classic Heads lyrics and caribbean/reggae rhythms is a total home run! Talking Dreads’ sound is tight, and everyone from the lead singer to the band members to the back up singers to the folks selling Talking Dreads merchandise is 100% professional. We had a blast the night of the show and we walked away with a definite bounce in our step. Can’t wait for the next stop on their tour. Definitely going back for more.“ “Yes yes y’all!” – Chris Frantz, Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club.
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Fri, Aug 26 - 9pm - $10
Renée Catrine hails from Chicago and currently splits her between Chicago and Québec City. Having been in various bands throughout the years, Renée was eager to set off on her own to create her own music. Several years later, she is gearing up to release her debut solo album. Reminiscent of captivating songwriters such as Fiona Apple, Marketa Irglova and Couer de Pirate, Renée's debut album features sincere, thoughtful lyrics set to catchy pop/rock music and full, orchestrated arrangements. Despite not growing up in a musical household, Renée was always fascinated by how songs were constructed. As a kid, she would sit at friends' pianos for hours and hours trying to decode the chords and melodies to her favorite songs. Finally, at age 12, she convinced her parents to let her take guitar lessons. From there, she went on to major in guitar performance in college. Renée is currently wrapping up her debut solo album with engineer Nick Broste and co-producer Mike Przygoda. Her first music video will be released in late July to promote the upcoming album release. Renée is thrilled to be releasing her debut solo album on Friday, August 26th at Martyrs in Chicago. Plans are in the works to tour the US and Canada later this fall. Check out reneecatrine.wix.com/music for more information.
Musicians often concoct necessary tales to capture the attention of the public. Rorey Carroll doesn’t need that - she’s lived it, and carries the story of her life in every line she writes. Carroll was born in Chicago to a rather normal American family brought up as a typical, middle class kid. This upbringing along with the fascination of alternative culture led her towards the great American love affair, the counterbalance to the American Dream. At a very young age, she lived in her car in cities all around the county, hopped freight trains, she even hiked the entire Appalachian Trail at age 20. She made money playing music to anyone who would listen, from the subways of New York City to the streets of Ohio. She became a living paradox, somewhere between running from the law and running from the normality of a Midwestern suburban lifestyle. The streets broke her down while another world picked her up. Acoustic music, anti-folk, campfires deep in the heart of the humbolt trim scene, in and out of trouble with the law - she inhaled the great spirit of rock and roll. She learned how to play from everyone she met. “Love is an outlaw” is a concept of her experience. “Love is as aimless as a renegade, breaks every rule you have.“
Jared Rabin is a veteran of the Chicago music scene who has spent his entire life pursuing music and performing worldwide. He is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and is no stranger to the stage, the studio, or the road. His experiences in the music industry have led him far and wide, from playing in famous concert halls in an orchestra, to sharing the stage with some of the world’s jazz greats, to playing college towns on the road with a rock band.Jared's debut solo record "Something Left to Say" came out in 2015 to immediate critical acclaim and radio airplay across the US. He wrote and produced all of the music, and recorded and sang all of the parts (except for the drums) by himself. This music is the pure result of the massive array of influences that have passed through the life of a thirty- year-old guitar player. Jared is now performing the music from the record far and wide, and establishing a voice for himself as a solo artist and emerging songwriter.
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Sat, Aug 27 - 9pm - $10adv/$12door
Frisbie's debut, The Subversive Sounds of Love, was hailed as 'the power-pop album of the year." (Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune) A series of personal trials delayed a follow-up, but now the band has completed New Debut, a 40-minute burst of imaginative and affecting songs. While SSOL was rooted in the pop of the 60's, New Debut reveals a love for the guitar rock of the 70's. So much happens in these three-minute tunes as producer Matt Thompson breaks out the harmonic density of every song. Frisbie still boasts two of the finest singers anywhere, yet the emotions of their soaring vocals are more deeply revealed in the unexpected rhythms and timbres of the music. In short, New Debut will kick you in the head and the pants.Frisbie is one of Chicago's most popular acts, selling out venues on their own and opening for the likes of Wilco, Matthew Sweet, Cheap Trick and Big Star. With New Debut, Frisbie makes good on it's promise as "one of the best and most ambitious pop bands in America." (Salon.com)
Dan Phillips has been writing and recording as Zapruder Point in Chicago for over a decade. Singing simple yet heartfelt songs (think Leonard Cohen crossed with Waxahatchee), he performs as a solo acoustic act, as a duo with drummer Larry Brown, and occasionally with a full band featuring Steve Frisbie on guitar and John Aselin on bass. Originally from Cleveland, over the years Dan has shared bills with Bill Fox, Jason Molina, Bowerbirds, The Rutabega, Anders Parker, Franklin Bruno, Canasta, Scrawl, Whitehorse, Coed Pageant, Flat Duo Jets, Terrible Parade, Earwig, Benjamin Francis Leftwich…and others (just ask him). Dan is currently finishing songs for a new album hopefully to be released in 2016, as well as writing material for a rock musical. As a teenage R.E.M. obsessive, Dan played with his twin brother Scott and childhood friend Greg Eyman in Rotary Ten. In the mid-90’s they moved to Raleigh and became The Boy Wonder Jinx. In 1998, “cheating” on his primary band with a four-track machine led to Zapruder Point’s hushed debut The Limitations of the Source Tape, followed by a move to Chicago and the sprawling watermark of Low Resolution in 2001 (described by Sound Opinions’ Jim DeRogatis as “much too good to remain overlooked and under-heralded”). In the early noughties, after playing bass for short-lived Feelies cover band The Boys with the Perpetual Nervousness, Dan snagged husband and wife Tom Millard (drums and vocals) and Casey Riordan-Millard (violin) for sporadic midwest touring and a pair of well-received recordings (Spirit of 91 and It’s Always the Quiet Ones.) After the trio’s dissolution and during a brief bout of unemployment in 2008, Dan recorded his first Garageband solo album, Soda & Sympathy. He then formed an electric version of Zapruder Point with Steve Frisbie (guitar and vocals), John Aselin (bass) and Larry Brown (drums). A successful crowd funding campaign led to 2012’s Zapruder Point Record Club, wherein subscribers were mailed a 7” of new songs every three months (since collected in 2013’s Clicks and Whistles). Going back to acoustic guitar in 2015, Dan now enjoys playing as a duo with drummer Larry Brown (and occasionally in a full band with Steve Frisbie and John Aselin), as well as performing solo. He’s also working on songs for a play written by fellow Chicagoan and former college roommate John Henry Roberts, as well as embarking on his first not-home-recorded album since taking on the Zapruder Point moniker.
