33rd Annual American Music Festival
FitzGerald's annual four-day celebration of American roots music is an ideal way to spend a 4th of July weekend. -- Greg Kot, Tribune
…a mainstay of Chicago summers and one of the most generous musical feasts of the year. -- Mark Guarino, Sun-Times
Every year FitzGerald’s puts on one of the finest festivals of American roots music in the country. -- popmatters.com
One of the truly great Chicago musical celebrations…. -- Jim DeRogatis/WBEZ
Starting in 1981, FitzGerald's American Music Festival has grown from a three-band barbeque night to one of the most critically acclaimed summer festivals in the Midwest. The festival's main focus is roots/Americana music -- everything from straight-ahead rock to soul, rockabilly, country, blues, jazz and bluegrass. We welcome bands from all over the country and right here at home, with a special place in our hearts for New Orleans and Texas.
Unlike many of the popular music festivals in the city, the American Music Festival is held on the grounds of the club, with two of the three stages in our club and SideBar and one outdoor stage on tented parking lot. This setup makes for a more intimate, comfortable experience, with access to a full bar, air conditioning and real bathrooms! Our festival tents offer seating and waitress service, and the FitzGerald family is always on hand to help with any special needs which might arise.
SCROLL TO BOTTOM OF PAGE FOR BAND SCHEDULE
JULY 2 (doors open at 4:30 pm):
IN THE TENT: Marcia Ball Band, Junior Brown, Warren Hood Band , Colin Gilmore
IN THE CLUB: Black Lillies, Joe Pug, Holmes Brothers
IN THE SIDEBAR: Chicago Farmer, Ryan Joseph Anderson, Michele McGuire.
JULY 3 (doors open at 4:30 pm):
IN THE TENT: Tribute to Lowell George featuring the New Orleans Suspects with Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat, New Orleans Suspects, Tributosaurus becomes The Band, Shinyribs
IN THE CLUB: Eric Lindell & Co., Pokey LaFarge, Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys, Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett, The Fat Babies.
IN THE SIDEBAR: Cannonball, Ron Lazzeretti, Bunkertown, Joe Filisko and Eric Noden.
JULY 4 (doors open at 1 pm):
IN THE TENT: Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys, Shemekia Copeland, Bottle Rockets, Billy Joe Shaver, Lost & Nameless Orchestra, Switchback Band.
IN THE CLUB: Jon Dee Graham, Shinyribs, Robbie Fulks, Kevin Gordon Band, Jarekus Singleton, Cory Branan.
IN THE SIDEBAR: Kory Quinn, The Belvederes, The Dyes, Weepin' Willows.
JULY 5 (doors open at 1 pm):
IN THE TENT: Joe Ely and Reckless Kelly, The Iguanas, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Express, Glen David Andrews , The Salty Dogs.
IN THE CLUB: CJ Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band; John Fullbright, Girls, Guns & Glory perform a set and then are joined by Sarah Borges, The Split Squad, The Bellfuries, The Howlin' Brothers, Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers.
IN THE SIDEBAR: Expo '76, Jenny Dragon, Ella Gill & Scott Daniel, Dirty Pigeons.
IN THE TENT:
MARCIA BALL BAND (10:30 pm): Marcia Ball was FitzGerald's first national touring act back in 1981 — Bill FitzGerald saw her on his first trip to New Orleans' Jazz Fest and set his sights on having her at the club. Since then, the piano great has come back year after year, bringing her brand of rollicking NOLA R&B, soulful ballads and Texas stomp. She has been nominated for several Grammys and has garnered scores of other awards during her career. A Marcia Ball show is always one of the highlights of our festival — don't miss it! http://www.marciaball.com/index.shtml
JUNIOR BROWN (8:30 pm): With his unique voice, more unique songwriting craft, and even more unique double-necked “Guit-Steel”, there has absolutely never been anyone like Austin-based Junior Brown. Lately Junior has been concentrating as always on his songwriting skills with his more recent material, which still references dry wit, serious sentiment and instrumental prowess. Some of these new songs show a previously uncharted direction into modern technical jargon. Just one listen to selections like “Hang Up and Drive” or “Apathy Waltz” and you will have no doubt that there is more here than just simple Retro-Billy. These songs are about today and Junior is still performing them “Junior style.” http://www.juniorbrown.com
WARREN HOOD BAND (6:45 pm): Warren Hood began playing the fiddle at the age of eleven. He attended Berklee School of Music where he was awarded the school's top honor — The String Achievement Award. He has since gone on to win numerous awards for string virtuosity and has been recognized three times as String Player of the Year in the Austin Chronicle Music Poll. The son of Austin, TX music legend, Champ Hood (Uncle Walt's Band, Toni Price), Warren has become an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer. He has toured extensively as a member of acclaimed Bay Area band The Waybacks who accompanied former Grateful Dead founder Bob Weir and as violinist for world-renowned recording artists, The BoDeans. He has also performed and/or recorded with such noteworthy artists as Lyle Lovett, Joan Osborne, Emmylou Harris, Ben Kweller, Little Feat, Elvis Costello, Susan Tedeschi, Gillian Welch, and Alejandro Escovedo. http://www.warrenhood.com/index.htm
COLIN GILMORE (5 pm): Colin Gilmore grew up in Lubbock, Texas, spending many nights as a child in nightclubs like Stubbs, where he witnessed songwriters like Joe Ely, Terry Allen, and his own father, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, bring the stage to life. He developed a taste for Buddy Holly, Townes Van Zandt, and bands like The Clash and The Pogues. Colin's recent release “The Wild and Hollow” marks a departure from his first “Goodnight Lane,” sonically and stylistically which proves he has a rare gift that cuts across styles and cultures. http://www.colingilmore.com/home
IN THE CLUB:
THE BLACK LILLIES (10:45 pm): Born in the rumbling cab of a stone truck and aged in the oak of Tennessee’s smoky night haunts, The Black Lillies have quickly risen to the forefront of the Americana scene. Founded by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Cruz Contreras (Robinella and the CCstringband), the group honors the traditions of their Appalachian heritage while blazing new trails in the roots rock genre. Strains of old time, bluegrass, country, rock and jazz are heard throughout their music, creating a sound that is uniquely their own. http://www.theblacklillies.com
JOE PUG (9 pm): After dropping out of college the day before his senior year, Joe Pug moved to Chicago and started writing the songs that would eventually become the “Nation of Heat” EP. His thoughtful, moving and literate songs have put him at the forefront of the indie-folk movement. He has also earned a reputation for being a powerful live performer. His first full-length album, Messenger, was released in 2010 on Lightning Rod Records, and the follow up "The Great Despiser" was released in 2012. http://joepugmusic.com
THE HOLMES BROTHERS (6:15 pm): Wendell Holmes, Sherman Holmes and brother-in-spirit Popsy Dixon are true treasures of American roots music. For 35 years, their joyous and moving blend of blues, gospel, soul, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and country has been captivating audiences around the world. Their spine-tingling three-part harmony singing brings the spirit of gospel-inflected deep soul music into every song they perform. Equally gripping is the rhythmic foundation laid down by Sherman’s bass playing and Popsy’s drumming, perfectly complementing Wendell’s blues-soaked guitar solos and church-inspired piano playing. The band’s new Alligator Records album, “Brotherhood,” is another stellar chapter in The Holmes Brothers’ storied and still-evolving history. It’s also their most bluesy album to date, filled with roadhouse wisdom, late-night doo wop, a proto rock ‘n’ roll punch, soulful R&B and closing with an amazing dose of Sunday morning spirit. http://www.theholmesbrothers.com
IN THE SIDEBAR:
CHICAGO FARMER (10:45 pm): “Backenforth, IL,” is Chicago Farmer’s sixth collection of Woody Guthrie-inspired populist songs, as well as autobiographical. The son of a small town farming community, Cody Diekhoff logged plenty of highway and stage time under the name Chicago Farmer before settling in the city in 2003. Profoundly inspired by fellow mid-westerner John Prine, he’s a working-class folk musician to his core. His small town roots, tilled with city streets mentality, are turning heads North and South of I-80. http://www.chicagofarmer.com
RYAN JOSEPH ANDERSON (9:15 pm): Ryan Joseph Anderson is an established Chicago songwriter working on a new solo project inspired by country blues and psychedelic folk. For five years, Anderson has fronted the Chicago rock band Go Long Mule. He has produced both records by Go Long Mule, 2011's "Kissing The Gunner's Daughter" and 2013's "Albion", and has worked on projects with Rambos, Michele McGuire, Matthew Francis Andersen, Julie Meckler and Tom Schraeder. Anderson's solo debut, "The Weaver's Broom," was released on April 15. http://ryanjosephanderson.com
MICHELE McGUIRE (8 pm): Michele McGuire is an indie folk singer-songwriter from Chicago. Her debut album, Mid-Western, is the 23-year-old’s view of growing up on Chicago’s South Side as well as traveling the rest of the country. “I think being from the Midwest is a really funny place to be from, because you don’t really have a 'thing.' You could be anything” McGuire says. http://michelemcguire.com/
IN THE TENT:
A TRIBUTE TO LOWELL GEORGE with THE NEW ORLEANS SUSPECTS AND PAUL BARRERE & FRED TACKETT OF LITTLE FEAT (10: 30 pm): The New Orleans Suspects plus Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett join together to celebrate the musical legacy of Lowell George who left behind a body of gritty, eclectic and funky rock & roll as the leader of Little Feat. Here's what the All Music website has to say: "Though they had all the trappings of a Southern-fried blues band, Little Feat were hardly conventional. Led by songwriter/guitarist Lowell George, Little Feat was a wildly eclectic band, bringing together strains of blues, R&B, country, and rock & roll. The band members were exceptionally gifted technically and their polished professionalism sat well with the slick sounds coming out of Southern California during the '70s. However, Little Feat were hardly slick — they had a surreal sensibility, as evidenced by George's idiosyncratic songwriting, which helped the band earn a cult following among critics and musicians. —All Music
THE NEW ORLEANS SUSPECTS (9 pm): It’s been said that the musicians of New Orleans are all members of one gigantic band that breaks up into smaller groups on a nightly basis. If this were really the case, The New Orleans Suspects would be in a class all their own. The group is comprised of musicians with experience and versatility that rival any other band the city has ever produced — drummer “Mean” Willie Green (The Neville Brothers, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon), bassist Reggie Scanlan (The Radiators), guitarist Jake Eckert (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), pianist CR Gruver (“The Meters Experience”) and tenor saxophonist Jeff Watkins (James Brown Band, Joss Stone). Together, these five musicians are The New Orleans Suspects. Known for their high-energy live shows, they create music that is firmly rooted in the modern New Orleans sound with compelling originals and tasteful covers. http://www.neworleanssuspects.com/
