We'll always cover the old favorites, but it's also worth keeping a lookout for artists that may be on their first few swings through Chicago. This new feature, 8-UP, showcases eight acts on the way up -- catch 'em before they're big.
Check them out in this Spotify Playlist and check out when they'll be in town below. One of the biggest surprises of 2016 for me, Robert Ellis provides a jolt of 70's era country-rock into songs like "California", which go down so easy. June 12 at Schuba's.
We've actually featured Kevin Morby before, and certainly covered bands he's played in The Babies and Woods. But he's worthy of an 8-UP slot, if purely on the strength of the recent Singing Saw album. This is "I Have Been To The Mountain". He'll be at Schuba's on June 15th.
Austin, Texas' The Madisons will be at Schuba's June 17th and have an incredible story. A do-it-yourself indie-folk operation, every bit of touring and recording success they've had has come while while raising kids and holding down full-time jobs. Bravo! "So Long West Texas".
And speaking of family, Hayes Carll checks in with "Magic Kid", which will put a lump in your throat if you happen to be a parent. See the singer-songwriter June 17th at Lincoln Hall
Chicago's very own Whitney just got off tour with Unknown Mortal Orchestra. "No Woman" fits right in with their challenging indie-psych. Catch a double dose during Pitchfork in July, at the festival and an Empty Bottle after show, on Friday July 15.
While she was jamming at 12 years old with the likes of David Grisman and Ricky Skaggs, Sarah Jarosz swerved from bluegrass picking to songwriting as she matured, while still keeping of those heroes' stylistic nuances. These days she fashions herself as an Americana voice in the mold of Gilliam Welch...and she's ONLY 25 YEARS OLD. July 10 at Old Town School Of Folk Music.
The Last Revel first came to my attention covering Cake's "Going The Distance" for Jambase's 20 Years Later series (a guilty pleasure). The midwesterners check in at Tonic Room on June 12 after a weekend appearance at Blue Ox.
Andy Schauf may not even be exactly my speed but one listen to "The Magician" and you can tell that he's got "it". No wonder he opens for case/lang/veirs at Chicago Theater on August 7th.