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Review, Photos, Setlist: Old Shoe & Sean Shiel @ Ace Bar 5/9/12

Words: Dave Weckstein, Images: Norman SandsWhat the world needs now is another folk hero, like I need a hole in the head is a phrase penned by Cracker on Teen Angst but in the years since they wrote it, it has been covered by the likes of acoustic artists suchThe band went on later in...

Setlist, Recap & Video: 30db & Van Ghost @ Abbey Pub 5/9/12

The 30db / Van Ghost pairing was just one of the many inspired double (sometime triple & quadruple) bills that the Abbey Pub has been programming lately and certainly one of the most high profile, considering the national prominence of the artists involved, yet a strong sense of Chicago hung in the air all night. This...

Review, Photos, Poster, Video: White Demin @ Lincoln Hall 4/19/12

Im not sure how one can define The Best Live Band in America or if it would even mean anything if you did. However, if intensity, imagination, innovation, and execution could be considered fair measures, White Denim made its case for the title Thursday night at Lincoln Hall.Starting out with the opening trio of...

The Story Of Bonzo Terks - Stream And Download Two Exclusive Tracks

One of the best parts of running a blog like The Barn Presents is that occasionally you get turned on to music in some of the most interesting ways. A few months ago when Danny Van Deurm left a short message on The Barn's facebook wall, advising me to check out his band, Bonzo Terks,...

Americana The Beautiful: Nine Bands Taking Acoustic Music To The Places You Want To Go

This feature has been updated (February 2012) since its original publication in April of 2010. I swapped out the ninth band and added some honorable mentions. The remainder of the text remains largely untouched.We can crank up the amplifiers and layer on the production, but the acoustic guitar -- natural and authentic -- just isn't going...

Mark Karan Talks Ratdog, TRI, Sweetwater and Doing His Own Thing

Mark Karan's musical history has the narrative flow of a great book. The guitarist has spent years shuttling between the Bay Area and L.A., working in studios and on stages, laying down tracks with some of the world's most successful musicians. The road has been filled with twists and turns, unfolding with an almost...

The Best Audio & Video From Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival

Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival delivered two solid weekends packed with highlights. Fortunately, the good times don't have to end at the festival, as some of the strongest sets of the festival have been recorded, and we're happy to share them with you. Three keys sets from 1/21 at the Auditorium are available here in their...

Surround Yourself With Music: Getting To Know Jim Boukas

Dedication. Hard work. Vision. Networking. All words often associated with success in business, but they equally apply to the way that Jim Boukas has built up a Chicagoland jamband empire of sorts over the last seven years. By constantly tweaking the formula, breaking new ground, trying his hand at new things and fostering relationships with...

The 15 Greatest Muppet Musical Moments And Mashups

[fblike style="standard" showfaces="false" width="450" verb="like" font="arial"] The Muppets are back in theaters today.Despite what is sure to be an all out media blitz, I'll admit I just can't get enough. The simple fact is that Muppets are ridiculously appealing to fans of all ages and, from the beginning, Jim Henson's...

A Chat With Guitarist Mark Hague: Blotto, Helping Phriendly Orchestra and Beyond

[fblike style="standard" showfaces="false" width="450" verb="like" font="arial"]For fans, Mark Hague is the type of musician you just have to love. A key member of two of Chicago's premier jambands (and possibly cooking up a third?), he brings the attitude and perspective of a superfan to what he does on stage. And...