TRIBUTOSAURUS becomes THE BAND (7 pm): Tributosaurus' goal is to exactly re-create the sounds of the original recordings as closely as possible, whatever that may entail. Consequently, the core members of the group have become incredibly adept at designing sounds, transcribing performances, recognizing and creating widely varied arrangements -- managing to do this with a completely new catalog of material every show. The Tributosaurus ensemble of players has become the ultimate musical chameleon, able to jump from style to style, from ensemble to ensemble easily. They know and listen to each other attentively, which makes each performance sound like a BAND, as opposed to a group of random assembled players. For The Band, expect to hear “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Ophelia” and many more. http://www.tributosaurus.com/home.cfm
SHINYRIBS (5 pm): Shinyribs is the continuation of Kevin Russell’s musical journey. Since his Austin, Texas, band The Gourds disbanded after 18 years, Russell has been riding high on the Shinyribs river of country-soul, swamp-funk and tickle. A Shinyribs show is an exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip shaking, belly laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party. All styles of American music are likely to be touched on, squeezed on, kissed on by this world-class band featuring Winfield Cheek on keyboards, Keith Langford on drums, Jeff Brown on bass and the Tijuana Train Wreck Horns. Whether on his 6 string Uke or his Electric guitar or singing acapella Russell will entertain you like no one else. Truly something not to be missed; a unique musical experience and an original expression of our colorful musical heritage. http://www.shinyribs.org/index.html
IN THE CLUB:
ERIC LINDELL & CO. (11:30 pm): Eric Lindell came to national prominence after relocating to New Orleans in 1999. His recording career began in 1996 as a local/regional New Orleans-based artist. He was picked up by Alligator Records in 2006 and recorded three albums for the label and has since issued several CDs on smaller indie labels. Lindell's musical style borrows from 1970s blues-rock, soul and R&B. Lindell's music has been described by USA Today as “pumping soul into funk, blues and roots-rock.” http://www.ericlindell.com/fr_home.cfm
POKEY LaFARGE (9:30 pm): Pokey LaFarge is a musician, songwriter, bandleader, entertainer, innovator and preservationist, whose arsenal of talents has placed him at the forefront of American music. Over the last decade, Pokey has won the hearts of music lovers across the globe with his creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing. Pokey’s music transcends the confines of genre, continually challenging the notion that tradition-bearers fail to push musical boundaries. Rather than merely conjuring up half-forgotten imagery of days past, Pokey is a lyrical storyteller, the plot delivered smoothly through his dynamic vocals. Both on stage and off, his effortless wit never fails to charm audiences, giving way to a live music experience that manages to be grandiose and unassuming all at once. http://www.pokeylafarge.net
CHUCK MEAD AND HIS GRASSY KNOLL BOYS (7:45 pm): After leading several popular ‘80s cult bands in and around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, Chuck Mead landed on Nashville’s Lower Broadway where he co-founded the famed ‘90s Alternative Country quintet BR549. The band’s seven albums, three Grammy nominations and the Country Music Association Award for Best Overseas Touring Act would build an indelible bridge between authentic American Roots music and millions of fans worldwide. Mead may have left Lower Broad, but he’s never left the music. He continues to rework classic American musical genres to his own ends on his new full-length, “Free State Serenade,” which shows off his immense songwriting and conceptual chops. As music director for the Broadway smash Million Dollar Quartet, Mead supervised the musical performances for its 2008 Chicago opening, created new music material for the show’s Tony-winning Broadway run, produced the original cast album, and oversaw the music for its smash 2011 premiere at London’s Noël Coward Theatre. http://www.chuckmead.com/
PAUL BARRERE & FRED TACKETT (6:30 pm): Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett were guitar players with the legendary band Little Feat. Now they have joined forces to form an acoustic duo that will quite frankly blow you away. Performing songs from their Little Feat catalogue and more with a decidedly different twist. They first played together on the album ”Dixie Chicken“ some thirty-five years ago and since then have played together or individually on numerous recording sessions for Little Feat and countless others including Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Dionne Farris, and The Wallflowers, to name a few. http://www.paulandfred.net/
THE FAT BABIES (5 pm): The Fat Babies are a seven piece jazz band interpreting classic styles of the 1920s and ‘30s. Founded in 2010 by string bass player Beau Sample, its members include Andy Schumm (cornet), John Otto (reeds), Dave Bock (trombone), Jake Sanders (banjo and guitar), Paul Asaro (piano), and Alex Hall (drums). The Babies new album, "Chicago Hot," was chosen as one of the best of the year by the Chicago Tribune's Howard Reich: "Few young musicians focus on pre-bebop jazz as intensely as the Fat Babies, and fewer still dispatch repertoire by Jelly Roll Morton, Joe "King" Oliver and other vintage masters with comparable tonal luster and knowledge of period style. "Chicago Hot" establishes the Fat Babies as important players in interpreting scores from the too-oft-forgotten early chapters of jazz history." www.thefatbabies.com
IN THE SIDEBAR:
CANNONBALL (11 pm): Cannonball is a group of musicians based in Chicago who connect with the same rock sensibilities and merriment to create an explosive sound rooted in the American folk tradition of blues, country, rock ‘n’ roll and all their offspring — hillbilly, rock-a-billy, folk rock, psychedelic, punk. They play a mixture of original songs and interpretations of personal favorites that veer from swinging rock ‘n’ roll to swaying country blues with detours down musical guitar exchanges between the dual lead guitarists that ride on a freight train rhythm bed. http://fodder.terrywhitemusic.com/cannonball/