Mooner plays power-pop for the 21st century. Melding their signature double lead-guitar attack with deceptively simple pop songwriting that pays homage to Elvis Costello, Big Star and Warren Zevon, Mooner has become a favorite in the Chicago rock community since forming in 2011. Despite an undeniably huge sound–engineer Mike Hagler (Wilco, Neko Case) records the band live in a converted warehouse–they tear with punk-rock economy through nimble arrangements, which turn on a dime from towering solos to candy-sweet Thin Lizzy guitarmonies to moments of swirling noise. Mooner has been featured on the airwaves via Chicago’s WGN and WXRT, where they were nominated for Best Local Artist. In the Midwest, they were featured on Iowa Public Radio, Milwaukee’s WMSE and WCBR. They have collaborated on compilations with Kimya Dawson and Andrew Jackson Jihad, shared the stage with The Flamin’ Groovies and played to fans at hallowed Chicago venues like Lincoln Hall, The Hideout and Schubas as well as others across the Midwest.
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Mon, Aug 29 - 8pm - $5
Kilgubbin Brothers features Chicago fiddle legend and band leader Sean Cleland (Drovers, Bohola) & powerhouse percussionist Jackie Moran (Drovers, Comas) on vocals, bodhran, banjo and shoe with All-Ireland Fiddle Champion Brendan Bulger, Master guitarist Jesse Langen (Ensemble Dal Niente) and Ray Quinn (producer Laurence Nugent, Bua) on electric guitar and voice. With a focus on songs and tunes from the rich history of Irish music in Chicago, Kilgubbin Brothers will be here the first and last Mondays of the month, Slainte!
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Wed, Aug 31 - 8pm - $10
Great Moments in Vinyl takes the tribute experience to a new level. Every concert, we choose a pair of memorable albums and perform them in their entirety. And along with the music, we supply a series of stories about the songs and the artists and the times that brought them into being. What was the song that saved U2's career? Who was Bruce Springsteen's "Rosalita"? If The Police started out as a punk band, where did all the reggae flavors come from? Why did Elton John wear glasses really? These are the sorts of questions you'll find out the answers to when Great Moments in Vinyl takes the stage. And you'll hear some exceptionally well played music as well.
Someday they’ll make a movie of Regina Spektor’s life.The first reel will open on her childhood in the Soviet Union, growing up Jewish in a country known for its anti-Semitism. It is there that she has learned to devote herself to the piano. But with the coming of perestroika, her parents put their oppressive homeland behind them for the promise of a better life in America and move from the U. S. S. R. to the U. S. leaving her beloved instrument behind.In the second reel, we find Regina and her family adjusting to their new life in the Bronx. The young pianist disciplines herself to stay in practice by fingering her studies on tabletops in her new home. And then her father has a chance encounter on the subway that leads to his daughter receiving piano lessons throughout her adolescence…for free.A subplot emerges. The young girl has often amused herself and friends by making up songs to sing. Her melodies are memorable. The wordplay is inventive. But these are just lighthearted distractions compared to the serious business of becoming a classical musician.And then the conflict: it becomes clear that Regina doesn’t have what it takes. A childhood friend who emigrated from the U. S. S. R. at the same time has started growing as a musician in ways that Regina can’t keep up with. Her hands are too small to reach the octave. Her ability to sightread is lagging. And memorizing a score is always difficult.But this film has a happy ending. Regina the pianist eventually embraces Regina the singer and songwriter, and in the uniting of her many talents, this gifted musician finds a different sort of success than she originally envisioned. Fortunately, there will be a sequel. That’s where they’ll tell the story of Regina’s triumph as a performer and the ongoing popularity of her music in TV shows and films and her eventual return to Russia for a moving reunion with her homeland.For our next performance, Great Moments in Vinyl plays tribute to Regina Spektor. We’ll celebrate the release of her gold selling, breakthrough album begin to hope by performing it in its entirety. Then, we’ll move on to Far, the follow up album that consolidated her success, as well as touch on a variety of songs from throughout her career.Great Moments in Vinyl is a collaborative effort between master of ceremonies, William Lindsey Cochran, a veteran Chicago radio personality (WXRT, WNUA,...and WXRT again) on bass and storytelling aided by a variety of noteworthy Chicago musicians. For this set, the band features aerin tedesco on vocals and guitar, Lindsay Weinberg on vocals and keyboards, Debbie Kaczynski on piano and vocals, and Bob Garrett on drums with additional contributing musicians.
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Thu, Sep 1 - 9:30pm - No Cover
free
A night of drinking, dancing, socializing, networking and non-stop music since 1991. For die hard rockabilly devotees and civilian music fans. Over the last decade, this highly organized vibrant jam session, held the first Thursday of every month at Martyrs', has become rockabilly central for many of the musicians & fans of Chicago's American roots scene. Although the monthly jam is devoted to rockabilly, the Big C Jamboree has also offered the span of '40's-'50's Amereicn roots music from Hillbilly Boogie to Western Swing, Jump Blues and 1st generation Rock-n-Roll. The night is run swiftly and simply: a host band performs a short set, followed by a myriad of roots musicians who do 3 songs each. The party like atmosphere includes socializing, drinking & dancing galore while the rotating line-up onstage usually features the raucous sounds of pompadoured rockabilly musicians wailing away on upright basses and hallow-bodied electric guitars; and there's NEVER a cover! It's one of the most dedicated evenings of music in the city.
