Saturday, September 28, 2013: Sarah McQuaid

Sarah McQuaid - Photo by Colm Henry (www.colmhenry.ie).

Windy City House Concerts is thrilled to present Sarah McQuaid. We had the privilege of hosting her when we lived in New Mexico and now we have to pleasure of welcoming her back to her home city of Chicago. Sarah is a consummate pro, a beautiful singer, amazing guitarist, wonderful songwriter and one of the sweetest people on the planet. Yes, she’s really that good.

Sarah McQuaid’s voice has been likened to malt whiskey, melted chocolate and “honey poured into wine” (Minor 7th). A captivating performer, she seduces her audience with cheeky banter and stories from the road, as well as with stunning musicianship; in her hands, the guitar becomes much more than merely an accompanying instrument.

Her musical output reflects her own eclectic background: Sarah was born in Spain, raised in Chicago, holds dual US and Irish citizenship, and now lives in rural England. Refusing to be pigeonholed, she spans the genres with both her beautifully crafted originals and her interpretations of material from around the globe and down the centuries. Sarah’s third solo album The Plum Tree and the Rose has drawn critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic: “Impeccable,” wrote fRoots (UK), while Midwest Record (USA) called it “low key but glorious and incendiary” and Hot Press (Ireland) said it “should feature on many end-of-year best-ofs.”

Now living in Cornwall with her husband and their two children, Sarah currently spends six months of each year on the road in the UK, Ireland, Continental Europe and the USA, with ambitions to extend her range to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“A great songwriter and traditional singer, and a wonderful guitarist.” — Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2, UK

“Brilliant musicianship, a warm and welcoming stage presence and a voice as rich, matured and knowing as the finest thrice-distilled Irish malt whiskey.” — Geoff Wallis, fRoots, UK

“Sparkling guitar and compelling alto voice … reminiscent of Pentangle’s best efforts.” — Tom Druckenmiller, Sing Out!, USA

“Likely to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.” — Aled Jones, BBC Radio 2, UK

“An unreserved thumbs-up. Captivating performance, great songs, playing and singing. Sarah was also totally professional, charming and low maintenance. What more could you ask for?” — Gerry Evans, TwickFolk, UK

“Pure magic!! We are running our folkclub for 16 years now but I never experienced such a thrilling interaction between artist and audience.” — Piet Snellen, De Fookhook, Netherlands

http://sarahmcquaid.com
http://www.facebook.com/sarahmcquaidmusic
http://www.myspace.com/sarahmcquaid
http://www.youtube.com/sarahmcquaid

Music at 7:30 p.m. Potluck and socializing at 6:30 p.m. Please bring a dish and beverage to share. Wine or beer are welcome. Water, glasses, dishes and silver provided.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee by e-mail at windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com or at 773-334-5776.

Suggested artist donation $20 (All funds go to the musician.)

To get emails about our shows, please click here to subscribe to our mailing list.

Sunday, September 15th, 2013: Jeni and Billy

Jeni and Billy Grinning

You have to watch where you sit at a Jeni and Billy concert, because that ordinary-looking chair might just turn into the back seat of a big ole Buick hurtling down the switchback of a coal truck road.

Or that chair might turn out to be the rock-hard sinners pew of a white-washed mountain church. That couch might be a marble stoop on a gritty street in Baltimore, and that velvet theater cushion could just be the well-worn driver’s seat of a wagon headed across the windswept Texas plains.

The high twang of a banjo starts it off — or maybe the mournful lilt of the mandolin. Then, a train comes barreling down the reeds of a harmonica. The guitar catches fire and lifts two voices into the high lonesome harmonies of the Appalachian Mountains, painting pictures of miners and millworkers, roustabouts and revival preachers, Buicks and beauty queens.

Asheville, North Carolina, antiquarian map dealer John Ptak captured the spirit of Jeni and Billy, “I knew within 10 seconds that you guys were for real . . . Jeni’s voice is that clear Mother-M kind of quality that I love. I like the music you two make — inspired, true-to-your roots, spare (excellent) guitar. I like silent places in music . . . Quiet, silent places give you time to listen, and also time to think — they are vastly underrated.”

