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Friday, July 19, 2013

Having too much fun during an amazing week of music

By Ted Slowik

What a week! July 13 I performed at good friend Tim Placher's 8th annual Shindig at the Shanty. Tim and a couple friends have a place outside Wilmington on a bluff overlooking the Kankakee River, and he throws some great parties with live music in that beautiful setting.

I played a set of mostly originals, though I opened with a cover of the Charlie Daniels Band's "Uneasy Rider." Rich Westrick drove down from the city to sit in on keyboards. He was a great help on songs like "Red Rover," "Hinsdale" and "Springfield." We're going to jam together again July 20 at my friend Bridget's house party. This will be my first time performing mostly originals in a house party setting so I'm really looking forward to it.

Tim played a set at the Shindig, then the Michael Heaton Band performed. They were so good, I don't know how Tim's going to top the musical entertainment next year. Tim has a great number of friends from throughout Joliet and Plainfield but especially his classmates from his St. Ray's days, and they're a great group to play for.

Monday night I sat in on a great Songwriter Circle at Chicago Street Pub with Alex Hoffer and Charlie Champene. There was a group in front of the Will County Courthouse in downtown Joliet protesting the verdict in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case. I played the original "Stand My Ground" and some other tunes.

Chicago Street is sponsoring Hopstring Fest Aug. 24 at Silver Cross Field in Joliet with a great lineup that includes Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts, The Steepwater Band, John Condron and the Old Gang Orchestra, The Righteous Hillbillies, Ed Anderson, Chicago Farmer, Magic Box, and more. It's going to be great time, especially if you like craft beer and live music. 

Tuesday after work I met with photographer Brian Powers at Quigley's  in Naperville. We talked about pictures to accompany the recording I'm doing in August at Third City Sound. Brian is easy to get along with, has great ideas and does great work.

Wednesday night I was at Tribes Alehouse Mokena for weekly acoustic open mic. Kev Wright from Righteous Hillbillies was there with a couple of his students--John Narcissi and Chase Walsh--a couple of really talented young singers, performers and songwriters. Kev's son is a student at North Central College in Naperville (where I work) and just earned a grant to spend a few weeks studying in Iceland. Sometimes it's the tiniest of worlds.

I heard all or parts of sets by Charlie, Scott McNeil, Patrick Spiroff, John Green and others. Patrick mentioned that when I included a link to his Bandcamp website in a previous post he noticed some readers visited his page. I appreciate it when you check out the links, because people like Alex and Michael and Patrick and John deserve to be heard by as many as possible, so tell your friends. We're all very supportive of one another in the Will County independent music community. 

Thursday night was the monthly jam at Chicago Street hosted by Kevin Krauss. Charlie and Patrick performed, I was helped out on "Uneasy Rider" and "Drama Queen" by Pat Otto and Chris Foray on mandolin and mandola, and to cap it off there was a very special jam performance by Kevin, Eric Jensen, Becky Smentak, Tom Maslowksi, Don Nudi, John and a sax player whose name I didn't get. 

Good thing weeks like this don't happen often, because I'm exhausted and broke!