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Tue, Sep 6 - 8pm - $10adv/$12door
Artists, activists, musicians, writers, architects, politicians, chefs, and people defying description all grace the stage at PechaKucha Night which brings prominent and emerging creative minds together for an evening of lightning-fast presentations, networking and fun. The PechaKucha format, where a dozen or so presenters are given 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds to reveal their passions, work and inspirations, is now held in over 430 cities around the world. Chicago events are among the most popular, with over 300 people in attendance at each event. It's an amazing, riotous and amusing evening.
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Wed, Sep 7 - 8pm - $10
Casey Neill's music walks the line between lyrical song craft and high energy live shows. His sound combines haunting ballads, edgy folk-punk, and anthemic rock. Based out of Portland, Oregon, Neill performs solo or with his band The Norway Rats touring throughout the US, Japan, and Europe. His latest record 'All You Pretty Vandals' was produced by Chris Funk of The Decemberists and has gained widespread praise. Neill is also a member of power pop supergroup The Minus 5 and Japanese/American cross cultural band Big Bridges. A new Casey Neill & The Norway Rats record is slated for late 2016. “Be it through raucous rockers, fragile acoustic ballads, passionate bursts of punk fury or soulful touches of Irish folk, Neill's narrative talent and concern for real people's struggles stand out. (Neill) evokes an epic feel that fits perfectly with the implicit grandiosity of this emotional material, delivered with a raspy, affectionate voice that recalls Life's Rich Pageant-era Michael Stipe. The results are so evocative, you'll be tempted to steep further in these memories, the better to share Casey Neill's particular blend of personal and historical experience.” — SPLENDID.
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Thu, Sep 8 - 9pm - $14adv/$16door
Seamlessly combining acoustic roots music and traditional instruments with modern technology and amped up dance music, The Magic Beans are as unique as their place of origin, the Colorado Rockies. The group’s diverse approach to music leaves no genres off the table and no one left out; many times resulting in one song spanning several styles within a singular composition. The Beans use no pre-recorded tracks or computers in favor of a more traditional approach to music. Original songwriting, diverse instrumentation and a deep musical bond between the musicians is what sets the band apart. Fans have coined terms like “spacefunk”, “ameritronica”, and “groove grass” to try to describe the music they hear from The Magic Beans, and the band embraces these terms and all input from their fanbase to create what is truly a collaborative musical effort. Music that moves your mind and your hips while inspiring a good time is what The Magic Beans are all about. After all, “Music is magic, magic is life (Jimi Hendrix).”
With their latest release, APOCALYPSE WHENEVER, Boston’s beloved reggae-rock funkateers Spiritual Rez deliver their most triumphant musical offering yet. Produced by lead singer Toft Willingham, co-produced by bassist Jesse Shaternick, and mastered by legendary engineer Howie Weinberg (Ramones, Beastie Boys, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers), the 14-track collection of infectious anthems is chock-full of rollicking guitar riffs, ocean-bathed melodies, swagger-centric basslines, crisp soaring horns, and ska-infused jam sections that have come to define Rez’s progressive signature sound. While their groove is primarily rooted in rock, reggae, and funk traditions, the septet draws stylistic influence from nearly every musical movement of the 20th century. Over the past 9 years, Rez has tirelessly toured the country ten times over, cemented their status as a consistent festival favorite, and honed their exhilarating live show into an incomparable, unabashed musical extravaganza. They have shared the stage with a startlingly broad range of artistic visionaries, including Toots and the Maytals, Rubblebucket, Gogol Bordello, the Dirty Heads, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Jimmy Buffett and Bernie Worrell. Evoking their personal power animals, they fearlessly forge into a bold new chapter of their epic musical journey and prepare to hit the road for a nationwide tour once more…. “A high energy performance that crowds inevitably find contagious…. A little Bob Marley, a little Toots and a lot of their own originality thrown in makes Spiritual Rez a one of a kind band to jam to.” –NEW YORK METRO. “A soul-funk fusion that, besides being incredibly infectious, is just goddamn delightful.” –BOSTON DIG. “Boston’s Spiritual Rez have established themselves as not only one of the best reggae acts in town, but one of the overall best live shows, as well.” –BDC WIRE. “… a raw energy that can’t be matched or stopped as their music flows on wave upon wave.” –UPSTATE LIVE.
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Fri, Sep 9 - 9pm - $12adv/$15door
Yonatan Gat and his band are doing something you will not see anywhere else. The power trio sets up on the floor of every venue from giant clubs to basements—DIY style among sweaty dancing bodies—playing intricate improvisation sets that channel "everything from Afrobeat grooves to Middle Eastern folk melodies to straight up rock n’ roll noise, sometimes all within the span of one song – weaving the global smattering of styles seamlessly together like the great jazz musicians of the ‘60s." - The Bay Bridged. “You’ve never seen anything like it before. Cults have been formed over less.”- SPIN. “Echoes of funk from Benin; Cuban son from Senegal; Chicano rock from Los Angeles; Afro-Brazilian soul from Rio de Janeiro; and the pentatonic and Arabic scales that connect much of the world - but there’s always a lilt and an invitation in it. He leaves a space for you to get in. They were playing for themselves and they were playing for you, but they weren’t playing for any static definition of a concert.” - NY Times. "Best guitarist in New York, 2013" - Village Voice.