RON LAZZERETTI (9:30 pm): Ron Lazzeretti sings simple songs about love and redemption--alternately dark, funny and buoyant. A local poster boy for late bloomers everywhere, Lazzeretti just recently released his first record, “Battle Of The Planets” after years of writing and playing in venues all around Chicagoland. http://www.ronlazzerettimusic.com/rl/
BUNKERTOWN (8 pm): Bunkertown has been a part of the Chicago music scene for over a decade and is currently working on another album. The music is a mutt of folk, rock, blues and ragtime country and inspirations may include Hammond or the restaurant eaten at last week. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bunkertown/116741128365430
JOE FILISKO AND ERIC NODEN (6:30 pm): The roots music duo present acoustic blues and ragtime at its finest, with a touch of amplified harp. Revered as a master player, teacher, custom harmonica pioneer, researcher and historian, Joe Filisko is arguably the world's foremost authority on many aspects of the diatonic harmonica and a key figure in today's harmonica scene. Deeply rooted in the music of ‘20s & ‘30s blues pioneers, Eric Noden’s percussive guitar work, timeless songwriting and well-traveled blues vocals have earned the respect of audiences, critics, and musicians worldwide. http://www.ericnoden.com
IN THE TENT:
ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO AND THE SENSITIVE BOYS (10:30 pm): Alejandro Escovedo’s whole life has pretty much been documented already and reads like a "How to Make Rock and Roll A Lifelong Profession" primer. Ground Zero punk rock dude with The Nuns, cowpunk progenitor in Rank and File, gutter brawling guitar rawker in True Believers and Buick MacKane and now a songwriter and performer without peer; you know the story. An Alejandro concert will find him playing for hours and draining himself and his audience with his performance. They can be full on punk sets that make all that SoCal pretty boy punk seem as tepid as it really is, and then he can stop it all on a dime and tear the room’s collective heart out with a sparse, harrowing confessional. In between, there may be lots of moments of him getting his glam rocks off by digging into the Ian Hunter or Bowie songbook. You're never bored when Alejandro's on stage. He can whip out every one of his songs ten different ways, depending on the mood, and they will jump into the rumble seat of your gut every time. http://www.alejandroescovedo.com
SHEMEKIA COPELAND (8:30 pm): While only in her early 30s, two-time Grammy nominee Shemekia Copeland is already a force to be reckoned with in the blues. Copeland’s passion for singing, matched with her huge, blast-furnace voice, gives her music a timeless power and a heart-pounding urgency. Her music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets where she grew up, surrounded by the everyday sounds of the city – street performers, gospel singers, blasting radios, bands in local parks and so much more. http://www.shemekiacopeland.com
THE BOTTLE ROCKETS (6:45 pm): In a country where interstates don’t take you to new places, but to the same places, where everywhere you go you’ve already been or you’ve just left, The Bottle Rockets most recent album absolutely nails a sound and a vibe with a palpable sense of place. “Lean Forward” continues the Rockets’ creative resurgence ignited by 2006’s “Zoysia.” The Bottle Rockets do what no other band does better — look into the hearts and minds and faces of the dying small towns in America and crafts populist anthems with the sympathetic eye of Woody Guthrie and sonic stomp of Crazy Horse. http://www.bottlerocketsmusic.com/
BILLY JOE SHAVER (5 pm): Billy Joe Shaver has never been a household name but in the world of country music he’s a legend. His songs became country standards during the ‘70s and his reputation among musicians and critics hasn’t diminished during the ensuing decades. Shaver is truly one of the most respected living figures in American music. http://www.billyjoeshaver.com/index.html
LOST & NAMELESS ORCHESTRA (3:15 pm): They may call themselves Lost & Nameless, but all it takes is a few notes for listeners to recognize this foursome is anything but. With original compositions featuring complex, turn-on-a-dime arrangements and performing histories dating to childhood, the members of this Austin-based band are seasoned professionals who whip up an unforgettable sonic whirlwind wherever they play. On their new release, “Empty Spaces” (March 18, 2014), there’s a song title that sums up their contemporary folk-rock sound perfectly. It’s called “Little Tornado.” Filled with staccato rhythms and instrumental intrigue, it’s a charmer — just like the band that performs it. http://lostandnameless.com
SWITCHBACK BAND (1:30 pm): For over two decades, Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack, known as Switchback, have entertained crowds with their unique American Roots ~ Celtic Soul blend of music. Brian and Martin play an exciting mix of mandolin, guitar, and bass. Their harmonies have won them comparisons to famous duos, such as the Louvin Brothers, the Everly Brothers, and Simon and Garfunkel. Music Connection Magazine said of Switchback: "The words ‘American Roots & Celtic Soul’ only begin to describe this unusual act, whose vocal prowess is as pure as it is unique...there is no denying the stunning vocal blends that are achieved by this duo." http://www.waygoodmusic.com
IN THE CLUB:
JON D. GRAHAM (midnight): Jon Dee Graham has always had a special place in our. We’re not the only ones who recognize Jon Dee’s amazing talents as a songwriter and showman; Graham was named the Austin Musician of the Year during the South by Southwest (SXSW) music conference in 2006. He also was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame three times: as a solo artist in 2000, again in 2008 as a member of The Skunks, and again in 2009 as a member of the True Believers.
