2024 Live Music Lineup

Friday, September 13, 2024

The Staleys

Staleys
4:30 - 6pm
American Rock & Roll

Brothers Matt Dolan & Kyle Dolan, brothers-in-law, Victor Aguirre & Drew Fredrickson, and brother from another mother, Tom Zalduendo, form The Staleys, an American rock & roll band from Chicago, IL.

Built in 2022, The Staleys have shared the stage with rock icons Heartless Bastards, Katie Toupin, (formerly of Houndmouth), and the up-and-coming folk rockers, Happy Landing. They've released a handful of singles, a debut EP, and are currently working on their first full-length album, due Summer 2024.

The band takes you on an indie rock road trip featuring sweet folk tales, catchy hooks & harmonies, stomp & clap sing-alongs, and big bluesy solos - all while appearing to have as much fun as anyone else in the crowd, which is most impressive because they all hate each other.

Website: thestaleysband.com

Nasty Snacks

Nasty Snacks
6:30 - 8pm
Funk, R&B, and Fusion

Formed in 2014, Nasty Snacks is a 10-piece “funkestra” consisting of members of the vibrant Chicago music scene. Described by some as "genre-bending," the band blends funk, R&B, and fusion elements.

Having played at some of the best Chicago venues and supported various nationally touring acts, the Snacks have proven to showcase a pocket-slamming performance at every show. Their
energetic, horn-driven melodies and powerful lead vocals give the Snacks their nasty edge. With two guitarists who switch between lead/rhythm, keyboard sounds that fill classic and cosmic
space, and a super tight rhythm section, the sonic landscape is endless.

The band’s most recent release (March 2021), "the Smoke Signals" EP, was recorded at Transient Sound Studios in Chicago by Steven Gillis and features Mitchell, their new vocalist, on all three tracks. As of late 2023, the Snacks are back at Transient Sound working with Gillis on a full-length LP slated to be released in early 2025.

Website: nastysnacks.com

Bette Smith

Bette Smith
8:30 - 10pm
Soul

Critically acclaimed and blessed with a voice described as “raspy,” “sassy,” “raunchy,” and “sweet ’n soulful,” Bette Smith fuses the soul, rock & roll, funk, blues, and gospel music she heard in her Brooklyn youth into something all her own. “It was culturally alive, and it still is. There were a lot of block parties in the summer. They would import bands from Memphis and Mississippi and us brown and black girls would be jamming to these groups,” explains Bette Smith, referring to the neighborhood where she grew up Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY.

She traveled to the UK to make her new album "Goodthing" (July 12, 2024 / Kartel Music Group) with GRAMMY Award-winning producer Jimmy Hogarth (Amy Winehouse, James Blunt, James Bay, Anonhi & The Johnsons, Sia, Corinne Bailey Rae, Tina Turner). Hogarth attests, “Bette is the real deal. Her delivery is the truth and comes straight from the heart. She is able to communicate with ease with her wonderful gift of a voice, and I was delighted to work on this record.”

The young Bette Smith would have no idea that her music would take her around the world, from shows in America headlining and supporting the likes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the Drive-By Truckers to festivals in North America and Europe, from working with artists like Jimbo Mathus, Kirk Fletcher, Patterson Hood, and Matt Patton (of the Drive-By Truckers) to spotlights in the pages of The New York Times, Billboard, Paste, Bust, and beyond; from the airwaves of NPR World Café and the top 40 of the Americana Music Radio Chart to official Spotify playlist adds and a song streamed well over a million times. MOJO magazine called her “the next big-voiced soul sensation out of Brooklyn.”

Website: bettesmith.com

Saturday, September 14, 2024

School of Rock - Oak Park

School of Rock OP
12:30 - 2pm
Rock

The School of Rock in Oak Park is where music and learning come together. The performance-based music program, located in Oak Park, IL, offers weekly classes for kids and adults of all ages, from songwriting to performance and everything in between. The School of Rock also offers music lessons for guitar, drums, singing, and piano.

