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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hanging out with Matt Biskie and Vaudevileins

By Ted Slowik

Last night I attended an awesome private performance at Third City Sound in Joliet by the great Matt Biskie and the band Vaudevileins.

Third City is the studio where I'm recording, and it was cool of owner Bill Aldridge to open his doors for an intimate group of friends to hear the band play. Bill plays bass in the band, which includes Jeff Julian on vocals and guitar, Andrew Payne on lead guitar and Brennen Chouinard on drums.

Vaudevileins play upbeat, original rock music. They sound great together, and it was fun getting to hang out with them because they all like to laugh and tell stories and talk about music and have a good time. Each is a great musician in his own right, but together they make some truly fantastic sounds. Jeff has a great voice and sense of humor, and hearing them perform live is a very playful experience.

They've been performing and recording together since 2010, and they play all over the Midwest and even beyond sometimes. You gotta admire a group that packs their lives into a green Ford van and drives hundreds of miles for sometimes weeks at time to play in a bunch of cities. And to go through the closeness of touring and still be friends is really cool.

I recorded a little bit of their performance, and you can hear what they sound like here.

Before Vaudevileins played their set, the small crowd of us gathered there were treated to an awesome acoustic set by Matt Biskie. Matt's an incredibly talented songwriter, singer and guitar player. He's a nice guy, too. So if you ever get the chance to hear him you should. In fact, I would definitely recommend buying music by both Vaudevileins and Matt Biskie because it's very entertaining and artful music.

If you check out Matt's site, you can hear some songs he recorded at Third City Sound. He says he honed his songwriting skills playing in bars across Illinois, and some of his music draws from his experiences working in railroad construction and living in motels throughout small-town USA. He has a beautiful voice, writes heartfelt songs about relationships and it's always a pleasure to hear him play.

I uploaded a short clip of Matt's performance, which you can watch here

In short, it was a great night with great company. I made some new friends, and people like Chris and Allison Flood were there, and it's always a good time hanging out with people who enjoy creating and appreciating good live, local original music.