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Saturday, August 3, 2013

A wonderful week of live local music and talented company

Pat Otto and Tristan Charles
By Ted Slowik

Had a fantastic couple of days making and sharing music with friends and very talented company this week. The amount and variety of musical talent in Will County never ceases to amaze!

Wednesday night I hosted open mic at Tribes Alehouse Mokena, a first hosting there. Many thanks to Tribes owner Niall Freyne for letting open mic continue even though regular host John Condron was unavailable. John told me he started hosting open mic there in September 2011. I started going in November 2011 and have been there most weeks since.

It's always a great time and wonderful showcase for local live music, especially originals, and this week was no exception. Everything went smoothly and there were some new faces in addition to many regular standouts. 

Nick Domberg and Brian Barry
Everyone who played sounded great. Newcomers like Raj, Matt, Zach and Dan were very impressive, as were Pat Otto, Tristan Charles, Scott McNeil, Jim Connolly of The Dingo Babies, Nick Domberg and Brian Barry of The Neighbors, and one or two others. Ryan Olsson's sister Cailee and Brian's wife Kristin were great company, and the entire staff at Tribes are incredibly courteous and fun people to work with. It was fun opening the night with a set of a few tunes, performing the role of host and emcee for the evening, and setting up, running and putting away the sound equipment. All went well.

The Neighbors played a show Friday night at Chicago Street Pub Friday night, and at Tribes Wednesday Brian and I were talking and next thing you know I'm opening for them. They're a fantastic band with a great sound, musically and vocally.

Despite the short notice my brother Mike was able to come down and catch the show. He took some pictures and shot a video of the Slowiks song. I had a wonderful time despite breaking two strings, during the first and last songs. I opened with a cover of Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" and closed with a cover of Joni Mitchell's "Coyote," but it was all originals in between. I played "Hinsdale," "Springfield," "I'm Low," "Red Rover," "'Murica," "Dear Editor," "Acts of God" and "Record Store." It was a good set, over all too soon but set a good tone for the evening.

Andrew, Steve and Rich
Nick and Brian, along with Andrew and Steve Becker and Rich have a great thing going with The Neighbors. They play a wonderful mix of covers and originals, and some guests, including Alex Hoffer and a female vocalist, joined them for some songs. I managed to capture Instagram videos of snippets of a couple of their tunes, including one featuring Steve on bass and Nick on harmonica, and another featuring Andrew's vocal talents and the band's awesome harmonies. If you ever get a chance to see them perform live, you should check them out--you won't be disappointed.

Other than that, I was saddened to learn this week about the passing of my friend and former boss at The Naperville Sun, Jim Lynch. He was a good newspaper guy who died too young, at 59, of cancer. I recorded a version of "Dear Editor" in his honor. If you watch/listen to that, be sure to also check out this two-minute cover of The Who's "Happy Jack," just so you're not left feeling bummed out.

Next weekend is a big one indeed, one that I've been planning for since back in April. For the first time since 1986 I'll be recording some of my music professionally in a studio. It's been far too long and I'm very excited. I'm hoping to record about six songs at Bill Aldridge's Third City Sound in Joliet, with production help from John Condron and some accompaniment by some very talented individuals. Until next time, cheers!