Calendar

 
Wed, Jun 10 - 8pm - No Cover
Casey Lee Chicago is a Chicago blues musician. That is focused on keeping the blues alive. Chicago blues Hall of Famer‘s and musicians participate in these events. To keep the blues network in Chicago going strong and providing entertainment to guests of Chicago and Chicagoians wins at some of the best venues in Chicago.
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Fri, Jun 12 - 9pm - $12adv/$15door
THIS SHOW HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, JUNE 12. ALL TICKETS PURCHASED FOR 5/22 WILL BE HONORED.Michelle Billingsley’s songs are like an Emmylou that went through the looking glass. She blends western, folk, americana, and roots influences into darkly lyrical originals. Joined by some of Chicago’s best musicians, she'll have you dancing one minute and gut-punched the next with some devastating turn of phrase. This honky tonk angel is gonna make you feel it all.
Wild Earp & The Free for Alls play what they call Wild Americana, a blend of vintage country, rockabilly, western soundscapes, folk, and rock and roll with a contagious live energy. It's a balance of tradition and experimentation that borrows liberally from other genres and appeals to a broad audience. They play regularly in Chicago and tour all around the country.
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Sat, Jun 13 - 9pm - $15
RESCHEDULED TO SATURDAY JUNE 13. ALL TICKETS PURCHASED WILL BE HONORED. EMAIL tickets at martyrslive dot com FOR ANY QUESTIONS OR ISSUES.////It’s always a pleasure to perform a tribute to a legendary band. But when that tribute provides the opportunity to single out and celebrate the gifts of a extraordinary collection of musicians, that performance becomes even sweeter.With the recent passing Rush drummer Neil Peart, Great Moments in Vinyl felt it was time to turn the spotlight on the remarkable trio he helped make famous. Founded by guitarist Alex Lifeson in 1968, the group had to replace their original front man and bass player before they even played their second gig. They recruited Geddy Lee, a distinctive vocalist and bassist who brought significant power and range to their sound. And then when the band’s original drummer bowed out two weeks before one of their biggest shows up to that point, they found a kindred spirit in lyricist and percussionist Neil Peart.“We are a hard rock band that sometimes wanders off into the world of the prog rockers. We share some of the desire to make our music weird which the ‘proggers’ all have in common. I consider us carrying on a tradition begun by Cream or The Who more than anything.”—Geddy Lee, Rush: The Story So Far (2002)“Fantasies are futile, self-defeating. But dreams…dreams are beautiful, life-affirming, powerful. We can’t move forward without them.”—Neil Peart, Toronto Star (01/23/89)Rush is a band that followed its dreams…with spectacular results. Originally derided in the rock press and polarizing to fans of music (you either loved them or you ridiculed them), the trio has had the last laugh by marching to their own drummer and beating the odds to enjoy a successful and rewarding career that lasted more than 40 years.As Rolling Stone observed in 2015, “There are weirder bands and there are bigger bands, but none quite so weird and quite so big.”. . . .Join Great Moments in Vinyl on Friday, April 17th at Martyrs’ as we pay tribute to Rush. We’ll spend time with songs from their early career in our first set, and then perform their most popular album Moving Pictures in its entirety in our second. 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.
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Tue, Jun 16 - 7pm - $10
The Rolling Clones are an 8 piece band dedicated to the music of the Rolling Stones. Celebrate the send off of guitarist Steve Siculan who is moving to FL in October.
The Drawers are a Local, 8 piece band, featuring vibrant performances of classic rock from The Who, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Neil Young, Jane’s Addiction, Supertramp, Chicago, and more. Showcasing virtuoso performances by internationally renowned musicians, the group provides a unique and varied concert- going experience.
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Thu, Jun 18 - 8pm - $10
RESCHEDULED FROM APRIL 23.Earthmother was formed under the philosophy of delivering an unforgettable and unique live experience. They met in Boston while attending Berklee College of Music and soon discovered that they had a shared love for improvised music. While most of their influences come from 60’s and 70’s rock, each member is influenced by an array of different styles, from blues to progressive rock to jazz. They use this as an advantage to express their music in as many different ways as possible, while keeping their music dripping with psychedelia.