SHINYRIBS (10 pm): Shinyribs is the continuation of Kevin Russell’s musical journey. Since his Austin, Texas, band The Gourds disbanded after 18 years, Russell has been riding high on the Shinyribs river of country-soul, swamp-funk and tickle. A Shinyribs show is an exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip shaking, belly laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party. All styles of American music are likely to be touched on, squeezed on, kissed on by this world-class band featuring Winfield Cheek on keyboards, Keith Langford on drums, Jeff Brown on bass and the Tijuana Train Wreck Horns. Whether on his 6 string Uke or his Electric guitar or singing acapella Russell will entertain you like no one else. Truly something not to be missed; a unique musical experience and an original expression of our colorful musical heritage. http://www.shinyribs.org/index.html
ROBBIE FULKS (8 pm): He plays by nobody's rules — except the ones he hears in his head. He is prodigiously talented, with the soul of a country singer and the mind of a vaudevillian. Widely regarded by those who monitor such things as one of the most gifted songwriters to ever ply the trade, he can sing the kids ditty "Eggs" and Haggard's "Sing a Sad Song" back to back and mean 'em both. While it is true he started off a honky tonk smartass, it quickly became evident that Robbie was a monster talent and some of his early Bloodshot albums have been rightly elevated to the status of "classic" and serve as their own Greatest Hits collections. Tonight's band includes Brian Wilkie, Grant Tye, Gerald Dowd, Don Stiernberg and Chris Scruggs. http://www.robbiefulks.com
KEVIN GORDON BAND (6:15 pm): Kevin Gordon’s voice is made from dust and red clay. And the songs on the Louisiana-born performer’s latest album “Gloryland” are chiseled from the bedrock of life — the honest facts of rambling, needing, loving, soul-searching and experience. “I like the unfinished ending — the story that just continues when the song’s over,” says Gordon. “Life never sums itself up in three-and-a-half minutes, and a good song doesn’t need to do that either. But it should tell a story.” All 11 numbers on “Gloryland” have an elemental feel — proof that Gordon’s working at the peak of the songwriter’s craft. His characters, from the school kid narrating the coming-of-age yarn “Colfax/Step in Time” to the panhandler in “Trying To Get To Memphis” to the folk artist Pecolia Warner, the subject of his lovely duet with fellow Americana singer-songwriter Sarah Siskind, “Pecolia’s Star,” have a depth and personality that brings Gordon’s songs of the South into sharp focus, even if their essential questions about the mysteries of faith, truth and humanity hang in the air as he moves on to the next tale.
JAREKUS SINGLETON (4:30 pm): At just 29 years old, Jarekus Singleton is a musical trailblazer with a bold vision for the future of the blues. Springing from the same Mississippi soil as Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and B.B. King, Singleton’s cutting-edge sound—equally rooted in rap, rock and blues traditions—is all his own. He melds hip-hop wordplay, rock energy and R&B grooves with contemporary and traditional blues, turning audiences of all ages into devoted fans. With his untamed guitar licks and strong, soulful voice effortlessly moving from ferocious and funky to slow and steamy to smoking hot, Singleton is a fresh, electrifying bluesman bursting at the seams with talent. Singleton's Alligator debut, Refuse To Lose, features a scintillating guitar attack and lyrically startling original songs all sung with a natural storyteller’s voice. http://artistecard.com/jarekussingleton#!/bio
CORY BRANAN (3 pm): Cory Branan is a natural-born storyteller, his seemingly conversational, painstakingly crafted anecdotes benefitting from a hard-eyed stare at hydra-headed life experiences. Not unlike his musical and literary pedestal sitters, from John Prine and Leonard Cohen to Raymond Carver and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cory's gift for detail and phrase turning is a thing of wonder. http://corybranan.com
IN THE SIDEBAR:
KORY QUINN (10:45 pm): Portland songwriter Kory Quinn, a DIY contemporary hobo intellectual, has a refreshingly homespun take on Americana, a very welcome sigh of relief in today's contemporary market. His second full-length album, "At The End of The Bar," boils down red-dirt basics in a freewheeling roadhouse stew. Quinn's songwriting is adroit and surefooted, offering sturdily constructed country, folk, and Cajun-tinged songs. http://koryquinn.bandcamp.com/
THE BELVEDERES (9:15 pm): Raised on a healthy diet of Garage Rock, Power-Pop, Roots, Red-Hot Rockabilly, Honky-Tonk and Soul -- John Ford (lead vocals, guitar), Joe Alonzo (drums, vocals) and Tyler Kock (bass guitar, vocals) came together during the early months of 2011, and presented a simple, clear-cut mission statement: Make people feel good. And when presented with such a task, we believe there's nothing quite like the incredible gift of Rock & Roll music. We also firmly believe that if you're gonna do this, you better do it right and give the audience MORE than what they paid for. Dynamic playing, tight three-part harmonies, dance floor-friendly energy and lots of love are what you can expect to experience at a Belvederes show. So get in on this rockin' dance party! Ya won't be sorry!
THE DYES (7:45 pm): Chicago-based trio, The Dyes, infuse ‘60s inspired garage-rock with infectious ‘50s rockabilly undertones to create a punchy and melodic, yet raw rock n' roll sound. By digging up the roots of influences such as: Hank Williams, The Cramps, Wanda Jackson, and The Flat Duo Jets, this female-fronted trio is sure to catch the ears of a wide-spectrum of music lovers as they toss hints of punk, surf, blues, and country into the mix, and stir it up with their own twist!
