Real live American music!

I’m skipping out on Guitar Slide Wednesday AGAIN. Next week, we’ll get back to business, but today, I’m going to brag about reflect on some of the live music I’ve seen here in Chicago. As a preface, I am a supporter of live music. This is fairly easy in Athens, GA, since there are always many bands playing many places (and regularly some of these bands are worth hearing). I admit that in my old age, I’m not all that interested in seeing bands I don’t know about, but I will go out of my way to see bands I like (cf. driving to Atlanta when necessary).

Thus, since seeing live music is Something I Like to Do, it’s basically awesome when I can do this AND call it Research. A big chunk of my time has been spent at the 32nd Annual American Music Festival out at FitzGerald’s Nightclub in Berwyn, IL (which is a suburb of Chicago and borders Oak Park). And though it was slightly difficult to get there, and it was kind of hot, it was worth it: the lineup was impressive, and the atmosphere was better than advertised!

In terms of sheer entertainment, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound stole the show. Their live show is tons of fun, JC Brooks is high, high energy, and they sound great. I’ve mentioned them here before, and even though their album doesn’t capture their live show, you should check them out.

In the category of I’ve Never Heard of You But Now I’m a Fan, Sons of Fathers is the clear winner. This Austin band is Avett/Mumford-y and also puts on a pretty darn good live show. I was thrilled to see Dave Alvin perform (the man can PLAY a guitar… and look quite good while doing so), and Robbie Fulks and Co. playing only Everly Brothers was great. Tributosaurus as CCR was also entertaining, and of course, seeing the Waco Brothers is always wild. There are some fantastic photos of the entire event here if you’re interested (even though they probably all look the same unless you were there or you’re in one of the photos, but the sequence of photos of JC Brooks is pretty fun).

All of that to say, if you can get to Berwyn next year, I highly recommend it!

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