Jeni and Billy bring together original traditional Appalachian ballads from Jeni’s home environment with modern folk performance to produce a unique sound — hearkening back to music from those hills and valleys but with a newer sense of musicality. As people and performers, Jeni and Billy radiate the warmth and open hearts of community, just perfect for the intimacy of a house concert.

This show will be our third time hosting Jeni and Billy and we are just tickled to have them back! We think you’ll love them, too! Check out their music at the links below.

http://www.jeniandbilly.com
https://www.facebook.com/jeniandbilly
https://myspace.com/jenihankinsbillykemp

Note: Since this is a Sunday show, we are starting half an hour early.

Music at 7:00 p.m. Potluck and socializing at 6:00 p.m. Please bring a dish and beverage to share. Wine or beer are welcome. Water, glasses, dishes and silver provided.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee by e-mail windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com or at 773-334-5776.

Suggested artist donation $20 (All funds go to the musicians.)

To get emails about our shows, please click here to subscribe to our mailing list.

Friday, August 9, 2013: Terry Holder House Concert

Terry Holder

Terry Holder is an award winning singer-songwriter with the undeniable ability to captivate and connect with her listeners through her words and music. Gifted with a voice to break your heart, her soulful songs will draw you in. With passion, enthusiasm and hard work her songs open hearts everywhere she goes.

Terry won the 2013 Wildflower Festival Performing Songwriter contest in Richardson, Texas and has been selected four times, including 2013, as a Kerrville New Folk Finalist at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival.

She does not believe in placing limits on herself. Until 1999, her full time job was “stay at home mom.” Her life changed when the youngest of her 3 daughters moved away, a transition that coincided with the passing of her mother. Depression settled in. Seeking solace she reached for her guitar and began shifting her pain into writing music.

She literately woke up one morning and began writing music. The first song she wrote became the title track for her 2001 debut CD “Am I Here Is This Me,” which was originally intended only as a keepsake for her daughters. Instead, the album started garnering sales and critical acclaim. A second CD called “Colored Rooms” followed.

On her third studio CD, “Ticket To The Moment,” Terry continued to explore her passions through her heartfelt and gutsy songs. The CD delivers her emotionally driven songs around lyrics that take you on a journey with flashes of abandon, heartbreak, love, social and self-awareness. Terry says, “If I can touch one person with a song, then I feel that I’ve accomplished something great in my life.”

Terry’s just completed 4th CD, “Flowers at Midnight,” brings more engaging songs. We’re excited as this will be Terry’s first concert where the new CD is available. A few preview tracks are at https://soundcloud.com/terry-holder.

Terry’s live performances are a treat – beautiful vocals and guitar with backing vocals and fine guitar playing from her husband Jerry. Listen to Terry’s music and you’ll become a fan.

https://soundcloud.com/terry-holder
http://www.terryholder.com
http://www.sonicbids.com/2/EPK/?epk_id=52560
http://www.reverbnation.com/terryholder
https://www.facebook.com/terryholdermusic

Music at 7:30 p.m. Potluck and socializing at 6:30 p.m. Please bring a dish and beverage to share. Wine or beer are welcome. Water, glasses, dishes and silver provided.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee by e-mail windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com or at 773-334-5776.

Suggested artist donation $20 (All funds go to the musicians.)

To get emails about our shows, please click here to subscribe to our mailing list.

Thursday, July 18, 2013: Sultans of String

Chris and Kevin Photo by Darren Levant

Juno Award (Canada’s Grammy) nominees and “Canada’s ambassadors of musical diversity” Sultans of String thrill their audiences with their global sonic tapestry of dizzying roots music jams, polyrhythms and revved up riffs.

Sultans of String can’t be pinned down — it’s Sable Island meets the Silk Road, with detours through the Gypsy-Jazz coffeehouses of Eastern Europe, next an East Coast Kitchen Party, then over to the streets of Havana.

Seamlessly traversing diverse themes of heart, place and tradition, fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound.

Kicking things off as a dynamic duo playing tiny cafes in 2007, this fiercely talented and hardworking indie act has been on a meteoric rise, with an astonishing number of awards and accolades in tow, and now, invitations to play the world stage and with such legendary artists as The Chieftains (whose very own Paddy Moloney appears on the Sultans’ new and ultimate world-classical crossover CD, “Symphony” (Sony).

