Tag Archives: Fitzgeralds

Best Darn Festival there is Every year!

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Next Gen Rockers!

“I’m David Kindler’s plus one (Thanks David!)”  With those words I entered into what I consider the best music festival I have ever attended. David is a friend and photographer extroardinaire (his photos below), plus fellow music geek.  I know many paid big bucks to see the last dead shows at soldier field but they could of saved a lot of money if the goal was many great bands for a great price.  Running for four days every summer around Independence Day.  The American Music Festival at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn has been running for 34 years and my only regret is missing the first 32. My thanks again to David Kindler (photographer extraordinaire)  for introducing me to this great festival. On to my personal Highlights…

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  • School of Rock kids from across the world jamming their hearts out.
  • Tom Cimm’s fantastic Cajun Food!
  • AmySarah Muscle Shoals
  • Sarah Borges and Amy Black and the Muscle Shoals Revue.  A great tribute to some of the greatest music ever made. Those women can flat out sing!
  • Meeting Val (Thanks David Kindler)! of Val’s Halla Records in Oak Park. Your recommendation to see the the band below was spot on!
  • What Four –  Thank you Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, Phil Angotti amd Matt Warren in the sidebar. The pure joy and harmonies were amazing!
  • Luke Fitzgeralds
  • Luke Underhill. The young man of 19 has a great voice, solid songwriting and a bright future.
  • Terrance Simien
  • Terrance Simein and the Zydeco Experience. He always seems to be the one having the most fun! His band brings it too!
  • Cochombo!!! Best Sandwich Ever. Seriously.
  • Marcia Ball crushing it as I returned after a short hiatus.
  • Cold Beer starting at $3 a can!
  • Water stations
  • The bartenders, waitstaff, cooks, security, and anyone else working this event do an incredible job working very long hours on little Sleep.  Job Well Done!

Fitzgerald family

  • The FitzGerald Family for bring this amazing event to the masses for the 34th year.

Fitzgerald Venue

 

Maybe I’ll see you there next year…

 

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Day of THE DOWD… or how all drummer are now called in my house.

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Tomorrow is Saturday, November 8, 2014 and it is also the Day of the Dowd at Fitzgerald’s Nightclub.  Many of you who read this blog or are friends of mine on Facebook are aware that my son is the creator of THE DOWD.  Not Day of the Dowd (that credit goes to his smart and talented wife) which I will be supporting tomorrow. While he is best known as a drummer extraordinaire and in our family the drummer for the Justin Roberts band to which we have attended a few shows.  Somewhere along the way of seeing him at shows and festivals we became friends. Our two sons get along thick as thieves being only a year apart and living in the same neighborhood. So a  while back I was having a morning jam with my jam cartson which we are known to do on more than one occasion.  He will gather all of his drums, keyboards,ukes, guitars (some real, some toys) and bring them all out to the front room and say… “Daddy let’s Jam!”  He does this on occasion with his mom too but mostly me as I am usually practicing my guitar or attempting to write a new tune. Well on that day my wife was home and since he was jamming on keys and guitar and I had a guitar he asked his mom to play the drums.  Only he asked her “you be THE DOWD.”  We asked for clarification and he matter of factly explained “you play the drums, you be THE DOWD.”  Now I have a great drummer in my band named Frank Izzo and never have we referred to the drummer as “THE IZZO” or as his Pooch jersey saysJoe mendota “JOES DAD” (the original drummer was Frank’s son Joe).  Not sure if it was Gerald’s son’s influence or the beard or that he plays for Justin Roberts.  Whatever the cause all drummers in my house are now referred to as THE DOWD.  I’m sure this inspired Gerald to go write an album immediately as 3 year olds have the power to inspire.  Or maybe his many years of hard work, gigging, recording, practicing, singing, hanging around great musicgdowdians and life may have a small reason to do with him releasing a brand new album.  You go ahead and think that. But around here we know the truth. Go forth tomorrow and by a ticket for Day of the Dowd at Fitzgerald’s Nightclub and enjoy some great music. Hope to see you there and be sure to by a copy of the new CD ‘Home Now.  I’ve heard a few of the tunes and it sounds good!