Northwest Corner has been collectively interpreting the music and spirit of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band for over 15 years. Steeped in the core familiar expectations of these beloved songs, but determined to find new ground, Northwest Corner avoids any strict recreations and instead uses this vast catalog of classic American music to explore as many new avenues as possible. Northwest Corner is thrilled to bring their unique spin on this beloved catalog to Martyrs.
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Fri, Jun 19 - 9pm - $10
tri patterns is a fresh, energetic indie pop trio out of the great state of indiana.
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Wed, Jun 24 - 8pm - $10
RESCHEDULED FROM APR 15.///THE UNKNOWN NEW is equal parts jazz chamber ensemble and instrumental folk group – featuring music by Chicago-based composer, Paul Mutzabaugh (electric bass). Contributing to this texturally lush sound are Rich Stitzel (percussion), Vance Okraszewski (drums), Chris Siebold (lap steel & electric guitar), Jim Tashjian (acoustic guitar), and Mike Pinto (uber-guitar). The Unknown New has three records to its name: “Not Many Neighbors” (2018), “Thieves” (2016), and “Sunken Garden” (2015).
The Regulators' music defies easy description. Are they a rock power-trio? A jazz group? A funk band? An Andean pan-flute ensemble? They are most of these things and yet they are none of them. They are a free-funk-jazz exploration of non-western rhythmic modes. Whatever genre you want to call their music, a few things are certain: it's groovin', it's exciting and it's bad-assed. This is musical high-wire without a net. Formed in mid-2008 as the global economy appeared ready to do a stage-dive during sound-check, The Regulators are Mike Allemana on guitar, Gerald Dowd on drums and Matt Ferguson on bass. The band spun itself off from a pre-existing group--Brian O'Hern's Model Citizens Big Band--where they had already commenced with their trademark rhythmic explorations during the extended free-inventions which typically mark the close of each Model Citizens set. Brian points his finger and away they go. One moment it is Funkadelic getting in touch with their inner-Bulgarian, ten minutes later a wall of noise-rock and five minutes after that, King Tubby in a klezmer band. Anything can and will happen. This was too good to just go down once a month at the end of a big-band set so the three decided to form the Regulators and start doing their thing all night long. Since then they have been doin' it about once a month at various venues; currently they call Lizard's lounge on Irving Park Rd. home every first Monday of the month (in addition to playing together with the Model Citizens at the Gallery Cabaret every third Monday). Besides playing with the Model Citizens, the individuals in the Regulators have notable musical pedigrees. Mike Allemana--voted best jazz soloist by the Chicago Reader in 2008--is a leader of several projects, including the jazz-gospel ensemble Come Sunday and is--like band-mate Matt Ferguson--a member of world-renowned saxophonist Von Freeman's Quartet. Gerald Dowd has been a long-time regular with Robbie Fulks and Grammy-nominee Justin Roberts and is one of Chicago's most in-demand drummers. As sidemen--often together as sidemen--they have roughly twenty years of experience gigging, jamming and/or recording together with such artists as Clyde Stubblefield, Mavis Staples, Lin Halliday, Charles Earland, Arturo Sandoval, Harry Connick, Jr., Mickey Roker and many others.
Dave Hiltebrand calls his style Cinematic Americana. His acoustic guitar driven songs are deeply influenced by his love of artists from James Taylor, Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler to film composers Thomas Newman and John Williams. Dave travels the tonal and stylistic boundaries with the acoustic guitar and blends his easygoing voice.