Their music hit # 1 on world/international music charts in Canada, earned 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Festivals and Events Ontario “Entertainer of the Year” Award, and 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition (out of 15,000 entries).

They are now represented in the U.S. by acclaimed promoter David Wilkes (Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck).

We are thrilled to host Sultans of String as the duo of Chris McKhool and Kevin Laliberté – they are not to be missed – especially close up in our living room. I’ve seen them showcase at Folk Alliance International and Regional conferences and I never tire of listening, amazed at all those notes and amazing music produced by only two musicians!

You can take my word for it but you don’t have to. Here’s what some folks in the industry have to see. Please go to the website and have a listen and you’ll want to come here them in person. And they will have their brand new CD, “Move” available for purchase.

“Kevin and Chris are two extremely talented and creative musicians. Each of them have an extensive background in various traditions and numerous musical accomplishments to their credit. Their own compositions are … exciting and highly original. They are musicians and songwriters of the highestcalibre!” – Ken Whiteley, Producer

“Virtuoso playing…. An exuberant and infectious sound… Powerful and moving… The Sultans are simply an awesome musical group!” – Mike Hill, Artistic Director, Mariposa Folk Festival

“An organic mix of rumba, Gypsy, jazz, Middle Eastern and Spanish flavours – they all mix together beautifully… brilliantly executed!” – Errol Nazareth, CBC Radio One

“I remember the shiver up my spine on hearing the calls of Luna- the west coast killer whale searching for his pod- amazingly recreated on Chris’ electric violin. Haunting, moving and not to be missed!” – Charles McFarland- Artistic Producer, Centrepointe Theatre

http://www.sultansofstring.com
https://www.facebook.com/sultansofstring
http://www.sonicbids.com/2/EPK/?epk_id=54222
https://twitter.com/sultansofstring
____

Music at 7:30 p.m. Potluck and socializing at 6:30 p.m. Please bring a dish and beverage to share. Wine or beer are welcome. Water, glasses, dishes and silver provided.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee by e-mail windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com or at 773-334-5776.

Suggested artist donation $20
(All funds go to the musicians.)


To get emails about our shows, please click here to subscribe to our mailing list.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013: Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin

Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin

Stephanie Bettman is at least a triple threat. An accomplished writer, singer, and fiddler: her lyrics are infused with wit and wisdom, poetry and insight. Vocally she draws comparison to the soaring soprano of Joan Baez and the plaintive emotion of Emmylou Harris. Meanwhile, her fiddling, which combines elements of bluegrass and jazz, is filled with influences from such masters as Stephane Grappelli, Byron Berline and Johnny Gimble. A former actress and circus artist, Bettman is at ease in front of an audience and creates intimacy with her crowd no matter the size.

Luke Halpin is a renowned multi-instrumentalist. A master of the guitar and the mandolin, impressive on fiddle, banjo, and adept at nearly anything he picks up. Halpin draws inspiration from the likes of Sam Bush, Mark O’Connor and Tony Rice and holds his own in comparison. A dynamic and sensitive vocalist himself, the harmony blend he and Bettman achieve is chilling and at times simply transcendent. Halpin has a long history in the music biz, having shared the stage with the likes of Merle Haggard, Lone Star and The Steve Miller Band (to name a few). His quirky sense of humor is a perfect foil to Stephanie’s dry witty presence.

Together, Bettman & Halpin are fast earning a reputation for hypnotizing performances filled with irresistible lyrics, transcendent harmonies and roof-raising instrumentals. They have been a featured act at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS along with musical heroes Byron Berline, Michael Martin Murphy w/ Pat Flynn, and Tommy Emmanuel. Their music creates a fully acoustic, delightfully eclectic sound far greater than the sum of its parts: taking the listener from up-tempo down home fiddlin’, to soulful sorrowful ballads, to super hooky folk/pop with catchy melodies and lyrics that will stick with you long after the concert is over. Touring nationally together since2008, Bettman & Halpin have been recognized in various Regional and National competitions, including:

  • Grand Prize Winners in the So Cal Live Acoustic Music Competition
  • Winners in Southern California’s Topanga Banjo / Fiddle Contest
  • Music Connection’s Top 25 New Music Critiques

Their first 2 CDs have received national and international radio play and critical acclaim, both reaching the top 10 on the National Folk DJ chart. Their Live CD is out and they are currently working on their 3rd studio release.

