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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cheers to Jack Be Nimble and other updates to share

By Ted Slowik

Had a great time playing a show Saturday night with Jack Be Nimble. The turnout was great at the new black box Studio Theatre at Lewis University, and the sound was fantastic. Thanks to Jo, Andrew, Keith and all the crew at the theater for putting together and pulling off a great show.

Three of the four members of Jack Be Nimble graduated from Lewis last year, and they're doing really well as a band. They write their own material, have really good studio recordings out and put on an energetic live show. They've had more than 8,000 downloads of their songs on PureVolume, and you should definitely check out "Maple Trees," "Take Me Home" and their other tunes. You can like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter--they're really good, especially if you like loud, fast rock music popular with Millennials.

The show was so much fun. I played an hour-long opening set of 10 originals and two covers, and told stories during tuning changes and between songs. The audience reaction was great. The solo show is evolving nicely and is an entertaining hour of storytelling and music. It felt very special performing in front of Jo, Hannah and Noah, Mom and Liz and many friends. The show was photographed, audio taped and videotaped so as those materials are edited there could be a whole bunch of cool content forthcoming from that evening!

I played all six songs from the "Comfort Zone" EP that will be coming out soon. Bill Aldridge from Third City Sound hopes to finish the final mix soon, and the sleeve design is well underway. Then it's just a matter of mastering and pressing copies so it's looking like it'll be available for sale late November/early December.

Had hoped to get a date around then for a CD release show at the only logical place to have one--Chicago Street Pub in Joliet--but Triz is booked through the holidays. So save the date Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, will be the "official" release date. Happy to say the great songwriter and guitarist Chris Corkery is on board to open the show, and Ron Kostka will be backing me up on drums. Hoping other friends and special guest musicians are available to join the party, too,

As far as other updates, much thanks to Romanian music journalist Vlad Stoian for including my 10 favorite songs among those of hundreds of other artists and musicians from around the world on his Warmer Climes blog (I'm Warmer Mixtape #883). I think he's got a great idea for a blog with endless potential for contributions, and it's interesting to read through such a diverse selection of favorites.

On the songwriting front, the newer tunes "Molly Zelko" and "Back To You" continue to get great receptions, and Saturday night "Slowiks" and "Red Rover" went over very well. I'm making progress on a new tune called "Support Joe Hosey." I have a chorus and a couple verses and a melody at last, though not quite ready to share a rendition just yet--soon. I had an idea to write a ghost story song about Resurrection Mary, but checked first and discovered Mott the Hoople frontman Ian Hunter already released this excellent tune back in 1996, so there's no need for anyone to try to top that! Might have to learn this as a cover someday but for now I'm just enjoying listening to it.

I'm also enjoying listening to an advance copy of a soon-to-be-released full-length album by Illinois singer/songwriter/guitarist Dylan Michael Bentley. He's got one song, "Knock, Knock," up on his YouTube channel and you should check it out. I'll be writing more about Dylan's new album in a couple weeks.

Also loving the latest bluegrass release from The Leadfoot Band. Steve Haberichter from the band dropped by open mic last week at Tribes Alehouse Mokena. Steve co-owns Down Home Guitars in Frankfort, a great music store with sales of acoustic instruments, repairs, lessons and in-store concert performances. The great flatpicker Eric Lambert is having the release party for his new collection "Maiden Voyage" at Down Home Guitars on Oct. 26, and I can't wait to buy a copy of that CD and tell you much more about Eric, Steve and the store in future posts.

So much going on! Other things in the works involving blues and writing about Chicago music history and all kinds of cool stuff, so details as they become available. Be sure to check out the Ted Slowik Music website for cool pictures, lyrics, stories and more.