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Monday, September 8, 2014

Enjoying a fantastic weekend of music in Joliet

Song circle at the Church
By Ted Slowik

Wow, that was a great weekend of live music in Joliet! It was Will County Celtic Fest weekend, and the fun started Friday night with an intimate pre-fest gathering that featured a performance by Irish singer/songwriter Colm O'Brien.

Don Nudi, John Condron, Pat Otto
Colm is part of the Flipside Works stable of artists, and Flipside presented the two days of performers on two stages Saturday and Sunday at St. Joseph Park in Joliet for Will County Celtic Fest. But before that got underway, Colm performed at a private event Friday night. As the evening progressed, a song circle broke out with Colm, John Condron, Allison Flood, Scott McNeil, drummer Don Nudi and bassist Tom Maslowski.

Will County Celtic Fest is an extremely fun affair presented by the Irish American Society of County Will. St. Joe's Park is a wonderful venue in town, a picnic grounds with booths for food and beverages and volunteers staffing events. As election day is drawing near, the politicians were well-represented this weekend, including Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante and Will County Executive Larry Walsh.

Cutthroat Shamrock
And the musical lineup was fantastic. Saturday featured performances by Appalachian punk rockers Cutthroat Shamrock and Milwaukee-based Celtic rockers Whiskey of the Damned. It was a great time seeing many good friends and hearing fantastic, lively music. The weather Saturday and Sunday was beautiful, too.

Sunday I rehearsed at Ron Kostka's house in Minooka with guitarist George Barnes and Ron's drummer friend Jay for an upcoming tribute show for Ron's sister Shirley, who passed away earlier this year. Shirley wrote the lyrics for several of the songs we played together back in the early 1990s, so we're getting the band back together in her honor.

The Righteous Hillbillies
On the way home I stopped by Mugz Hideout, formerly the Big Basin, a fun joint in Channahon where Interstate 55 crosses the DesPlaines River. There's a marina there, and a bar where The Righteous Hillbillies played Sunday afternoon. It was a glorious day, and I love their brand of Southern rock. They have a tremendous following, and it's always a good time hearing them.

All in all it was great weekend of live music!
I-55 over the DesPlaines River