By Ted Slowik
Chris and Allison Flood of Lockport are both musicians who write and perform their own material, though they choose to perform separately.
Both will appear on the Red Betty IPA Stage at Hopstring Fest Aug. 23 at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. Chris performs from 5:55 to 6:20 p.m., followed by Allison from 7:05 to 7:30 p.m. Chris also is managing the lineup on the Red Betty IPA Stage, which showcases 10 acts this year.
This year’s festival is headlined by the band Cracker, known for such hits as “Get Off This,” “Low,” “Teen Angst,” “Happy Birthday To Me” and “Euro-Trash Girl.” Tickets for the 12-hour celebration of live music, food and craft beer are $20 presale and $30 at the door and available through hopstringfest.com.
This is the second year Chris is managing the entertainment on one of Hopstring’s side stages. He started Flood Management Group about four years ago and previously worked with the artists John Condron and Alex Hoffer, booking gigs, securing sponsorships and promoting them.
About two years ago the Orland Park native decided to cut back on artist management to develop his own songwriting and performing. “I love the management side but I love being a musician as well. Writing is an outlet, and I enjoy the art,” he says. “There are only so many hours in a day.”
Chris, 40, also is a firefighter/paramedic in Lemont and Homer Glen. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned from performing is confidence,” he says. “It’s helped me as a firefighter/paramedic, to be able to walk in and help calm down a situation.” He’s also performed previously at Hopstring Fest.
|Zoran Orlic photo|
Allison, 34, recently decided to resume her music career though she remains a full-time mom to sons Gabe, 14 and Aiden, 4 and daughter Rowan, 2. She’s been singing since she was a child and grew up in a musical family. She began performing while attending Andrew High School in Tinley Park and in 2002 began singing with the Joliet-based country rock band The Stone City Stragglers. The group performed extensively, recorded three albums and disbanded in 2008.
“After that there was nothing for me to do musically except by myself,” she says. She set aside her songwriting and guitar playing for a time while raising her kids. “I made a choice to pull back when we had children,” she says. Allison and Chris married in 2011.
But since deciding to resume her music career Allison has reconnected with artist friends and made many new ones. She’s also been recording her solo studio debut, a six-song EP of acoustic originals produced by John Condron and engineered by Bill Aldridge at Third City Sound in Joliet. It’s due for a fall release by Flipside Works.
“Opportunities like getting signed to a record label don’t come along every day, so whether I felt ready or not I decided it was time to go for it,” she says. “As a songwriter, what you do is very precious and very personal. It’s a whole other world than being an entertainer performing other people’s songs.”
If You Go
What: Hopstring Fest
When: Saturday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Where: Silver Cross Field, 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive, Joliet
Who: Local talent and headline bands like Cracker
How much: Tickets are $20 presale, $30 at the door
Learn more about Flipside Works at www.flipsideworks.com and Allison Flood at www.allisonfloodmusic.com.