Local Concert Preview for Chicago
May 7-15, 2010
First Appeared in The Music Box, May 2010, Volume 17, #5
Written by John Metzger
Fri May 7, 2010, 06:30 AM CDT
5/8 - Mary Gauthier / Mindy Smith - Old Town School - Chicago - 7:00 p & 10:00 p
There seems to be no shortage of concerts at the Old Town School, which pair together songwriters who follow distinctly different, yet strikingly complementary approaches to their craft. The appearance of Mary Gauthier and Mindy Smith at the prestigious venue on May 8 is merely the latest of these kinds of events. Smith is the artist who stands to gain the most from this arrangement. Her latest set Stupid Love leaned too heavily toward the pop-rock side of the spectrum. Consequently, she could use the dose of realism that Gauthier can provide. Since releasing Between Daylight and Dark during the latter half of 2007, Gauthier has been relatively quiet. Her newest effort The Foundling, which is providing fodder for her current tour, is scheduled for release on May 18.
5/11 - Ferraby Lionheart / Leslie & the Badgers - Schuba's - Chicago - 8:00 p
Two years ago, Ferraby Lionheart quietly issued Catch the Brass Ring. Although he didnít quite succeed in defining his own vision as an artist, he convincingly managed to trace a sweeping arc across the folk-pop spectrum. Clearly, Lionheart has a solid understanding of his ambitious array of influences as well as the talent to conjure the ambience of their groundbreaking works quite accurately. With his latest outing The Jack of Hearts, Lionheart is hoping not only to recapture the magic of his debut but also to broaden his horizons. Hopefully, he will be able to maintain the strong sense of lyricism that gave Catch the Brass Ring its heft. Distilled to its barest essence, Lionheartís output falls squarely into the singer-songwriter vein. In other words, when he appears at Schubaís on May 11, the venue will provide the perfect setting for him to unveil his new material. Leslie & the Badgers, a country-pop outfit from Los Angeles, is also on the bill.
5/13 - John Prine - Maywood Fine Arts Benefit/Proviso East - Maywood - 8:00 p
5/15 - John Prine - Maywood Fine Arts Benefit/Proviso East - Maywood - 8:00 p
John Prine will return to his old stomping grounds for a pair of concerts on May 13 and May 15 at Proviso East in Maywood. The legendary songwriter not only attended the high school in his youth, but he also wrote his early songs while delivering mail in the area. In March, a fire destroyed a building that had housed three dance studios that were run by Maywood Fine Arts. These shows are designed to raise funds to replace the spaces that were lost in the conflagration. While he is in town, Prine also will be filming a documentary about his life, and film crews will be on hand to capture footage of his performances at Proviso East. On May 25, he will issue In Person & On Stage, which will feature several of his classic songs along with reworked selections from his 2005 endeavor Fair & Square. Additionally, Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket, and Josh Ritter are among the artists who contributed tracks to Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, which is scheduled for release on June 22.
5/14 - Marco Benevento Trio - Martyrs - Chicago - 9:00 p
Always a restless spirit, pianist Marco Benevento is as prone to visiting songs by indie act Deerhoof as he is by Led Zeppelin or Leonard Cohen. Nevertheless, although he augments his instruments with an array of rock-star gadgetry, his work largely is rooted in jazz. Lately, his pal Joe Russo has been busy collaborating with Bob Weir and Phil Lesh in Furthur. With plenty of free time on his hands, Benevento fashioned an assortment of song fragments into finished pieces. These tracks, which he recorded with drummer Andrew Barr and bass player Reed Mathis, form the basis of his third solo set Between the Needles & Nightfall. Because of his penchant for freewheeling improvisational flights, Benevento has become a favorite on the jam-band circuit. His whimsical, genre-smashing approach will be on display when he performs at Martyrs in Chicago on May 14.
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