Website: schoolofrock.com/locations/oakpark

Reilly Downes

Riley Downes
2:30 - 4pm
Americana

Reilly Downes is the Sad Cowgirl of Chicago. An Americana artist hailing from the Texas Hill Country, she cut her teeth as a session musician in Nashville, singing behind some of Americana’s favorite singer/songwriters.

Reilly’s music has been described as “easy on the ears, but hard on the heart” by "Music Mecca" in Nashville. Her songs divert from typical contemporary country and draw on her Texas roots with a sound that "cuts across each track like a rattlesnake, adding some extra honesty and grit.” 

Reilly's first solo album, Spent, earned her the #1 spot for Americana releases in 2022 as well as features on The Boot among other Americana and Country covering media. Since then, her haunting rendition of “Wicked Game” has landed her radio play, a feature on Spotify’s “Vibes” playlist, and more.

Websitereillydownesmusic.com

Finom

Finom
4:30 - 6pm
Experimental Rock

Co-fronted by Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, Finom’s influences run vast and varied, and they put a premium on change. Produced by Jeff Tweedy in the Wilco Loft, Finom's latest album, Not God, is a marvel of growth, a progression from the roots of this collaborative band whose history can be traced back to its improvised conception. This is owed in no small part to their hometown of Chicago, the life raft to so many persisters in musical adventurosity. That energy, combined with Finom’s dramatic vocal and musical gifts, puts them in the peripheries of the legacies cemented by The Roches, Roxy Music, the B52s, Kate Bush, Cate Le Bon, and Wilco.

Cunningham and Stewart are brilliant harmonizers, but harmony doesn’t equate to a utopia. In Finom’s maws, harmony can also be a fight, holding the line until the volcano erupts. This realistic depiction of a creative relationship jolts throughout the songs of Not God and brings the whole damn thing to life. Finom are more than one person with more than one dream. But still, they grow together, harnessed by their shared love of pop songwriting, control, chaos, and being generally freaky-deaky. Freaky in that way that is only really fun when you’re doing it with a friend.

Websitefinommusic.com

Vanessa Collier

Vanessa Collier
6:30 - 8pm
Blues, Funk, & Soul

As a master musician and multi-instrumentalist, Vanessa Collier weaves funk, soul, rock, and blues into every powerful performance, and she is downright impressive. With soulful vocals, searing saxophone, and witty songwriting, Vanessa is blazing a trail, racking up an impressive arsenal of honors, and has already singled herself out as an artist of distinction and one we would all do well to watch.

It’s not simply the accolades she has accumulated so far, although they’ve been many -- three Blues Music Awards for “Horn Player of the Year”, and a fourth BMA for “Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year”, twelve Blues Music Award Nominations (BMAs), Blues Blast Award winner for “Horn Player of the Year” in 2022 and 2023, First Place for lyrics in the International Songwriting Competition, Best of 2014 Blues Breaker on Dan Aykroyd’s BluesMobile -- it’s the fact that she has accumulated all these honors even while her career is still in its infancy. A 2013 graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, she’s toured nationally and internationally, released five critically acclaimed albums (2014’s Heart, Soul & Saxophone, 2017’s Meeting My Shadow, and 2018’s Honey Up, 2020’s Heart On The Line, and Vanessa Collier: Live At Power Station in 2022. Honey Up spent nine weeks atop the Billboard Blues Album Charts Top 15, three months on the Living Blues Charts at #10 and #23, and continues to be spun on Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville radio station!

Cracker

Cracker
8:30 - 10pm
Alt-Rock

Cracker has been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country, and have even had the terms punk and classic rock thrown at them. But more than anything, Cracker are survivors. Co-founders David Lowery and Johnny Hickman have been at it for over a quarter of a century – amassing ten studio albums, multiple gold records, thousands of live performances, and hit songs that are still in current radio rotation around the globe [“Low,” “Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now),” “Euro-Trash Girl” and “Get Off This,” to name just a few], and a worldwide fan base – that despite the major sea-changes within the music industry – continues to grow each year.

Website: crackersoul.com