WEEPIN’ WILLOWS (6 pm): The Weepin' Willows are Chicago's very own Patsy Cline cover band. Led by singer Natalie Jose, the band formed in late 2009 and has been entertaining audiences with Patsy's extensive and varied songbook ever since. With instrumentation featuring lead guitar, pedal steel, piano, drums, and upright bass, the Weepin' Willows perform it all — from familiar ballads such as "Crazy" and "She's Got You" to the upbeat honky tonk and rockabilly stomps of "Seven Lonely Days" and "Stupid Cupid. http://www.weepinwillows.com/home
IN THE TENT:
JOE ELY & RECKLESS KELLY (10:15 pm): A FitzGerald favorite backed by another FitzGerald favorite. Texas songwriter Joe Ely is a renaissance man even among his roots-rocking brethren, touching on everything from Tex-Mex and honky-tonk to punk and rockabilly in a career that spans more than four decades. He’s still one of the most dynamic performers you’ll ever see. Since he first hitched a ride out of Lubbock, Texas, at the age of sixteen, he has been a road warrior, traveling highways and back roads across America and Europe, playing music for "2 hours of ecstasy" out of "22 hours of misery." http://ely.com/index.php
Austin’s own Reckless Kelly recently released their 8th studio album, Long Night Moon. The album is the follow-up to 2011′s Grammy Nominated Good Luck & True Love, which took home four Lone Star Music Awards, and sent three singles to #1 on Texas Radio. Produced by band members Willy & Cody Braun, along with lead guitarist David Abeyta, Long Night Moon was mixed by Ray Kennedy (Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris), and features additional instrumentation from legendary steel guitar player Lloyd Maines, as well as Bukka Allen (piano, organ) and Jeff Plankenhorn (dobro). http://recklesskelly.com
THE IGUANAS (8:30 pm): Based out of New Orleans for the past couple of decades — save for a short, Katina-imposed exile in Austin — the Iguanas define a sound of Americana that crosses cultures, styles, eras...and even languages. The Iguanas' two-decade road has taken then all over the map, both figuratively and literally. While bassist Rene Coman is the only member of the band who is a native of the Crescent City, a languid swampiness so deeply suffuses their sound that you can almost smell the peanut shells on the floor. But there's far more depth to it than the N'Awlins patina that rests, sometimes lightly, sometimes heavily, on anything the city touches. It's almost as if the Iguanas dragged sand up from Juarez and mud from the Mississippi Delta, threw them both into the white-hot crucible of rock, and built their foundation from there. http://www.iguanas.com/
HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF (6:45 pm): Hurray For The Riff Raff is Alynda Lee Segarra, but in many ways it’s much more than that: it’s a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition. If you’re listening to her new album, “Small Town Heroes,” odds are you’re part of the riff raff, and these songs are for you. NPR has said that Hurray for the Riff Raff’s music “sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit,” and that’s never been truer than on ‘Small Town Heroes.’ These songs belong to no particular time or place, but rather to all of us. These songs are for the riff raff.
TERRANCE SIMIEN & THE ZYDECO EXPERIENCE (5 pm): Simien and his band won the Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album for 2007. He is an eighth generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families to settle the Mallet area of St. Landry Parish. Simien and his band have toured internationally, presenting thousands of live performances in more than 40 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations. He has shared studio and stage with the likes of Paul Simon, Dr. John, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer and the roots rockers Los Lobos. He appears on the soundtrack of the Disney film, "The Princess and the Frog" set in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Simien and his wife Cynthia created the "Creole for Kidz" program, which provides educational performances of Creole music and history. The Simiens also created an outreach and mentoring program for up-and-coming musicians called MusicMatters. He is considered to be one of the most gifted vocalists, engaging performers and innovative recording artists in American roots music. http://www.terrancesimien.com
GLEN DAVID ANDREWS (3:15 pm): In a city whose spirit world is as old as Mother Africa’s children, Glen David Andrews, a native son of New Orleans, has made a compelling case for his own deliverance with a powerful new project that correlates his own reclaimed life to his reclaimed city. His recent album “Redemption” is Andrews's balm after a very personal storm. The music is about ghosts and their residual energy; about acceptance and forgiveness; about rebirth and renewal. A warrior for cultural preservation in New Orleans at a time when indigenous traditions are being threatened, Andrews is standing up now for his own salvation. As the journalist Larry Blumenfeld, a Katrina Media Fellow with the Open Society Institute, has written: ”Long before he began trying to save himself in earnest, Andrew's music projected the promise of redemption...His remarkable singing voice and commanding trombone sound (both powerful, direct, resonant, and with just enough rasp) as well as his disarmingly honest manner have provided whatever the situation calls for: beauty, truth, compassion, anger, joy or all of the above.” http://glendavidandrewsband.com
THE SALTY DOGS (1:30 pm): The roots of the Salty Dogs dig deep to the early jazz musicians of the 1920s — Hoagy Carmichael, King Oliver, The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Biederbecke, Hitch's Happy Harmonists, and Louis Armstrong. They all recorded in Richmond, Indiana and many of their sidemen settled in the Chicago area. In the 1950s and 1960s, many of these players were still active and performed side-by-side with members of the Salty Dogs. The list includes some of the greatest names in jazz history: Georg Brunis, Lil Armstrong, Quinn Wilson, Darnell Howard, George Lewis, Lou Black, Jim Lannigan, "Little Brother" Montgomery, "Banjo" Ikey Robinson, Franz Jackson and a host of others who shared their music, knowledge and notes with the Salty Dogs. The Dogs roots also go deep at FitzGerald's back to the days when it was known as the Hunt Club. Check out the photos from 1954 on the wall to the left of the stage. http://saltydogsjazzband.com/
IN THE CLUB:
C.J. CHENIER & THE RED HOT LOUISIANA BAND (10:45 pm): The son of the 'King of Zydeco' Clifton Chenier, C. J. joined his father's Red-Hot Louisiana Band playing saxophone at the age of 21. After Clifton's death in 1987, C.J. picked up the accordion and took charge of his father's ministry — to spread the word of zydeco music to the world. Since then, Chenier has pushed the genre to new heights with his virtuosity. The Boston Globe has called him "the crown prince of zydeco," and Living Blues magazine hails him as "the best living zydeco singer and accordionist." His musical style ranges from the traditional zydeco of Clifton Chenier right on up to modern funk with healthy doses of blues, R&B, swamp pop and even country. C.J.'s total mastery of the accordion combined with his rich, satisfying voice are the driving forces behind this power-house zydeco band. His most recent Grammy-nominated album, the energetic "Can't Sit Down," was recorded live in a single session and released in 2011. http://www.cjchenierzydeco.com
