Chicago’s reputation as one of America’s great “melting pot” cities has always been partly a myth. The true part is the incredible ethnic diversity. Per the 2010 Census, over 40 different languages were the primary language spoken across homes in Chicago neighborhoods. The myth part is the extent of the actual “melting” that occurs. Chicago sadly remains a segregated city, and its legendary neighborhoods have almost always had their identity tied to one predominant ethnicity.
A life can be compared to a jigsaw puzzle. Each odd shaped piece of a different size represents a decision, choice, or life event. It is our job as humans to fit those pieces together to create something that resembles a beautiful picture. Some peoples’ puzzles look like pristine landscapes, while others look like a jumbled mess of random pieces with huge gaps where the fragments should fit together. Paul’s puzzle already resembles a portrait of the Grand Tetons, majestic and fairly complete. (more…)
Sometimes the stars align just right to create magic. And tonight was one of those evenings. It was, well……..magical. I am at a loss for alternate words because magical is the best way to describe the visual and auditory sensations I experienced. Lukas Nelson And The Promise Of The Real are some damn good musicians with a stage presence rivaling the greats. (more…)
Before I even discuss the music, some time needs to be dedicated to describing the venue, Club 603. The setting is an oasis in Baltimore City with mature tress and no indication that you are within city limits. It is a complete escape for the drudgery and stress of daily life. The grounds are pristine and beautiful. Almost too beautiful to fathom that it is real. I got the feeling that I was actually on a movie set, not a private home. (more…)
Seeing Scott live is like going to church. It is only fitting that The Southgate House Revival is in The Grace Methodist Episcopal Church built in 1866. Scott, of course was on stage in the main sanctuary giving us all of his Sunday learning. I know it was a Friday night, but it was a great service, nonetheless. To see Scott Biram live is the only way to properly explain the way he plays and how much sound he makes for one person. Well, that is why he is the self described “The Dirty Old One Man Band”. It really is a religious experience. (more…)
Seems fitting that the David Rawlings Machine played Thalia Hall this time around. This amazing venue, originally modeled after the Prague Opera House when constructed in 1892, was the center of Pilsen’s Bohemian community for 70 years until it was shuttered in the 1960s. Since this landmark status venue reopened in 2013, it has become the musical epicenter of a gentrified Pilsen by continually hosting, what I would argue, is the most diverse blend of quality musical acts in Chicago.(more…)
When long-time Bloodshot Records recording artist Wayne “The Train” Hancock comes to town, you just know he’s gonna swing. And you know he’s gonna swing in a way that takes you straight back in time to the juke joints of Denton, Kilgore and Austin, Texas, where Wayne is from. Hancock’s unique blend of Hank William’s honkytonk blues coupled with Bob Wills-fueled western swing and a dash of rockabilly, which he calls Juke Joint Swing, is a perfect fit for Berwyn, Illinois’ legendary FitzGerald’s Nightclub. FitzGerald’s, one of my all-time favorite music venues in the Greater Chicagoland area, is ground zero for American Music, as its been coined here in Chicago, and with the recent announcement that Bill FitzGerald is trying to sell the club after 40 years and retire, this show became an absolute must-see for me.(more…)