A year of music.

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The goal is a simple one.  To spend every weekend for a year attending different music festivals.  Ideally Poochamungas would play at a bunch of them as well.  I would prefer no Jumbotrons.  One should be able to identify all the performers onstage from anywhere in the audience.  I shouldn’t need a TV to see the band I’m viewing at a concert but not a deal breaker.  That’s why I really enjoyed the American Music Festival last week at Fitzgerald’s and today at Irish Fest at the Irish American Heritage Center.  It’s about music and then the festivities.  People come to see and interact with the bands.  Gaelic Storm had such a crowd standing and singing along. Dublin City Rovers spread a lot of joy as well.  Such fun energy to be a part of.  Unfortunately my youngest child had no more energy to spare and we had to head home early in the show. My daughter on the other hand stayed and closed the show.  A year may be to ambitious… Maybe start with a summer full of music and expand from there.  The kids are young and they follow in their fathers music loving footsteps. So maybe?

My New Favorite Festival

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Photo by David T. Kindler

It’s Jeff Bogle’s (Out With The Kids) fault. A couple of years ago he convinced me to attend the Grammys as I had access to tickets and he was looking to go.  Many fine kindie artists had been nominated that year and so I attended the Grammy Pre Telecast show to which one of my colleagues would win (The Okee Dokee Brothers won, yea!). Then in the middle of the show I was introduced to the music of John Fulbright with a blistering performance of Gawd Above.  I became a fan on the spot. This year my photographer friend David Kindler asked if I was interested in attending the American Music Festival at Fitzgeralds in Berwyn.  Heck yeah!  I had wanted to go for years and knowing John Fulbright was playing sealed the deal.  What a great fest indeed.  I prefer my concerts without jumbotrons and this one is just the right size. Here are the highlights for me attending on the last day of the festival…

Walked in on the Bellfuries (Austin, Texas)  with the sterling vocals of Joe Simeone and the Rock-a-sense-ability of Schecky Seaver, Mike Molnar and Chris Sensat.  I could listen to them all day!Fest2014_070514-2469

The Split Squad – What do you get when you hook up a bunch of career rock and roll guys?  FACE MELTING ROCK!  I also got some vinyl of the band. Double Win!Fest2014_070514-2602

COCHOMBO – You take a Cochon de Lait (Roast Pork Po’ Boy) + The best Andouille sausage I’ve ever had  = Superior Sammich.  The Cajun Combo so to speak.  I ate two (one early, one late). Tom “Festival” Cimms and staff do a fine job indeed!

Girls, Guns and Glory with Sarah Borges – Amazing! Best surprise of the festival.  Had no idea about either of these acts and was blown away. They have a 7″ Vinyl coming out out on July 20th and highly suggest you check it out!Fest2014_070514-3171

John Fulbright – opened the show singing Acapella and quieted a full crowd.  Amazing talent and songwriting ability.  The inspiration for my coming to the festival and it was well deservedFest2014_070514-3228

Free Water available all over the festival.

$3.50 Miller Lite bottles

David Kindler – My favorite photographer.  Never fails to make an introduction and really enjoys his work. His photos really capture the festival as seen here in this article. I was there because of his invite and will be back again next year.

Joe Ely and Reckless Kelly – Joe is an American treasure and sang a Townes Van Zandt song. You should catch him with Reckless Kelly who were down right smokin’.  Magical closing song of the night for me with Not Fade Away. Fest2014_070514-3266

The Sound Guys – Kept things rolling and sounding good with sooooo many bands.

Many thanks to the Fitzgerald family and staff for an outstanding job.  This was my first year attending but definitely not my last. All fests should be run so well. Thank you for an outstanding day.