JOHN FULLBRIGHT (9 pm): “What’s so bad about happy?” John Fullbright sings on the opening track of his new album, ‘Songs.’ It’s a play on the writer’s curse, the notion that new material can only come through heartbreak or depression, that great art is only born from suffering. That plainspoken approach is part of what’s fueled the young Oklahoman’s remarkable rise. It was just two years ago that Fullbright released his debut studio album, ‘From The Ground Up’ to a swarm of critical acclaim. The LA Times called the record “preternaturally self-assured,” while NPR hailed him as one of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012, saying “it’s not every day a new artist…earns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright’s music makes sense in such lofty company.” If there was any doubt that his debut announced the arrival of a songwriting force to be reckoned with, it was put to rest when ‘From The Ground Up’ was nominated for Best Americana Album at the GRAMMY Awards, which placed Fullbright alongside some of the genre’s most iconic figures, including Bonnie Raitt. http://www.johnfullbrightmusic.com
GIRLS GUNS & GLORY perform a set and then are joined by SARAH BORGES (7:15 pm): For the past eight years, Boston’s Girls Guns and Glory have been making a name for themselves through relentless touring, the release of four critically acclaimed records, a slew of local awards, including being the Boston Music Awards first act of its genre to win Act of the Year. And, now, the hard-working band is refining their focus to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll with a twist of country on their fifth album, “Good Luck.” The foursome (Ward Hayden on vocals/guitar, Paul Dilley on electric and upright bass/piano, Josh Kiggans on drums/percussion, and Chris Hersch on lead guitar/banjo) found inspiration for this record from early ’50s rock ‘n’ roll icons such as Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, and Buddy Holly, as well as country greats like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. http://girlsgunsandglory.com
Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles had a hell of a run, with hard-charging shows, a slew of snappy country-rock albums, and well-earned national attention to show for the roughly seven years they spent together. At some point, however, the realities of a hardworking, low-earning touring band in a sputtering economy became just that – realities – and so did other needs, from stability to family commitments. She married Broken Singles guitarist Lyle Brewer in September 2010, and then the following summer of 2011, gave birth to son Elliott and took some time off to be a mom. Now she’s back on the road rocking out with Girls, Guns and Glory. http://www.sarahborges.com
THE SPLIT SQUAD (5:45 pm): A supergroup featuring guitarist Keith Streng (The Fleshtones), guitarist Eddie Munoz (The Plimsouls), bassist Michael Giblin (Parallax Project) and French drummer Florian Barbier.
Bassist/singer Giblin is the mad scientist behind The Split Squad, having assembled the project after his current band, Parallax Project, had crossed paths with all of the others on various tours and recording projects. Known far and wide as a founding member of one of rock and roll’s greatest (and longest running) institutions, The Fleshtones, guitarist Streng sets a standard for passion and dedication that few are able to follow. Most famously known as the flash guitarist from LA’s legendary Plimsouls, Munoz has more recently been spotted in Magic Christian (alongside Flamin’ Groovies legend Cyril Jordan) and power pop stalwarts Parallax Project. Rounding out the band is French drummer Florent Barbier.
THE BELLFURIES (4:30 pm): Country, soul, and popular song intersect in the music of The Bellfuries. The band was formed in 1998 by Joey Simeone (lead vocalist/songwriter) and Josh Williams (upright bass), in Austin, Texas. Although Austin has long been a stronghold for roots music, the band had clearly broken the “rockabilly” mold on arrival. With an original songbook distilling Hank Williams heartbreak and Beatles melody, driven home by Joey’s virtuosic singing and stripped-down instrumental backing, The Bellfuries quickly developed a strong local following. http://www.thebellfuries.com
THE HOWLIN’ BROTHERS (3:15 pm): The Howlin’ Brothers are a three-piece string band that brings heart and passion into every performance. Their upbeat shows are heavy with original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of slide banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle. Their latest album “Trouble” was produced by Brendan Benson. http://thehowlinbrothers.com/
ZOE MUTH & THE LOST HIGH ROLLERS (2 pm): “Turn it all upside down,” Zoe Muth sings on the opening track of her third full-length album, “World of Strangers.”“See the stars when we’re looking at the ground, shining all around.” Muth has penned ten heartrending tales of the leaving and the left behind in her trademark style of infusing moments of despair with hope and levity. This time around she has made some changes, channeling a wider array of influences ranging from classic country ballads to early folk-rock. Muth’s music is honest and familiar. http://zoemuth.com
IN THE SIDEBAR:
EXPO ’76 (10 & 11:30 pm): Expo ‘76 rock out with their stunning list of hits and obscure cover tunes! The band is made up of five Chicago musicians, led by Dag Juhlin and backed by a fantastic horn section. The set is ever growing and adventurous! Expo‘76 is made up of four lifers -- Dag Juhlin, Kenn Goodman, John Carpender and Ralph Baumel (Poi Dog/Phantom Helmsmen/Andre Williams) -- who don’t need to be in another band, but still can’t quite help themselves. Their weakness is your gain, and on any given night you’ll hear them gleefully careening from ‘70s AM radio ear candy into walloping road house beer guzzling dance tunes; they’ll chime their way through a New Wave nugget with the same exuberance that they slap around a swinging, jazzy blues number or a folk revival sing-along. Irrepressible, unstoppable, 100% unironic, and actually quite unbelievable at times, Expo‘76 won’t take your requests, because they’re already playing them. But you can still shout them out. http://expo76.com
JENNY DRAGON (8:30 pm): Jenny Dragon is an eight-piece band that celebrates a throwback take on modern music. Jenny Dragon songs defy category, reviving and redefining music that combines jazz, blues, country, folk, doo wop, and rock influences, often shifting genres to best serve the story of a song. Raucous odes to summer, Vegas-cabaret interpretations of nuclear bomb testing in America, lyrically haunting dusty houses, serial killers - nothing and everything is sacred to Jenny. Having recorded and released their debut album “A Fair Souvenir" to a packed audience at Martyrs’ in Chicago, Jenny Dragon continues to write and introduce original material to their live sets at some of Chicago’s best music venues. http://www.jennydragon.com
ELLA GILL & SCOTT DANIEL (6:45 pm): Ella Gill is a young singer/songwriter grounded in folk traditions. She has performed at Eastgate Cafe, Val's Halla Records, and on WDCB's radio show, Folk Festival. And she performed the role of Eponine in the OPRFHS production of Les Miserables. Scott Daniel is an acclaimed violinist who has been a concertmaster of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, an Illinois State Fair Fiddling Champion and a member of several local folk, rock and jazz ensembles.