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Thu, June 25 - 8pm - $15
Ezra Bell’s first full-length debut features ebullient soul twang, flowing and leaping like the music of a late 60s/early 70s recording of well-trained freaks dabbling in various genres. This Portland band sounds like they effortlessly recorded one of those forgotten-gem “cult albums”, despite it being early 2018.After three well-received EPs and playing regularly in Portland since 2013, the playfully literate and cheerfully plaintive Benjamin Wuamett and his gaggle of quite fit players, conjure up a festive dusky folk-rock-blues-jazz-R&B-pop vibe that doesn’t smother out the melancholy. These haunted stories include key tracks “Tourists” (“This one is about realizing the game is rigged, but you still have to play; it’s the only game in town”); “Yawning at the Seance (“This one is about the stories we tell ourselves in order to feel like everything is okay”), and “Let Me Do the Talking.” About that last one: “The opening line is a rip-off of something the boxer Jack Johnson said when asked how he managed to so intrigue women. He said ‘eat jellied eels and think distant thoughts.’ I think it’s one of the great travesties (and a telling indictment of our society) of our time that a great man’s name has been usurped by some surfer singing about breakfast.” The glistening, giddy music on these tracks help to document the car-wreck gas-lit lifestyles Wuamett masterfully describes. He displays gleaming shards of a self-depreciative self-awareness but also someone busy getting lost. “The overall theme going into this?” Wuamett answers to what the album is about. “Desperation. A call to arms. A whimper. A declaration that being witty by yourself at 4 AM in a basement, is a poor way to live.” Ezra Bell features Maurice Spencer (bass), Tom Trotter (drums), Aaron Mattison (horns and arrangements), Honora Hildreth (backing vocals and percussion), and Jeremy Asay (keys and guitar) more-than-ably backing up Wuamett’s story-songs and satirical jigs with organic precision.Wuamett came up with the band name when he was in Portugal and a girl he was with dared him to try a nearby concession stand’s popcorn snails. He had two full bowls. “They were delicious,” he says. “When I got back to Portland, I couldn’t sleep. On the way to work the next day, after a rainfall, I saw a slug crossing the sidewalk. I bent down and ate it raw on the spot. I didn’t go to work that day I went home, grabbed a garbage bag and spent the morning gathering snails, slugs, worms (not sure if worms fall in the mollusk family but, still, delicious) which I brought home with me. Hours later, as I sat shirtless on my couch, covered in sweat, I knew I had a problem. It would be too long a story to talk about all the places my disease took me. Suffice to say — I once hitchhiked to California because I really wanted to taste a banana slug. In the end, it became too much and I sought help via the internet. I began posting on various forums about my problem. I hadn’t been to work in weeks. Unfortunately, there are very few mollusk addicts on the web and my various inquiries went without commiseration until a nice man from Georgia spoke up and we began a long correspondence during which he shared with me the tools that had enabled him to survive in this strange world. He saved my life. His name was Ezra Bell.”
San Francisco Soul Jive” is the best term Royal Jelly Jive can find indescribing their unique and intoxicating sound. Led by dynamicfront-woman Lauren Bjelde, this sultry sextet rocks into unchartedmusical territories with their infectious blend of modern and throwbacksensibilities. Armed with retro horns, heavy grooves, and catchy songsthat are impossible to resist, RJJ can pair with your fancy cocktail at asmoky jazz club and shake up the funkiest dance party.Born out of Funk and Happenstance at John Lee Hooker's Boom BoomRoom, Royal Jelly Jive has gone full-steam ahead in embracing musicas their truest calling. From prominent festival stages all along the WestCoast, East Coast and U.K., they continue to sweep crowds off theirfeet with a high energy live show that leaves crowds yelling for Mo’JELLY! Tour highlights include sharing stages with Michael Franti, LakeStreet Dive, The Roots, and Avett Brothers, as well prominent slots atfestivals such as Napa Valley’s Bottlerock, Po
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Mon, Aug 3 - 8pm - $10
Cassidy Stirtz is a multi-instrumentalist, actor, sommelier, and general nomad born and raised in the Chicago area. She has performed nationally as a musician in several groups including choirs, steel bands, rock bands, and a folk music revue featuring Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary. She also toured the globe with Once the Musical's first national tour and has organized musical benefit concerts in several cities around the country including Boston, Chicago, NYC, and Washington DC. She performs regularly with Youth in a Roman Field, featuring the music of Claire Wellin. In addition to playing, singing, and arranging for Youth's latest record Storm Conductor, she has contributed to albums for Common Jack, Maggie Hollinbeck, Lunar Ticks, and others. While offstage, Cassidy is passionate about the wine and beverage world and plans to move to California this year. She is delighted to be performing at Martyrs’ again and honored to perform her original music in her hometown.
