It's not nearly as well-known nationally as Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, or Riot Fest, but Fitzgerald's American Music festival is one of Chicago's longest-running annual music events. This weekend, the 33rd annual fest takes place at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn this Wednesday through Saturday, July 2-5.
The lineup features dozens of rootsy bands putting their own spin on Americana and folk. Among the acts on the bill for the event are Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Pug, the Iguanas, Sarah Borges, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Robbie Fulks, the Howlin' Brothers, Junior Brown, and many others.
Tickets are available for $30 per day on TicketWeb. Diehard fans can purchase a four-day pass to hear all the music for $100.
One of the highlights will be the Saturday afternoon performance of Hurray for the Riff Raff, a New Orleans-based act fronted by Alynda Lee Segarra. Her album Small Town Heroes is one of the biggest critical favorites of 2014. NPR has called the record one of the best of 2014.
Segarra's music is political and lyrically edgy, though her sound is traditional. She told NPR, "I try to go about being very obvious about my inspirations. It's kind of a brave move on our part to say, this is obviously taken from an older form of music. And we're so comfortable with ourselves as a band, and I'm trying to be comfortable enough as a songwriter to say that we're bringing something unique to it and it's going to be a point of view the world hasn't really heard yet. I'm not afraid to make that connection obvious."
Hurray for the Riff Raff performs at 6:45 on Saturday in the tent, just before the Iguanas and Joe Ely & Reckless Kelly.