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Wed, Sep 14 - 7pm - $25
The Chicago Tribune: “I have seen the future of rock 'n' roll, and its name is Tributosaurus.”Tributosaurus strives to do for rock and roll what a symphony orchestra does for classical; treat the music with the respect it deserves, and deliver it to a listener’s ear in glorious detail. They accomplish this goal by utilizing the finest musicians Chicagoland has to offer, and by cutting no corners. If a Stevie Wonder tune has 6 horns, 3 keyboards, and 4 strings, then that’s what you get on stage. If a Santana song needs 3 guitars and 4 percussionists, so be it. Every month, one band is given the treatment, now totaling more than 90 over the first 9 years of the project. The members of Tributosaurus are musical anthropologists, as songs are excavated, dissected, and reconstituted to replicate the original with proper reverence. They aren’t really a tribute band, but are every tribute band. There are no costumes and there is no make-up, because with Tributosaurus, the music is the star.The band is comprised of five core members (Dan Leali, Curt Morrison, Chris Neville, Jon Paul, and Matt Spiegel), who are joined by artists with credits too numerous to mention. Tributosaurus has sold out shows all over Chicago, and their gigs are an event. Fans commune with the musicians, paying homage to songs that made us all fall in love with music in the first place.
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Thu, Sep 15 - 7pm - $25
The Chicago Tribune: “I have seen the future of rock 'n' roll, and its name is Tributosaurus.”Tributosaurus strives to do for rock and roll what a symphony orchestra does for classical; treat the music with the respect it deserves, and deliver it to a listener’s ear in glorious detail. They accomplish this goal by utilizing the finest musicians Chicagoland has to offer, and by cutting no corners. If a Stevie Wonder tune has 6 horns, 3 keyboards, and 4 strings, then that’s what you get on stage. If a Santana song needs 3 guitars and 4 percussionists, so be it. Every month, one band is given the treatment, now totaling more than 90 over the first 9 years of the project. The members of Tributosaurus are musical anthropologists, as songs are excavated, dissected, and reconstituted to replicate the original with proper reverence. They aren’t really a tribute band, but are every tribute band. There are no costumes and there is no make-up, because with Tributosaurus, the music is the star.The band is comprised of five core members (Dan Leali, Curt Morrison, Chris Neville, Jon Paul, and Matt Spiegel), who are joined by artists with credits too numerous to mention. Tributosaurus has sold out shows all over Chicago, and their gigs are an event. Fans commune with the musicians, paying homage to songs that made us all fall in love with music in the first place.
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Mon, Sep 19 - 8pm - $8
Louder Than a Mom because everyone has a depressing, shocking, miserable, vulgar, hilarious family story! Storytelling is one of the oldest human traditions. Come and share yours. If you’re not ready to talk about your family tragedy, your judgmental mother-in-law, your drunk Uncle Pete who ruins every holiday, or why you hate your four-year-old, come and listen. We all love a good bedtime story!!
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Tue, Sep 20 - 8pm - $16
OPEN
“Each song is a character,” says Marlon Williams of his self-titled solo debut: a remarkably assured and diverse nine-track tapestry, united by one of the most versatile and evocative voices you’ll hear this or any other year. “I don’t really ever sing out of character. Even if it’s a very personal song, once it’s written it doesn’t belong to me.”A veteran at the age of 24, Williams found his calling as child growing up in Lyttleton, New Zealand. A picturesque coastal town populated by fewer than 3000 people, he recalls its “wonderful contrast between port workers and a big artistic community”. The latter includes his mother and father, respectively a painter and industrial punk musician. “The first three things I remember Mum listening to were PJ Harvey, early choral music and Smokey Robinson. A lot of Maori music too. We used to go down the marae for meetings and sing these big harmony songs.”Dad would bring home CDs every week, moving from Elvis and The Beatles through Echo & The Bunnymen, The Band’sMusic From Big Pink, and, crucially, Gram Parsons: “A rock ’n’ roll dude playing country music, but respecting the purity of it.”A similar duality informed the young Williams’ unique journey as a singer, combining his family’s Maori upbringing with the vocal epiphanies he discovered in the school choir and then in nearby Christchurch’s cathedral ensemble. “It’s a very different approach,” he explains. “With the Maori songs it’s layered thirds, one over the other. You justfeelwhen you want to bring another third. But then I spent most of my teenage Sundays at church. We’d sing a 30-minute Mozart Mass where every note is prescribed. I’m not a spiritual person but the music was enough to keep me there, through whatever hangover I had.”He even enrolled in the prestigious University of Canterbury, but classical music’s institutionalized stuffiness proved too much. The Unfaithful Ways, his band of fellow fallen choirboys, was becoming a hot local live draw. “I did a year at university, but they didn’t like that I was out playing in bars at weekends and coming in on Monday smoking. I was wearing country shirts to our performance days, instead of the bow tie and penguin suit.”After the youthful combo folded its frontman cut a trio of domestically acclaimed duo discs with prolific Lyttleton tunesmith Delaney Davidson, then made the decision to relocate to Australia – partly pushed by the ruinous earthquakes that had left Christchurch in disarray, partly pulled by the promise of Melbourne’s bountiful music scene. Williams pitched up at legendary pub venue the Yarra Hotel, winning over seasoned booze hounds with a first gig on the eve of the Aussie rules football grand final.Returning home to record, utilizing the The Sitting Room in Lyttleton Harbour – and working once more with producer/engineer Ben Edwards, whose prior loyalty extended to rescuing The Unfaithful Ways’ album master from a cordoned-off quake aftershock area. Such deep-rooted bonds birthed an eclectic yet cohesive set that ranges from rollicking, acrobatic opener “Hello Miss Lonesome” to the wry coffee house wisdom of “Everyone’s Got Something To Say”, viaRubber Soul-ful zinger “After All” and “Lonely Side Of Her”’s beauteous barroom empathy (penned for paramour and co-vocalist Aldous Harding).Its author’s easygoing gender fluidity is expressed through his revelatory, androgynous reading of the traditional lament “When I Was A Young Girl”, previously hymned by Nina Simone and Feist, among others. “That’s a real fun challenge. An exposition of how songs are personal and impersonal at the same time. I don’t even think about [male or female]. Either that or I don’t think of myself as a boy anymore! The version I knew was by Barbara Dane, a white San Francisco soul/folk singer from the ’60s.”This ability to truly inhabit his material illuminates Williams’ majestic rendering of such diverse touchstones as classic orch-pop ballad “Lost Without You” and conceptual, 1974-vintage nugget “Silent Passage” (originally by Bob Carpenter, a Canadian of First Nations heritage). These covers blend seamlessly with novelisticnoirstandouts “Strange Things” and “Dark Child” (co-credited to childhood choral pal Tim Moore, now a palliative care nurse), which deliver gallows humor with a widescreen groove. That quality is further illustrated by their playfully cinematic videos.Having been nominated for 5 New Zealand Music Awards, an Australian ARIA Award and completed sold out album release tours, this Southern Hemisphere star’s eagerly awaited international release should see Marlon Williams soar.