Hailing from Chicago, Lunar Ticks aim to barrel through stylistic boundaries,by recreating, and expanding on roots music (rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, soul, punk, funk, etc.), with a DIY ethic and a jovial attitude. Featuring members of Chicago bands, The Casual Ties, Rusty Gates, Spread, Ooraloo, and Higgs Theory, this group labors to build an eclectic and vast catalog of originals and covers.This is a collective that strives for experimentation in writing, recording, production, and performance. We like to have fun, get weird, and let the moment steer us any way it chooses. We are dedicated to crafting intricate compositions, exploring inventive techniques for improvisation, and creating live experiences that will incorporate unique collaborations, themed events, and crowd interaction. We promise you this, if you take a chance on us, we’ll take a chance for you.
The Winchesters make regular passage of the bridge between toe-tapping country jams (like those of The Lone Bellow) and heart-filled introspective poetry (inspired by the likes of Tom Waits). The group started playing for fun in a little apartment on Winchester Avenue in the summer of 2014, and haven't been able to give it up since. A tight-knit bunch from the beginning, their closeness shows in their meticulously blended harmonies. When they're not rockin' your socks off, the Winchesters bring that same sense of living-room-intimacy to every crowd. In their spare time, they're developing a folk musical based on the epic poem Evangeline. The Winchesters released their first full-length album, Train & Taxi, last year.
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Wed, Aug 12 - 8pm - $10
CHIRP Radio’s Live Lit and Music series, The First Time, is unlike any storytelling show in Chicago. It pairs our readers' personal stories about a First Time experience with a song performance.This unique structure allows the story to resonate with audience members as they experience the accompanying song covered by our house band, The First Time Four band. The band, has played with musicians including Robbie Fulks, Ian Hunter, Kelly Hogan, Nora O'Connor and more, and takes special care to perform unexpected song arrangements of said covers. It is hard to tell what the audience enjoys more each story or each song.The show is a benefit for CHIRP Radio.org and is hosted by The Moth champion Jenn Sodini.
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Sat, Aug 15 - 9pm - $12
Violet Crime is an 8 piece pop rock band from Chicago. The release of their 2019 EP "Paper Queen" has garnered attention from press outlets like Substream Magazine, Atwood Magazine, and Midwest action - as well as numerous podcasts and playlist curators. Inspired by pop, funk, and soul music of past decades - their live performance is exciting and emotional, and tends to turn bystanders into fans.Violet Crime is a band that believes music and community are one and the same. Signed to social impact label Play Together, Violet Crime is part of a collaboration whose profits are donated to Chicago after-school music program Intonation Music in an effort to inspire the next generation of Chicago artists and creators. Violet Crime can also be found popping up at Sofar Sounds shows across the city where they provide an intimate, captivating, and humorous performance which makes audience members feel as though they're simply friends of the band.“There’s no shortage of local, up and coming acts in the Midwest— specifically Chicago — but there’s not a lot that are like VioletCrime.” -Substream Magazine"Violet Crime are a band with seamless crossover appeal between pop and rock audiences.” -Atwood Magazine
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Sat, Aug 22 - 8:30pm - $15
OPEN
\\\\\\ POSTPONED FROM APRIL 11 /////Sometimes inspiration strikes from the immersion of living in a faraway place. Sometimes, inspiration stems from a place that everyone can relate to, but maybe no one’s actually been. This is the music of The Hip Abduction, the vibrant St. Petersburg, FL-based collective that formed over a mutual appreciation for West African and early Jamaican reggae/dub music. The Hip Abduction (THA) began through informal jam sessions and quickly coalesced into a sound that attracted national attention. For “Gold Under the Glow”, the band’s 2016 third full album release, THA engage an indie pop acumen alongside a highly emotive and roots driven sound. The Hip Abduction featuring David New (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Powers (bass), Dave Johnson (baritone, tenor sax), Cody Moore (keyboards, sax), Matt Poynter (drums, vocals) and Justino Lee Walker (guitar, vocals, sitar) have shared stages with the likes of Dirty Heads, Grace Potter, Galactic, The Revivalists, Ziggy Marley, Umphrey’s McGee, Thievery Corporation, Matisyahu, 311, Galactic, Moon Taxi and more.
