3FriJanuary 3, 2020Albert Lee
After moving to the U.S. and assimilating himself into the country music scene, Albert quickly garnered a reputation as one of the fastest guitar players in the business. He recorded a number of solo albums, and won a Grammy in 2002 for his contribution on 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown'. He continues to tour today, and plays his signature Ernie Ball Music Man Guitar.
4SatJanuary 4, 2020Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts
Mike Benign Compulsion
10FriJanuary 10, 2020
Each contestant is immediately judged by five members of the audience, who have been selected before the show to be judges. They rank each punner on a scale of 1 to 10, often with hilariously long decimals and other commentary.
The top four contestants go head to head in a final pun-off.
Want to compete? Just show up! It's first come, first served.
14TueJanuary 14, 2020
17FriJanuary 17, 2020
Lil' Ed Williams comes to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Nine albums and thousands of performances later, Lil' Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre. Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials--bassist (and Ed's half-brother) James "Pookie" Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton--have remained together for nearly 30 years (an extraordinary feat for any group), the band fueling Ed's songs with their rock-solid, road-tested, telepathic musicianship.
The Big Sound Of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials is the musically electrifying, emotionally intense and downright fun new album from the band Guitar Player calls "a snarling boogie-blues machine...they blow down the walls." The CD features Lil' Ed's incendiary playing and playful, passionate singing, with the ragged-but-right Blues Imperials cooking like mad alongside him. Produced by Williams and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, it is a tour-de-force of authentic, deeply rooted Chicago blues. Williams wrote or co-wrote all but two of album's 14 songs, the other gems written by Uncle J.B. The Chicago Reader says the band's music "is a soundtrack for dancing and celebration infused with a sense of hard-won survival. Williams attacks his lyrics like he attacks his guitar: with bare-bones intensity that makes each word sound like a matter of life or death."
Born in Chicago on April 8, 1955, in the heart of Chicago's tough West Side, Ed grew up surrounded by music. He was playing guitar, then drums and bass, by the time he was 12. Ed and Pookie received lessons and support from their famous uncle. "J.B. taught me everything I know," says Ed. "I wouldn't be where I am today without him." Ed and Pookie spent their teen years making music together, and in 1975 formed the first incarnation of The Blues Imperials. They played their first gig at a West Side club called Big Duke's Blue Flame, splitting the $6 take four ways. Over the next few years, the group played every club in the neighborhood. Even so, they still needed day jobs to pay the bills. Ed worked ten hours a day as a buffer at the Red Carpet Car Wash. Pookie drove a school bus. Night after night they played their roaring brand of blues in tiny clubs, and eventually the word reached Alligator president Bruce Iglauer.
At the time, Iglauer was looking for local talent for The New Bluebloods, an anthology of some of Chicago's younger blues musicians. "Ed and his band had a good reputation," recalls Iglauer. "I had only seen them live once or twice. I knew Ed was a hot slide player, but I had no idea what he and the band were really capable of. I just knew that their music reminded me of Hound Dog Taylor and J.B. Hutto, two of my favorite musicians. It seemed like having a band this rough and ready would be a nice change of pace for the anthology, so I asked them to come down to the studio and cut a couple of songs. I never expected what happened."
The band--never having been in a recording studio before--treated the studio like a club, playing live to Iglauer, the engineer, and all the people on the other side of the control room glass. After Ed recorded his two rehearsed songs quickly, there was still plenty of studio time left, so they just kept playing. After 10 songs were in the can, Iglauer offered the band a full album contract. The end result of the session was 30 songs cut in three hours with no overdubs and only one second take. Twelve of those songs became the band's debut album, Roughhousin', released in September of 1986.
The national press reacted with amazement to the blues world's new discovery. Feature stories ran in Spin, Musician, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune and dozens of other publications. The Village Voice declared, "Roughhousin' just may be the blues album of the year." The New York Times raved, "Raw-boned, old-fashioned Chicago blues has a new young master--Lil' Ed Williams."