Originally from the Blue Mountains, Julia Jacklin is a singer/songwriter who'll put a smile on ya dial, but only for a short while.
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Fri, Sep 23 - 9pm - $15adv/$18door
Hot Buttered Rum lives for a good time, and a mindful recklessness settles in whenever these five guys step on stage. From Anchorage to Miami, the group’s onstage chemistry fuels the lovefest that is a live Butter show. Rooted in the trajectory of west coast bluegrass, Hot Buttered Rum plays what has been described as California’s own acoustic music.HBR’s years of touring have given the band the chance to work and play with a wide cross-section of musicians, people like Peter Rowan, Phil Lesh, Chris Thile, Brett Dennen, and Robert Earl Keen. Seasoned veteran Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), acoustic guru Mike Marshall, and left-coast rocker Tim Bluhm (Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm) have all produced studio albums for the band. Each guided HBR towards the next step in its evolution. It’s a sound that is tough to describe and easy to love, and it has found its way to the most prestigious pop, folk, and bluegrass stages in the country: Telluride, Newport, Bonnaroo, Strawberry, Hardly Strictly, Kate Wolf, Horning’s Hideout, String Summit, Grey Fox, Merlefest, All Good, High Sierra, Wakarusa, and many more.The next step in Butter’s evolution involves recording three 5-song EPs, each focusing on a part of music that Hot Buttered Rum loves and is inspired by, and each with a different producer. The first EP was recently recorded with Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone and will be released this fall. The second will be a collection of Ralph Stanley old school bluegrass standards, to be recorded in September with producer Sally Van Meter. The third will be Hot Buttered Rum’s latenight throwdown music, to be recorded in November with SCI’s Kyle Hollingsworth. Together, the three collections of songs will explore Butter’s roots and express Butter’s present passions.At the center of Hot Buttered Rum is the enduring camaraderie of old friends. The band was conceived on a backpacking trip of high school and college buddies in the High Sierra. What was dreamed up on mountaintops and around campfires has found its way into the hearts, minds, and bodies of thousands.
With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil’ Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own. The quintet, from Missoula, MT, has been hard at work, writing, touring and playing to an ever-growing fan base for the past 6 years. The fruits of their labor recently culminating with their win this year at the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass festival band competition. In October 2014, they were nominated by the Internal Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for Momentum Band of the Year and in 2013 they won The Northwest String Summit Band Competition. With a unique blend of traditional bluegrass, newgrass, innumerable unique originals, sheer raw energy, and exquisite musicianship, The Lil’ Smokies weave seamlessly through genres, leaving behind melodies you’ll be singing to yourself for days and a jaw you’ll have to pick up off the floor. The Lil’ Smokies have no problem captivating large audiences. Sharing the stage with heavyweights like Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Keller Williams, Greensky Bluegrass, The Emmit-Nershi Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Travellin’ McCourys, Sam Bush Band, Fruition, Infamous Stringdusters, Bradford Lee Folk and The Bluegrass Playboys, and dozens of others. The Smokies have played the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival (2011), the Bozeman Bluegrass Fest (2011), Sandpoint Summer Fest (2013), Wintergrass (2014), River City Roots Festival (2011, 2013, 2014), Northwest Folklife Festival (2014), the Northwest String Summit’s Further Stage and Main Stage (2013, 2014). This five-piece bluegrass ensemble features Andy Dunnigan (dobro), Scott Parker (upright bass), Matt Cornette (banjo), Cameron Wilson (mandolin) and Matt Rieger (guitar).
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Wed, Sep 28 - 7pm - $15
Tributosaurus says about Kalyan Pathak: “KP brings a level of virtuosity to his instruments that makes each show sing at the percussion chair, but he brings so much more than that. The nature of our project requires a special talent for attention to detail, and Kalyan is painstaking in his work ethic – he has played dozens of different percussion instruments and electronics for us over the years, and has a mastered each instrument. More than that, the energy and love for the process of music making that he brings to each show that he is a part of is infectious - both to the audience and the performers on stage. Kalyan first started appearing with us in 2002”. “…Kalyan Pathak…fleet finger virtuosity…” Says Howard Reich, of ‘Chicago Tribune’ in a rave review of Chicago Percussion All Stars 2004 concert.
First Set: Kalyan Pathak’s Jazz Mata with Special Guests including Indian Classical musicians, Bollywood Musicians,Fareed Haque, Elizabeth Basta, Vijay Tellis-Nayak, Patrick Mucahy, Histesh Master, Shivanand Bangar. “Jazz Mata” lead by Kalyan Pathak, where the music is transformative Raga, Jazz and Blues.. Along with many new original songs from their new album “Dream With The Dreamers”, from ancient Sanskrit language chants to medieval bhakti tradition songs in Hindi, from poems of Tagore in Bengali to modern folkloric dance songs; Jazz Mata takes you on a journey of Indian culture from a song and rhythm perspective, while going through different modes, raga melodies and intricate meters and beats. At times modal, raga-based and chant-like, and at times laden with hypnotic grooves and jazz harmony, the music of Jazz Mata evokes a distinct mood. This is a jazz improv group in an ethnic setting, or a tribal group in a modern American setting; either way it touchesmany people very effectively.