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Wed, Aug 26 - 8pm - $35
RESCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 26th.From its inception, Camilo Séptimo seemed primed to become Mexico’s preeminent psychedelic indie rock band. Founding members Manuel “Coe” Mendoza (vocals and bass), Jonathan Meléndez (keyboards), and Erik Vázquez (guitar) had each built impressive reputations in Mexico City’s vibrant indie scene before coming together in 2013 to form Camilo Séptimo.The band’s sound can be described as a fusion of melancholic dream-pop with cosmic-psychedelia.The fascinating composition structure is comprised of every element delivering in equal balance: Coe’s yearning, levitational vocals, serene yet energizing melodies from Meléndez’s synth, and Vázquez unraveling it all with sultry guitar riffs.In 2014, Camilo Séptimo premiered their first EP “Maya” at Casa de Lago to a cult following of 400. With a meteoric rise in popularity, the trio was invited to perform at the prestigious Festival Viva Latino the following year --a feat virtually unheard of among bands that are only two years from their debut.2016 marked even more astronomical achievements as they launched their 38-show “Neon Tour” across Mexico, selling out shows in iconic music venues such as Centro Cultural España , Lunario del Auditorio Nacional, and Foro Indie Rocks! . Notable performance invitations followed, including opening for the Foals at the Pepsi Center WTC and Twenty One Pilots at the Palacio de Los Deportes .Camilo Séptimo also participated in select performances in the historic Café Tacvba - Zoé tour of 2016.In 2017, the band announced the launch of their first LP “Óleos” as a joint production by Mario Miranda (Patterns) and Christian Jean (Reyno). Óleos was presented at El Plaza Condesa along with two performances at Teatro Metropolitan , selling out all three shows.That same year, the now nationally-renown indie band embarked on their first international tour that included headlining performances in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, and US cities San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.Drawing inspiration from their international tour, Camilo Séptimo’s next album “Navegantes” reflected a more polished composition that leads listeners through a myriad of celestial musical escapades. The transcendent 10-song album was a collaborative production by Mario Miranda, Camilo Séptimo, and Fer Mares, with Luis Jiménez assisting in vocal production.Camilo Séptimo returned to the Pepsi Center WTC in February 2019, this time to premiere their album Navegantes and selling out the 7,000 capacity theater. In September 2019, Camilo Séptimo over-shadowed that success with yet another phenomenal accomplishment -- selling out Mexico City’s 10,000-seat Auditorio Nacional.Camilo Séptimo’s exhilarating achievements show no sign of slowing down. With an expanded 2020 tour throughout the north and south American continents, Camilo Séptimo continues to reach new sonic heights of performance success and musical acclamation.
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Sat, Sep 12 - 8pm - $17adv/$20door
Satsang is a power trio creating a unique blend of soul, folk-rock, and hip-hop. Satsang delivers lyrics that come from and are rooted in change, growth, awareness, and imperfection. The live show is everything that the band name suggests: a gathering of people to assimilate and share their truths. The rhythms put forth by the band keep everyone on their feet, and the lyrics leave them craving active and positive change. Satsang has toured all over the country and has shared the stage with the likes of Michael Franti & Spearhead, Steel Pulse, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Trevor Hall, Chris Berry, Mike Love, Jon Wayne and the Pain, Tubby Love, and many more.