All Photos by David T. Kindler

Awesome show

Electric Dirt killed it last night to a small but enthusiastic crowd.  The -5 degree weather may have been a significant factor in the attendance. They’ll be back at Simons on February 26th.   Go! You’ll be glad I sent you.  Also don’t miss the Okee Dokee Brothers this Sunday at 11am at the Old Town School of Folk Music.  That is all.electric dirt

Great Chicago music at a bargain

I have posted here before about concerts and gigs I have seen in this city that don’t break the pocketbook and are as good or better than anything your dumping $100 on.  The other day I saw Nora O’Connor at the Hideout who’s doing a Tuesday residency and boy can that girl sing!  There are 3 more shows this month.  For $10 bucks it behooves you to catch one of these shows. Next Tuesday, February 11 at 9pm they are performing the entire 1973 Buckingham/Nicks record. It should be pretty cool.  I should also mention that Robbie Fulks is continuing his Monday residency of amazing shows there (at the Hideout) as well and his shows cost… $10.  They both come HIGHLY recommended!

Another running gig I have mentioned here before is Brian O’Hern and the Model Citizens.  They play every third Monday of the month at the Gallery Cabaret.  How you ask do they fit an 11 piece horn section with a full rhythm section and a keyboardist in a rather small bar? Where they pass the hat (pitcher) to collect for the band because there is NO COVER. I leave these questions for others, put 5 dollars in the pitcher (a hat would be cooler), order a bar pizza and try something tasty on tap.  It’s great music and one of Chicago’s true gems in the music scene.

Which brings me to tonight. Electric Dirt is playing tonight at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn.  You can Usually find them them at Simons in Andersonville the 4th Wednesday of every month. They too pass the hat (pitcher) and be sure to drop at least 5 dollars cause they’re worth it!  Tonight you gotta cough up a whole $8!  Crazy!  If you like the music of Levon Helm and The Band this is a must see.  So get out and hear some live music because CD sales ain’t paying the bills these days.  Go support you local musician today!  I leave you with a song (written by Springsteen) they will be playing tonight sung by the late great Levon Helm himself.

Re-mixes, overdubs and album themes.

So the song Imagination Train on our first CD is one of my favorite songs but the final mix we put out  never felt quite right.  Now it being one of the first songs I ever recorded I really had no idea what I was looking for in a recording.  The fact that I had put something down on a CD was amazing in itself but as time went on and I have listened to it a few thousand times I began to feel the song was cluttered and a bit muddled.   I love when we play it live but the recording lacked my ability to  really hear it and make it more.  Well we remixed it and added another vocalist and WOW!  I am loving it again.  Anna Fermin sang the vocal track and is absolutely brilliant.  (She starts a series of shows at Fitzgerald’s Tuesday,  February 14 at 8pm. Go check it out!  She is a wonderful talent and super nice to boot!)  Plus John Abbey did the remix stripping it down and rebuilding it and this Sunday we’re gonna put the final touches on it with Alton.  And then were gonna give it to you the reader… FREE.  As soon as we are done we’ll let you know the details right here in this blog.

So not only are we doing final overdubs to Imagination Train we’re gonna work a few other tunes as well this Sunday.  We have a song called My Favorite Summer Day also referred to as Block Party Day and Around the World up for attention. Plus a Bo Diddly beat inspired Places You Go.   We’ll be laying vocals and drums and keys, maybe guitar and whatever else we think of while we’re there.  One step closer to  completed songs takes us closer to a completed CD.   The new stuff is sounding really great!

So the album/CD theme is something new to me.  The first CD I just put together a bunch a songs that I had written and liked and put them on the CD.  This time there is a definite family/childhood theme present.  It  may have a lot to do with the huge amount of time I spend with my kids and the wealth of material they provide.  My thanks to Sue Demel for pointing this out to me during one of my singer/songwriter sessions at the OTS.  She does good work.

Thanks for reading and see you again in the next few weeks!  Stay tuned for the re-release of Imagination Train!