Second Set: Tributosaurus Special Set List. Chris Neville, Curt Morrison, Matt Spiegel, Jon Paul, Dan Leali with Kalyan Pathak. Tributosaurus says about Kalyan Pathak: “KP brings a level of virtuosity to his instruments that makes each show sing at the percussion chair, but he brings so much more than that. The nature of our project requires a special talent for attention to detail, and Kalyan is painstaking in his work ethic – he has played dozens of different percussion instruments and electronics for us over the years, and has a mastered each instrument. More than that, the energy and love for the process of music making that he brings to each show that he is a part of is infectious - both to the audience and the performers on stage. Kalyan first started appearing with us in 2002”. Tributosaurus will pick a special set list to feature Kalyan and percussion.
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Thu, Sep 29 - 8pm - $10adv/$13door
The new Chicago Farmer album is about Depression, Job Loss, Meth, Skateboards, A Divided Nation, Used Cars, The Late Shift, Farms, Factories, The Destruction of our Environment, and still being around to sing about it.Cody is a folk-singer’s folk-singer and a poet’s poet. He was born and bred in Delavan IL, population 25, surrounded by the endless skies of the American Midwest. Before moving to Chicago in 2003, Cody tried his hand at sessions in Nashville and carefully hewed and tested his art in college town bars and honky-tonks around the Midwest. He now plays regularly in the city and it’s not uncommon to see whole rooms full of strangers erupt and sing along to the choruses of his songs on their first listen (I’ve seen it happen). Cody’s voice is powerful and gritty, emotionally piercing while subtly imbuing additional layers of meaning and poignancy in his lyrical delivery. His song-writing is deeply rooted in the American Folk tradition and all of its grit but with a post Dylan sense of wit, perspicacity and that certain savior-faire. He didn’t go to college but he drank all of their beer.Every folk-singer has to migrate to the city, in a way it seems to be hidden in definition of a folk singer anymore. Cody has come to remind Chicago that it is in Illinois. And to remind the rest of the world that when Louis Armstrong redefined, some say invented the art of Jazz in the 1920′s he brought his Hot Fives to Chicago to do it. When Robert Johnson wanted to put his Mississippi Mud on wax, his hellhound chased him to Chicago to do it. And same like, Cody has come to Chicago to deliver what it needs, when it isn’t even sure itself. He is currently recording a collection of songs from his vast back-catalog and performing across the heartland.
Music, by its nature, is a migratory creature. It moves as it moves, often powerfully, through people and places, communities and cultures, created and carried on currents of electricity and air. Edward David Anderson is one of its modern makers, a rock and roll veteran from the cornfields of Illinois, who went into the woods of coastal Alabama and found musical serendipity, emerging with Lower Alabama: The Loxley Sessions—a timeless, unvarnished beauty of an album.
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Sun, Oct 9 - 8pm - $21adv/$25door
OPEN
Tuareg guitarist and singer Omara “Bombino” Moctar is a star guitarist and singer from the Sahara desert on a meteoric rise. His new album, Nomad, was recorded with 2013 Grammy-winning Producer of the Year Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. The album, released April 2, 2013, debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music Charts and iTunes World charts and has collected rave reviews from top media outlets around the world including BBC World Service which calls it 'utterly, utterly fantastic" and Rolling Stone, which calls Nomad "The year's most exciting blues album....A perfect match of sound and soul [that] introduces a new guitar hero." His dazzling live performance and virtuosity on the guitar have earned him comparisons amongst notable music critics to Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Neil Yong and Jerry Garcia.
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Mon, Oct 10 - 8pm - $20adv/$25door
Max Gazzè is an amazing performer and extraordinary bass player. Singing in Italian, French and English he always creates a feel-good mood everywhere. He lived and played long in Paris and London and in the last 3 years he has being touring all over Europe. In Italy he published 10 golden CDs (Emi/Virgin and Universal Music). He wrote and toured in Europe with Stefan Eicher and performed with Stewart Copeland in the Gizmo project. After the poetic and powerful live and record project “Il padrone della festa” - together with his friends and outstanding artists Daniele Silvestri and Niccolò Fabi, in 2015 Max published “Maximilian” (Universal Music), a striking, colourful, emotionally various album whose singles reached millions of views on Youtube (“La vita com'è”: 21.000.000 views, “Mille volte ancora”: 1.200.000 views, “Ti sembra normale”: 620.000 views).
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Wed, Oct 12 - 7:30pm - $25
James “Midge” Ure, OBE (born 10 October 1953) is a Scottish singer, musician, songwriter and producer. His stage name, Midge, is a phonetic reversal of Jim, the diminutive form of his given name.Ure enjoyed particular success in the 1970s and 1980s in bands including Slik, Thin Lizzy, Rich Kids and Visage, and most notably as frontman of Ultravox. In 1984 Ure co-wrote and produced the charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, which has sold 3.7 million copies in the UK. The song is the second highest selling single in UK chart history.[1] Ure co-organised Band Aid, Live Aid and Live 8 with Bob Geldof. Ure acts as trustee for the charity, and serves as ambassador for Save the Children.In 1985 Ure’s solo debut album The Gift, which reached number two in the UK Albums Chart, included the UK number one single “If I Was”. Ure has had four other UK top-30 solo hit singles: “No Regrets”, “That Certain Smile”, “Call of the Wild” and “Cold, Cold Heart”.
Scary Lady Sarah passionately enjoys & promotes good, new, dark alternative music. She DJs, book bands & produces club events & has been doing so for over 25 years. She absolutely loves what she does and treats her occupation like the great fortune that it is. She loves new music and endeavours to play as much of it as she can, all the while keeping in mind and paying respect to the song requests of her events’ patrons.