DIRTY PIGEONS (5 pm): Chicago foursome, The Dirty Pigeons, is an ambitious rock and roll band comprised of Brian Morrissey, Dan Ingenthron, Ryan Juravic, and Nate Weathers. Captivating audiences with their raw, earnest performances, the band has shared the stage with Drive By Truckers, Dawes, Joe Pug, Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, Apex Manor, Bailiff, and The Dig. Brian Morrissey’s songwriting owes a debt to Neil Young, Sparklehorse, Big Star, and comedian Bill Hicks. Smart arrangements, melodic vocals, unexpected rhythmic shifts, thick guitars and heavy keyboards are what anchor the band’s sound.
New this year, we are selling advance tickets for each day of the festival.
Advance tickets, $30 per day, are available at ticketweb.com and (in person only) at FitzGerald’s. Children's tickets -- $5 for 12 and under -- will not be sold in advance. Just pay at the door for the kids, who are welcome until 10 p.m. PLEASE NOTE THAT ADVANCE TICKETS CAN ONLY BE USED FOR DAY AS PURCHASED AND ARE NOT REFUNDABLE.
Four-day festival passes ($100) are available in advance ONLINE ONLY at ticketweb.com (or at the door on the first day of the festival). The deadline for purchase of passes is Tuesday, July 1 at 5 pm. Passes can not be mailed - you can pick yours up at the front door when you show a valid ID.
The TicketWeb link is http://www.ticketweb.com/snl/VenueListings.action?venueId=32814&pl=.
A four-day pass may be used by anyone you like, but is good for only one admission per day. The days are marked on the pass and will be punched when you arrive -- already-punched passes will not be honored (to combat the old hand-the-pass-over-the-fence trick), so if you have a pass and you're going to leave and come back, be sure to ask the doorman for a wristband.
Those familiar with Tom "Festival" Cimms' consider his Cajun cuisine one of the festival's highlights. Tom is an old friend and former restauranteur who makes his New Orleans specialties exclusively for us every year.
THIS YEAR'S MENU, ALTHOUGH TOM WILL OFTEN ADD TO IT IF INSPIRED:
Cochon de Lait (Roast Pork Po' Boy)
Mahi Mahi Po' Boy
Andouille Sausage Po' Boy
BBQ Shrimp Skewers
Crawfish Monica (this goes fast - available 'til it's not!)
Please note that NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR DRINK IS ALLOWED AT THE FESTIVAL.
There are several choices for lodging in area -- here are some ideas, all within 20 minutes or so of FitzGerald's (Oak Park is right across the street from the club). Be sure to tell 'em FitzGerald's sent you!
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our festival. You are also welcome to call us Tue - Fri after 12 noon at (708) 788-2118.
WHERE CAN I PARK? You can park anywhere on Roosevelt Rd. or the side streets; no meters or permit restrictions. Make sure NOT to park in business parking lots or the mini-mall to our west. Those are for their customers only and YOU WILL BE TOWED.
DO YOU OFFER HANDICAPPED PARKING? No. Since our lot will be covered by tents, only public parking will be available and Roosevelt Road and the side streets do not offer handicapped parking.
I SEE YOU'RE SELLING ADVANCE TICKETS - WILL TICKETS ALSO BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR? Yes, this page was updated Wednesday, July 2, and there are still plenty of tickets available for each day.
DO YOU OFFER ANY DISCOUNTS ON TICKETS? Yes. For those who are paying cash at the door, there is a $5 discount ($25) during the first hour the doors are open. Good time to get a a table too! PLEASE NOTE: If you have purchased an advance ticket, the $5 discount does not apply and can not be used to admit a child.
DO YOU SERVE FOOD? Our good friend Tom "Festival" Cimms will be cooking up a great Cajun/American BBQ -- check the tab on the festival home page for the menu. PLEASE NOTE: DURING THE FESTIVAL NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR DRINKS WILL BE ALLOWED.
CAN I USE A CREDIT CARD? Credit cards may be used to run a tab at the bar or to buy FitzGerald's merchandise, but THE ENTRANCE FEE MUST BE PAID IN CASH if you have not bought an advance ticket. We provide ATM's near the front door.
WILL THERE BE A PLACE TO SIT? Our festival tents provide seating, but it is first-come-first-served, so get here early! We do not allow customers to bring in their own seating.
CAN I RESERVE A TABLE? No, your best bet is to come early and stake your claim.
WHAT IF I'M ONLY INTERESTED IN ONE BAND, DO I STILL HAVE TO PAY FULL PRICE? Yes.
CAN KIDS COME? IF SO, HOW LATE CAN THEY STAY? Children are welcomed (under 12 $5) and may stay until 10pm. NOTE: We do not sell advance tickets for kids, simply pay at the door.
CAN I LEAVE AND COME BACK IN? Certainly -- when you pay at the door you will be given a wristband -- just show it to the doorman as you come back in.
HOW MUCH ARE YOUR DRINKS? Bottled beers run from $3.50-$6 -- draft pints $5-$7; standard liquors $5; premium liquors $5-$10 -- wines from $5-$8/glass.
IS THIS A DRESS-UP PLACE? Not at all. Our atmosphere is casual and comfortable, with music fans from 21 to not telling. With our festival tents to protect you from the weather, you can leave the sunblock and ponchos at home!