But it wasn't until 1987, when guitarist Mike Garrett joined the band, and a year later, when Garrett recruited his Detroit hometown friend Kelly Littleton to play drums, that things really began to take off. Garrett's risk-taking rhythm guitar work and Littleton's unpredictable, old school drumming were the perfect complement to Lil' Ed's and Pookie's rambunctious playing. With their 1989 album Chicken, Gravy & Biscuits, doors opened and audiences poured in. Through relentless touring, the group crystallized, becoming tighter with each performance, more adept in their abilities to read each other's musical moves. Their spontaneous and unpredictable live show became legendary among blues fans worldwide.
They have played the Chicago Blues Festival multiple times, and have appeared at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Portland's Waterfront Blues Festival, The Tampa Bay Blues Festival, The San Diego Blues Festival, The Pennsylvania Blues Festival and dozens of other festivals around the country. Satisfying worldwide demand, they have performed at festivals in Canada, Great Britain, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Japan, Australia, India, Turkey and Panama.
Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials released eight Alligator albums between 1986 and 2012. With each one, the band's national and international stature grew as their fan base--known internationally as "Ed Heads"--continued to expand. With 2006's Rattleshake, Ed and company reached a whole new audience. Die-hard "Ed Head" Conan O'Brien brought the band before millions of television viewers on two separate occasions. Success and accolades never stop pouring in. Living Blues called 2012's Jump Start "scorching and soulful" with "crafty, clever lyrics...joyous and stomping."
The group took home the Living Blues Award for Best Live Performer in 2011, 2012 and 2013. They won the prestigious Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year in both 2007 and 2009. The Associated Press says, "Williams fills Chicago's biggest shoes with more life and heat than anyone on stage today."
With The Big Sound Of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, the band continues to bring their blistering Chicago blues to "Ed Heads" new and old. Their infectious energy, joyful showmanship and masterful playing have been honed to a razor's edge by their many years together. Lil' Ed, Pookie, Mike and Kelly have seen sports stars and presidents, musical fads and fashion trends come and go. Meanwhile, their fiery music has more than stood the test of time. "We're not band members," says Williams, "we're family, and families stay together." Night after night, gig after riotous gig, the musical family called Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials bring their big, dynamic Chicago blues sound to fans across the country and around the world
18SatIn The Flesh (Pink Floyd tribute), Animation (A Tribute to RUSH)
8:00pm $12 advance / $15 door
show detailsJanuary 18, 2020
In the Flesh! is an exciting, thoroughly entertaining show, featuring Pink Floyd's most beloved classics. You'll hear "Money", "Another Brick in the Wall", and many many other favorites, brought to life in a high-energy, theatrical format that appeals to all ages. Every ITF performance includes a full 7-piece band, along with a mind-blowing laser show, costuming, and projections -- a complete feast for the senses!
Unlike so many other Floyd tributes, the In the Flesh show is also an interactive PARTY, a celebration of their greatest music! The band has an energy level and connection with the audience that makes the crowd a vital part of the show. For an unforgettable, satisfying, FUN night of classic rock, look no further than IN THE FLESH- echoes of Pink Floyd!
Animation has been headlining as "A Tribute to RUSH" since their first show in March, 1987 at "Chances R" in Palatine, IL. Animation is a Chicago based 3 Piece RUSH Tribute Band. They are 3 RUSH fanatics who's attention to the details and nuances of RUSH music allow them to re-create an extremely accurate rendition of the original trio's music. The band covers ALL eras of Rush, from the first album, to their latest CD.
They have played many shows, and concerts including opening for The Scorpions, The Doobie Bros., Heart, Asia, Peter Frampton, and STYX.
They even played an adjacent stage from RUSH for 10,000 RUSH fans, TWICE!
WHAT A RUSH!
24FriJanuary 24, 2020
Bassist, Mark Norman, keyboardist, Joe Burbach, Drummer Peter Treuden, and Scieszinski all work tirelessly to learn new Phish songs and perfect those already in their repertoire.
The band is active on social media where songs and setlists are voted on by fans. It's a great way for the band and the audience to share the love of Phish that brought them together in the first place.