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Fri, Oct 14 - 9pm - $14adv/$16door
I‘m realizing more and more every day that you can make anything happen for yourself if you really want to,” says Moon Hooch horn player Mike Wilbur. “You can change your existence by just going out and doing it, by taking simple actions every day.” If any band is a poster child for turning the power of positive thoughts and intention into reality, it’s the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch. In just a few short years, the group—Wilbur, fellow horn player Wenzl McGowen, and drummer James Muschler—has gone from playing on New York City subway platforms to touring with the likes of Beats Antique, They Might Be Giants, and Lotus, as well as selling out their own headline shows in major venues around the country. On ‘Red Sky,’ their third and most adventurous album to date, the band uses everything they’ve learned from their whirlwind journey to push their sound to new heights, bringing together the raw, transcendent energy of their live performances and the sleek sophistication of their studio work into a singular, intoxicating brew that blends elements of virtuosic jazz, groovy funk, and pulse-pounding electronic dance music. “I think ‘Red Sky’ is more focused than any of our past albums,” reflects McGowen. “We practice meditation and yoga, and I think that we’re more evolved as people than we’ve ever been right now. That evolution expresses itself as focus, and through focus comes our energy.” It was two years ago that the band released ‘This Is Cave Music,’ an exhilarating thrill ride that earned rave reviews from critics and fans alike. NPR hailed it as “unhinged” and “irresistible,” praising each musician’s “remarkable abilities” and naming their Tiny Desk Concert one of the best in the prestigious series’ history. The album followed their 2013 debut, which had Relix swooning for their “deep bass lines, catchy melodies and pounding rhythms,” while the Wall Street Journal celebrated their “electronic house music mixed with brawny saxophone riffs.” Though the band—whose members initially met as students at the New School—turned heads in the music industry as relative unknowns with a charismatic, unconventional sound (they play with unique tonguing techniques and utilize found objects like traffic cones attached to the bells of their horns to manipulate tone, for instance), they were already a familiar and beloved sight to straphangers in New York, who would react with such joy and fervor to their impromptu subway platform sets that the NYPD had to ban them from locations that couldn’t handle the crowds. NY Mag once referred to their sound as “Jay Gatsby on ecstasy,” while the NY Post fell for their “catchy melodic hooks and funky rhythms,” saying they had “the power to make you secretly wish that the short [subway] wait becomes an indefinite delay.” While the band’s busking days are behind them now, the lessons they learned from all those platform parties helped guide their approach to recording ‘Red Sky.’ “What we discovered playing in the subway,” McGowen explains, “is that the more focus and the more energy you put into the music, and the more you listen to everything around you and integrate everything around you into your expression, the more the music becomes this captivating force for people.” Recorded at The Bunker studio in Brooklyn, ‘Red Sky’ is nothing if not captivating. The album opens with the tribal urgency of the title track and proceeds, over the next 45 minutes, to utterly demolish any and every possible barrier that could stand between your ass and the dance floor. On ‘Shot,’ Wilbur sings a stream of consciousness vocal line over an airtight groove, while “Psychotubes” channels the apocalyptic fire and brimstone of death metal, and the staccato intro of “That’s What They Say” gives way to a gritty, late-night come-on of a saxophone line that’s far more suggestive than any whispered words ever could be. Though the band is heavily inspired by electronic music, they made a conscious effort to use as little in the way of “studio tricks” as possible on ‘Red Sky,’ aiming instead to capture the sound of their live show, which has evolved significantly from their days underground. “When we were playing in the subways, we were playing entirely acoustic,” explains Wilbur. “It was just two saxes and a drum set. Then Wenzl acquired a baritone sax and we all started getting into music production and incorporating electronic music into our live shows.” At their performances, the band now plays through what they call a Reverse DJ setup, in which the live sound from their horns runs through Ableton software on their laptops to process recorded effects onto the output. In addition, to flesh out their sound on the road, the band began utilizing Moog synthesizers, an EWI (an electronic wind instrument that responds to breath in addition to touch), and other more traditional instruments like clarinets. Wilbur added vocals to his repertoire on some tracks (something the subway never allowed him to do), and Muschler, meanwhile, traveled halfway around the world to expand his percussion skills. “I went to India, and the first morning I woke up, it was like 5am, and I followed this music along the banks of the Ganges,” he remembers. “I eventually ended up finding this amazing tabla player, and after his performance, I asked him for lessons. He agreed, and I went for daily lessons with him and another guy for the next two weeks. After that, I took a train to Calcutta, where I met with the guru that I’d studied with in New York, and I did morning lessons with him and practiced throughout the day. It was an incredible musical immersion experience.” The band members all speak reverently of meditation and consciousness and the role it plays in their music (McGowen believes his introduction to it, spurred on in part by Wilbur and Muschler, saved his life), but equally close to their hearts are the environmental causes they champion. Moon Hooch tries to live up to their green ideals while traveling as much as possible, playing benefit shows, supporting local farmers and co-ops, participating in river cleanups, filming informative videos for their fans, and more. The band even runs a food blog, Cooking In The Cave, in which they highlight the healthy, sustainable, organic recipes they utilize with their mobile kitchen setup on tour. For the members of Moon Hooch, commitments to consciousness and environmentalism and veganism and philosophy and peace aren’t separate from their commitment to music, but actually integral parts of it. It’s all tied into that same core approach that led to their discovery on the subway platform: try, even if it’s just a little bit every day, even if it’s just with the power of your mind, to make the world less like it is and more like you wish it could be. “I’d say all of our songs express the essence of that kind of energy,” concludes McGowen, “because before you can even think any thoughts, there exists the energy that drives those thoughts, and that energy is intention. I feel like we’re putting the intention of positive change constantly into our music. While we’re playing, I often see the future emerging: skyscrapers getting covered in plants, frowns turning into smiles, fistfights into hugs. I can see the energy of love and collaboration and trust replace the energy of fear, hatred and violence.” It’s an ambitious vision, to be sure, but considering the band’s track record at turning their thoughts and dreams into action and reality, perhaps it’s only a matter of time.
