Leagues, The Autumn Defense (feat. John Stirratt & Pat Sanson of Chicago’s own WILCO), The Giving Tree Band, and Dick Prall are scheduled to perform opening night at the 5th Annual Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Fest at Concord Music Hall at 8:00pm on Friday, January 10th, 2014.
LEAGUES: Some things in life are built by coincidence, some by hard work, others by a sheer set of circumstances – not exactly random, but not contrived, either – that lead us to a place of pure synchronicity. To art, maybe. Nashville’s Leagues (comprising singer Thad Cockrell, guitarist Tyler Burkum and drummer Jeremy Lutito) might not credit one over the other in terms of which could best explain how they, deep into their careers and different paths, were able to drop it all at this very moment to make music they’d never quite played before but never sounded so right. “It had to happen now,” Jeremy says with a seriousness that quickly fades to laughter. “Not a second earlier.” Because if explaining how they got here is a long story, explaining what they make certainly isn’t: simply, songs rooted in joy. Seriousness, that quickly fades to laughter.
Leagues is infectious. The ten tracks that make up their debut, You Belong Here, encourage both dancing and introspection, and show a group of men leaving behind any preconceived notions or expectations but never their innate musicianship or love for the craft of songwriting. “I’m not inspired by artists,” says Thad. “As much as I’m inspired by songs.” Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’” by Michael Jackson. “Songs that stop the room for a quick second,” adds Jeremy. One listen to the swirling, rock-pop anthem “Mind Games,” the electric thump of “Magic” or the locomotive doo-wop of “Spotlight” and it’s clear that Leagues’ music does the same. Just try and keep your toes from tapping. [from Leagues biography]
THE AUTUMN DEFENSE: The Autumn Defense arrived with the 21st century, capturing colors of a bygone era - the result of a collaboration between John Stirratt, longtime member of Wilco and formerly Uncle Tupelo and musical compatriot (Wilco multi-instrumentalist) Pat Sansone. Between noontime highs and slipping sunsets, the Autumn Defense create a sound which both embraces and resists the moods of autumn, and so defines their name. The multi-instrumental duo chase the sun westward to the California coast, gathering inspiration from classic L.A. pop and well-crafted melody basking in the warmth of the 60s and 70s AM Radio tradition.
Everyone has a different way to relax after a hard day of work, and for Pat Sansone and John Stirratt, the best way to clear their heads after playing to thousands of people for weeks on end was to find time to craft Fifth, the latest immaculately rendered pop opus from their long-running duo The Autumn Defense. Recorded on the fly between Wilco tours, multi-instrumentalists and producers Sansone and Stirratt recruited members of their touring band for the first time in the making of an Autumn Defense record. Confident grooves underly the duo's masses of harmonies and carefully layered guitar chimes for what the pair consider one of their most varied efforts to date. [from The Autumn Defense biography]
THE GIVING TREE BAND: Led by enigmatic brothers Todd and "E" Fink, The Giving Tree Band are making their way to the head of a classy class of young American songwriters and performers. The Finks extended their brotherhood to all 7 members and started out with only a collective heart as big as the ocean. They now wield a wide array of instruments from acoustic and electric guitars, slide guitars and banjos to violin, mandolin and pedal steel. A band's band, they all live together, travel together and do everything as one family, harmonizing their voices and lives on and off stage. The Giving Tree Band is not reinventing but simply reuniting rock and roll. With their down-home style, they emphasize the virtue in their fierce virtuosity - playing each note with integrity, each part with humility, each song with honesty and each show with gratitude. The most common word among reviews is "undeniable" in regards to the chemistry on stage, the energy in the room and the feeling that something special is happening. With a rare combination of stirring musicianship and exemplary songwriting, the Giving Tree Band wheel is in full spin and, like their heroes before them, it's also on fire. [from The Giving Tree Band biography]
DICK PRALL: Dodging in and out of pop ditties, lilting melodies, and quirky song structures, Dick Prall’s inability to stay in one musical place is reflective in a body of work that mirrors his personality: youthfully distracted and sweetly cynical. He puts great care into fashioning accessible and viral songs, inserting them with content that, if you look beyond the hooks, shows you a landscape filled with unsavory characters, undesirable behavior, and a decent dose of thoughtfulness. [from Dick Prall biography]
Friday January 10th, 2014
React, Silver Wrapper, and Concord present
Concord Music Hall
2047 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
17+ with valid ID