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Fri, Sep 25 - 8pm - $15
Without U2 recreates the sight and sound of the legendary Irish rock band U2 in an incredible fashion, in full costumes and with authentic gear. Just like a real live U2 show, we perform extended versions of all the hits such as One, With or Without You, Where the Streets Have No Name, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Mysterious Ways, New Year's Day, Desire, Pride (In the Name of Love), Beautiful Day, I Will Follow…even deep cuts not performed by the real band anymore. Our members are passionate lifelong U2 fanatics- we not settle for less than complete authenticity.
Dead Letter Office has dedicated themselves to faithfully reproducing the music and energy of a live R.E.M. show. Since 2014, they've been thrilling audiences throughout the U.S. & Canada, providing a show that's been sorely missed since R.E.M called it quits. Performing R.E.M.'s major hits, but also diving deep into their catalog to please the die-hard fans! The only R.E.M. tribute band to have members of R.E.M. perform with them (Mike Mills joining them on stage in Buffalo NY....and Peter Buck joining them on stage at Clusterfest in San Francisco!!).
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Fri, Oct 16 - 9pm - $20adv/$25door
Celebrating Talking Heads legendary Rome concert by performing theentire set from that show complete with 2 bass players! (special guest
Julie Slick!) both nights. Plus a different, second set of more
Talking Heads songs both nights! Two very
special nights at Martyrs'. ///////If David Byrne is one of the geniuses of modern times, then Start Making Sense is a tribute to genius. The musicians in this 7-piece Talking Heads Tribute take pride in faithfully recreating the music of Talking Heads entire career. Together they bring much of the Heads unique live show to the stage, with front man Jon Braun as a spot-on David Byrne, giving you a "once in a lifetime" experience. Prepare yourself for a rockin', funkin', danceable celebration of the new-wave art punk you loved from the 80's !!!
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Sat, Oct 17 - 9pm - $20adv/$25door
Celebrating Talking Heads legendary Rome concert by performing theentire set from that show complete with 2 bass players! (special guest Julie Slick!) both nights. Plus a different, second set of more Talking Heads songs both nights! Two very special nights at Martyrs'. ///////If David Byrne is one of the geniuses of modern times, then Start Making Sense is a tribute to genius. The musicians in this 7-piece Talking Heads Tribute take pride in faithfully recreating the music of Talking Heads entire career. Together they bring much of the Heads unique live show to the stage, with front man Jon Braun as a spot-on David Byrne, giving you a "once in a lifetime" experience. Prepare yourself for a rockin', funkin', danceable celebration of the new-wave art punk you loved from the 80's !!!
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Thu, Oct 22 - 8pm - $20
Mike Mattison and Paul Olsen invented Scrapomatic in 1999 in an effort to separate the blues from anything edifying and preserve its impurities. Their shambolic, uplifting blues songcraft spans four studio albums and almost twenty years of hell-for-leather touring.Mattison and Olsen met at a P-Funk concert in Minneapolis in 1993. They formed a funk band and soon racked up a Minnesota Music Award nomination. Inevitably, in 1996, they trucked their bleak Midwestern humor to New York. On a spring evening in 1999, after appropriating a National tri-cone resonator guitar and accidentally drinking from a santeria candle, Scrapomatic emerged almost fully-formed.Mattison moonlights as a singer and songwriter for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, which he joined after eight years of lead-singing for the Derek Trucks Band. Between the two groups he has recorded nine albums, collected two Grammy Awards for Best Blues Album, six Blues Music Awards (formerly the W.C. Handy Awards) and two Canadian Maple Blues Awards. His compositions “Midnight In Harlem” and “Bound For Glory” are mainstays of the TTB repertoire.Paul Olsen is an ASCAP Award-winning songwriter whose compositions are the bedrock of the Scrapomatic catalogue. He has written and co-written songs for albums by Susan Tedeschi, Amy Helm and Kristina Train.Dave Yoke brought his uncanny Alabama guitar stylings to the group in 2005 and went on to succeed Olsen in the Susan Tedeschi Band, eventually putting in a five-year hitch with the great Dr. John.Scrapomatic have made their mark on the national scene performing with the Blind Boys of Alabama, Al Green, Steve Earle, Chocolate Genius, Sharon Jones, James Hunter, etc. etc. As for the rest of the story-... Hell, you’ve got a computer. Google ‘em.