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Sat, Oct 22 - 9pm - $15
Ten years in the making, Chicago’s Henhouse Prowlers have built a reputation for hard work and non-stop touring, playing music inspired by the roots of bluegrass while branching out into a sound uniquely their own. From lightning fast picking, to sentimental ballads—playing storied original material, traditional songs, and contemporary covers—The Prowlers’ live show leaves no one wanting.Their most recent album “Breaking Ground” grew out of collaboration and time well spent, having completed it within months of multiple cross-country US tours and the band’s third trip to Europe. Produced by Greg Cahill (Grammy nominated band-leader of Special Consensus), with special guests Josh Williams (of Rhonda Vincent and the Rage) and Anders Beck (of Greensky Bluegrass), this recording packs punch after punch.The band recently performed with the US State Department on two separate trips in five different countries in Central and West Africa, as well as heading back to Europe in the spring of 2014 for their largest tour abroad to date. The Prowlers continue to push the envelope with their highly original songwriting, tight arrangements, and electrifying stage presence. With the bluegrass mantle on their shoulders and the best fans in the world by their side, The Henhouse Prowlers are here to stay for a long, long time.
Head for the Hills has a simple but continuing dilemma they can’t seem to resolve. Specialists have been hired to no avail and the predicament persists: how does one describe the multifarious music of Head for the Hills? Among the top contenders are catchy turns of phrase like post-bluegrass, progressive string music, modern acoustic noir, and bluegrass bricolage. “On top of modern string music,” (Bluegrass Today), “Cutting edge” (Drew Emmitt) or “Best in Colorado Bluegrass” (Westword Magazine Readers Poll)—those are up there too. Strip away the artful descriptors and you have a forward thinking group of {mostly} acoustic musicians drawing on eclectic influences, tastes and styles. They didn’t grow up immersed in bluegrass music but came to it later in life, with each other. The result is a sound based in bluegrass that reaches into indie rock, jazz, hip hop, world and folk to stitch together fresh songs that bridge the divide between past and future acoustic music. Head for the Hills—Adam Kinghorn on Guitar and vocals, Joe Lessard on violin and vocals, Matt Loewen on upright bass and vocals and Sam Parks on mandolin — have been bringing their music, whatever you’d like to call it, to audiences from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to South by Southwest and a multitude of stages in between since 2004. The band has independently issued three studio records and one live, been featured on NPR Ideastream and eTown, co-released a beer with Odell Brewing Company and charted on the CMJ Top 200 (Blue Ruin, 2013 and Head for the Hills, 2010). Meta-fictional sea shanties. Pop-infused newgrass murder ballads and urbane lyricism. Twang and punch. Head for the Hills’ fourth and latest record, Blue Ruin, fuses bluegrass, jazz, hip-hop and indie rock into songs inspired by love and misery and comic books. Featuring twelve original songs marked by moving narratives and stellar musicianship, Blue Ruin showcases the quartet’s contemporary take on acoustic music; embracing the bluegrass pedigree while looking forward. Recorded and mixed in Fort Collins, Colorado at Swingfingers Studios with ace engineer and banjoist Aaron Youngberg (Martha Scanlan, Cahalen Morrison and Eli West), Blue Ruin features contributions from Andy Hall (The Infamous Stringdusters), James Thomas, Gabe Mervine (The Motet), and more. Renowned screen print artist Timothy Doyle (Muse, The Black Keys, Lucas Films, NASA) created the stunning cover art and Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer David Glasser rounds out the production team. This is Head for the Hills at their most artistically fulfilled: self-produced and in top form. Blue Ruin is more than just a “bluegrass” record—it’s a Head for the Hills record. A quintessential Colorado band, Head for the Hills has been fortunate to work with many of the area greats, starting with Grammy Award winning Dobroist Sally Van Meter, producer of 2007’s Robber’s Roost. Legacy Colorado musician and Leftover Salmon mandolin player Drew Emmitt came in to produce 2010’s Head for the Hills. The list goes on, with a bevy of talent from Colorado and beyond surrounding 2010’s Head for the Hills; including Grammy Award winning mixing engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, The Raconteurs), technical wizard and Pink Floyd re-master engineer Gus Skinas, Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass), Kyle James Hauser (Sonablast! Recording Artist, Rapidgrass Quintet) and keyboardist James Thomas, with String Cheese Incident guitarist and Colorado mainstay Billy Nershi rounding out the lineup as studio host and collaborator. In 2012 Head for the Hills released their first live record (Live). Captured in high fidelity sound & culled from 5 great nights in Colorado, Live is just that; the band live and unadorned, performing favorite original material and select covers. Here are a few of the things people all over the country have been saying about Head for the Hills: “Cutting edge” Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon); “Head for the Hills possesses that secret ingredient,” Ryan Dembinsky (Glide Magazine, Hidden Track); “Critics Picks-What we think you should hear at SxSW,” (Austin Statesman/360.com); “Summer Stars” (Relix Magazine); “Fiery and precise – what modern bluegrass should be,” City Weekly (Salt Lake City, UT); “A very modern indie rock approach to bluegrass,” Daily Herald (Provo, UT); “Colorado Neo-bluegrassers Head for the Hills combine old and new and carry the torch for a new generation,” Ryan Heinsius (Flagstaff Live); “Rising stars of the acoustic string scene,” (BluegrassLA); “The band is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with many of their predecessors, and in the process creating their chapter in the ever-continuing story of bluegrass,” (Marquee Magazine); “Reshaping the genre as a whole,” Sam Sanborn (Oregon Music News); “The name Head for the Hills connotes hightailing it, running away. Yeah right. From the growing crowd of fans in hot pursuit,” Susan Viebrock (Telluride Inside & Out); “Supremely satisfying,” Eric Podolsky (Jambase.com).
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