|The Righteous Hillbillies|
The weather was awesome Saturday for the second Hopstring Fest celebration of craft beer (hops) and Americana music (string) in Joliet. Chicago Street Pub owners Mike and Kathy Trizna deserve a lot of credit for putting on a great festival on so many levels.
First, the location is awesome. Downtown Joliet has had its struggles over the years and hey, it's no Naperville. But The Pub is a fantastic restaurant, craft beer house and venue for live local music. There are other restaurants and venues downtown now, like Mojoes, The Department and McBrody's. There's the Rialto Square Theatre, and the University of St. Francis has its arts program downtown now and Joliet Junior College is building a great new facility for culinary arts and other programs.
|The Steepwater Band|
|Scott McNeil and Allison Flood|
|Tom & Becky|
Joliet Patch, and I was happy to oblige. Thanks to Karen at Patch for the coverage and to everyone who shared the posts about the performers. I think it helped generate some buzz about the Fest and I know it helped get at least a few more people there. I think the publicity also earned me a spot in the lineup--like a guy who works hard in training camp and earns a spot on the roster. Sometimes good things happen to good people.
It was awesome to play in a great time slot for Jo and the kids and for many good friends and some new ones who said they liked the show. I played five songs, "Record Store," "Springfield," "Hinsdale," "Red Rover" and "Back To You."
"Back To You" is a new song. I've been toying with the basic chords for a couple months, ever since I learned Joni Mitchell's "Coyote" in open C tuning. I owe a great debt of inspiration for the music to the guitar playing and writing of Matt Biskie, and also the guitar stylings of Tristan Charles, who makes it look so easy. Also directly and personally to thank for this song are John Condron, who provided the inspiration for the opening line along with Aly Flood, and Alex Hoffer, whose diligence and hard work as a songwriter inspired me to finish it.
So, I finished writing "Back To You" Friday night and recorded a video demo of it. On Saturday morning I also recorded the first audio demo for it, with a little upright bass and backing vocal accompaniment.