The band aims to create a safe space for any and all to enjoy the groove; good vibes, kindness and respect. Some sit, some stand, some dance, and some sway; but everybody is entitled to a little PHUN!
25SatJanuary 25, 2020
In his stage career, he has written and/or performed several one-man shows including Two-Headed Roommate, Jazz Stenographers, and Slightly Bigger. He's also had the pleasure of performing in shows for storytelling organization, The Moth.
Bruce is currently performing his stage show, Tales of Bravery & Stupidity, which he is turning into his next book. His first book, "Let's Start a Riot" was released by Harper Collins. Additionally, he's written for several publications including The Globe and Mail and The New Yorker. Bruce also has two spoken word/comedy/music CDs Shame-based Man and The Drunk Baby Project.
Bruce is currently producing and directing the series TallBoyz for CBC, which premieres this September. He has written and performed in Young Drunk Punk (a series inspired by his own life), Death Comes to Town, and This Blows (web series) also for CBC, and he created Carpoolers for ABC. He has directed such shows as SNL, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Schitt's Creek, and Trailer Park Boys.
As an actor he has appeared in numerous Canadian and American television shows such as, Saturday Night Live, Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls, Comedy Bang Bang, Workaholics, and Nobodies, and even Anne of Green Gables.
Bruce has also written and/or directed several films including Dog Park starring Luke Wilson, Superstar starring Molly Shannon and Will Ferrell, Stealing Harvard starring Jason Lee, Leslie Mann, and Tom Green, and Comeback Season starring Ray Liotta.
30ThuWesley Stace: A Tribute to John Wesley Harding feat. Robert Lloyd, Nineteen Thirteen
show detailsJanuary 30, 2020
Throughout the '90s and '00s, which included his tenures at Sire, Rhino and Hollywood records, John Wesley Harding regularly toured in a duo format with noted mandolin, accordion and keyboard player, Robert Lloyd. This was at the very dawn of Unplugged, before even house concerts. Once described as The Metallica of McCabes, the duo's performances were acknowledged to be the high watermark of contemporary live performance (in venues that held about one hundred people).
Wesley Stace (Yep Roc) has coaxed Lloyd out of retirement to pay tribute to the legendary songbook of John Wesley Harding. All Harding's favourites will be represented and painstakingly recreated, from Modern Rock staple The Person You Are to 120 Minutes Video of the Week The Devil In Me; via Kill The Messenger and The Truth, memorably performed on the Tonight Show, to Scared of Guns, recently amended and released on Appleseed Records' anniversary collection.
Since Stace's critically lauded debut "Self-Titled" in 2013, he has played many of Harding's songs live, but here he's happy to let his own songwriting take a backseat to the master's: "I feel an extraordinary kinship with these songs. It's as if I wrote them." Harding himself has endorsed this tribute: "I am deeply honored, and glad to be as far away as possible."
Cellist Janet Schiff and Percussionist Victor DeLorenzo (founding drummer of Violent Femmes) create the new and dynamic sound that is Nineteen Thirteen.
Schiff plays a cello that was made in Romania in the year of 1913 while DeLorenzo plays a set of drums made in modern day America. Together their music suggests mystery, romance and future thought.
Powered by cello layers and beat brush percussion, this award winning duo defies expectations and rewards listeners with their unique expression of music.
31FriJanuary 31, 20208:00pm $10.00With a look and sound that captures The Who at the height of their 70s peak, Substitute plays the songs that have become part of rock legend. From the hits (Pinball Wizard, Who Are You and Won't Get Fooled Again) to lesser-known classics (The Seeker, Bargain and The Real Me), Substitute is becoming a regular at some of the Midwest's most prestigious venues and festivals!
The Milwaukee-based band was formed by Wisconsin by-way-of Seattle bassist Tom Branigan in 2005, when he found three people who shared his love of Who music and could faithfully replicate the playing styles of its four original members. Featuring veteran musicians Andy Potocic on guitar, Andy Pagel on drums, vocalist Dave Stevens and Branigan, the result is a no-frills sonic attack that brings back the very best of the 60s and 70s.