Festival Watch is a Tomorrow’s Verse feature where we break down festival news into the facts you need to know.
FitzGerald’s American Music Festival – June 30 - July 3
The 36th Annual FitzGerald’s American Music Festival will take place at the Berwyn venue, celebrating the musical traditions of folk, country and Americana. Here are the details.
Headliners To Watch
Los Straitjackets & Marshall Crenshaw – Masked guitar troubadours Los Straitjackets play an upbeat brand of surf rock and will be joined by pop-rock mastermind Marshall Crenshaw for a surely unforgettable show.
Southern Culture On The Skids – This Friday headliner combines rockabilly with a punk edge, for an energetic show that practically requires you to dance.
Dave Alvin – The Blasters’ Dave Alvin is a true legend in American music, with a solo career that consists largely of emotional alternative-country tunes. This is the perfect festival for Alvin.
David Luning – Young California singer-songwriter David Luning has a beautiful, classically inspired country sound that shines in the live setting.
Wesley Bright And The Honeytones – These guys have perfected a nostalgic soul sound, using horns and funky bass lines to create an emotional brand of R&B.
CJ Chenier And The Red Hot Louisiana Band – This Zydeco group brings new life to the musical tradition, incorporating funky rhythms, soaring guitar solos and danceable beats into the accordion-heavy songs.
Robbie Fulks – Chicago’s premier underrated folk singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks will perform with Redd Volkaert, the guitarist for Merle Haggard’s backing band.
Shemekia Copeland – Arguably the biggest current vocalist in the Chicago blues scene, Copeland’s commanding voice and clever songwriting will fit perfectly at the FitzGerald’s festival.
Tributosaurus – Long-standing, eclectic cover-band Tributosaurus will tackle the music of The Monkees at the festival.
The Waco Brothers – Popular alternative-country band The Waco Brothers have earned a serious fanbase in the city as well as their right into this festival.
What You Need To Know
After 36 years, FitzGerald’s American Music Festival not only celebrates the traditions of this country’s music, but the longstanding and influential force of the venue itself. Festival goers can buy a four-day pass for $120 or single-day passes for $40, a good deal for a full day of music.
The Bottom Line
Fans of roots music, folk, and country should flock to this festival, which combines established, classic acts with up-and-coming bands from the Americana scene, as well as a slew of great local talent. With more than 10 bands each day, it offers a chance to see bands you already know and fall in love with new bands all in a day.
Friday, June 30: Southern Culture On The Skids, Robbie Fulks & Redd Volkaert, Western Centuries, David Luning, Terry Hanck Band, The Waco Brothers, The Zimmermen, The Shams Band, Charlie Parr, Northside Barbershop Quartet, Jenny Bienerman, Expo ‘76
Saturday, July 1: Los Straitjackets with Marshall Crenshaw, Shinyribs, Shemekia Copeland, Terrance Simien & Zydeco Experience, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Charlie Parr, The Pines, The Tillers, Kim Kaler, Curtis McMurty, Blue Eyed Betty, Babe-alon 5
Sunday, July 2: Shinyribs, Ike Reilly, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Wesley Bright & The Honeytones, Jon Dee Graham, Tributosaurus becomes The Monkees, Funkadesi, Deslondes, British Buddy Alumni Big Band, Ryan Joseph Anderson, Brett Newski, Jack Klatt, Liv Mueller, Wild Earp, The Federers
Monday, July 3: Dave Alvin, Marcia Ball Band, Eric Lindell, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, The Blisters, Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts, The Commonheart, The Red Elvises, Ray Bonneville, Lonesome Still, Cannonball, Wes Chichosz