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Sat, Oct 24 - 9pm - $16adv/$18door
THIS SHOW HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24TH. ALL TICKETS FOR 4/18 WILL BE HONORED. EMAIL TICKETSatMARTYRSLIVEdotcom with any questions.Some music cannot be found on a map or within iTunes categories. Some music is so original it seems snatched from the great, invisible substrata that runs below all human activity, a sound aching to be born without a flag or fixed allegiance – free, questing, overflowing with immediate, tangible life. This is the music of Toubab Krewe, the vibrant Asheville, NC-based instrumental powerhouse that creates a sonic Pangaea that lustily swirls together rock, African traditions, jam sensibilities, international folk strains and more. While nearly impossible to put into any box, it takes only a few moments to realize in a very palpable way that one is face-to-face with a true original who recognizes no borders in a march towards a muscular, original, globally switched-on sound. Formed in 2005, Toubab Krewe has tenaciously honed their craft through relentless touring and a fierce dedication to carving out something they can truly call their own. The fruits of this hard work can be heard on their latest release, STYLO, (March 2nd, 2018). What Justin Perkins (kora, kamelngoni, guitar, percussion), Terrence Houston (drumset), Drew Heller (guitar, organ), Justin Kimmel (bass, keys), and Luke Quaranta (djembe, dunun, sangban, kenkeni, kryn, karenye) have wrought on STYLO reflects the many miles and musical journeys that have transpired since their last studio album, TK2. This is a band that actively draws inspiration from whatever source floats into their purview, something they've exhibited in their decade and a half of heavy gigging, including regular appearances at major U.S. festivals like Bonnaroo, High Sierra, Electric Forest, Wakarusa, Hulaween, and abroad at such legendary gatherings as the Festival In The Desert in Essakane, Mali, Shanghai World Music Festival, and Jam Cruise. Whether on their own or collaborating with luminaries like the Last Poets' Umar Bin Hassan, Uncle Earl's Rayna Gellert, or Weedie Braimah, Toubab Krewe has already earned the attention and respect of a broad musical community. Toubab carries echoes of African greats like Ali Farka Toure, Orchestra Baobab and Salif Keita, no doubt picked up during the group's travels to study and live in Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali. But what truly differentiates Toubab Krewe from other Statesiders inspired by African music is how they innovate on what they've learned instead of simply recreating tradition. Toubab Krewe carves out a new trail honoring the African originators they admire by making something alive and contemporary.
AfroZep is a Chicago based band that performs a set of Led Zeppelin tunes that have been rearranged with African influences.Chicago based percussionist Marshall Greenhouse first formed the group in 2009. AfroZep quickly gained local and national attention through coast to coast tours of venues, universities and festivals. Within their first year, they had been recognized by both the Chicago Reader and by WXRT for their original and energetic take on Led Zeppelin earning them Best Led Zeppelin Cover Band of the Year honors.In 2016 the band went through some lineup changes which ultimately led them to hiring vocalist Jabal in 2018. Hailing from Douala, Cameroon, Jabal sang cabaret for countless hours six nights a week. He built a following around the continent with his ability to sing a variety of styles in many languages. Jabal brings a truly unique take on Robert Plants vocals while also adding African influenced vocals, such as singing Makossa and other popular genres originating in Cameroon as well as his ability to accurately mimic the voice of Fela Kuti.
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