We love Stephanie and Luke and so will you. We’ve been fans for a long time and have hosted them before in New Mexico, so it’s our pleasure to share their music with our friends here in Chicago!

http://stephaniebettman.com

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1079164746

https://twitter.com/#!/stephaniebettma

https://www.facebook.com/lukehalpinmusic

https://twitter.com/#!/lukehalpin

Music at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. BYOB wine or beer. Water and glasses provided.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee by e-mail windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com or at 773-334-5776.

Suggested artist donation $20
(All funds go to the musicians.)


To get emails about our shows, please click here to subscribe to our mailing list.

Saturday, April 20, 2013: The Twangtown Paramours

Twangtown Paramours

The Twangtown Paramours, MaryBeth Zamer and Mike T. Lewis, put on a wonderful and enjoyable show. Beautiful vocal harmonies, Mike’s fabulous guitar work and a mix of songs about love and life, serious and humorous combined with their warm personalities all combine to make their shows great fun.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some reviews:

“The Twangtown Paramours bring a blend of thought provoking lyrics with angelic vocals combined with well accomplished musicians. What more could you ask for?” – Dennis Double, Co-host Writer’s Block, WDVX-FM, Knoxville, TN

“The Twangtown Paramours…certainly know how to reel out great songs, with several proudly accepted awards (including the Wildflower Festival’s Michael Terry People’s Choice Award) under their belts to prove it…” – Emily Saxton, Maverick Magazine, UK

“Classifications are something that are very important in music these days. Everything must fit in a neat, little 4+6 box, so we can call it whatever we think it is. The Twangtown Paramours shatter that line of thinking. They are, all at once, a little bit of blues, pop, country, and even (at times) bluegrass.” -Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville

I can attest to all of this, since I’ve seen The Twangtown Paramours at Folk Alliance conference showcases and Uncommon Ground here in Chicago. MaryBeth and Mike are great to hear and fun to hang out with. Give them a listen at the links below.

http://www.twangtownparamours.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Twangtown-Paramours/116074338549

Potluck and Socializing at 6:30 p.m. Music at 7:30 p.m. Please bring a dish and wine or other beverage to share.

For information and an invitation, please contact Lee by e-mail windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com or at 773-334-5776.

Suggested artist donation $20
(All funds go to the musicians.)

Friday, March 15, 2013: 2-Bit Palomino

2-Bit Palomino at Shreveport Concert Series

2-Bit Palomino won the 2011 “Vocal Group of the Year” award by the Academy of Texas Music for the Texas Music Awards and is nominated for the same award in 2013!

2-Bit Palomino is a Trio of Houston Singer/Songwriters Andi Renfree, Ren Renfree and Bill Ward. Founded in March of 2010, 2BP (as their fans call them) have made huge strides and are quickly becoming a household name in Texas Music, and across the country.

Each of the members bring their own flair and style to the group. Their music is a blend of all three coasts; West Coast, Gulf Coast and East Coast. More than just the sum of its parts, this band is a unique, harmony-driven, horse of a different color. Vocals are the key element with harmonies so pure they sound like one voice!

2-Bit Palomino brings tremendous energy to their performances. Upbeat songs will have you tapping your feet and bouncing in your seat. Sad songs will bring tear to your eye, story songs and ballads will provide food for thought and happy songs will cheer your heart.

http://www.2bitpalomino.com
https://www.facebook.com/2bitpalomino
http://www.youtube.com/user/2bitpalomino

Potluck and Socializing at 6:30 p.m. Music at 7:30 p.m.

For information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 773-334-5776 or 575-571-9178 or e-mail windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com.

Suggested artist donation $20
(All funds go to the musicians.)

Sunday, February 17, 2013: Barnaby Bright

BarnabyBrightLightWithFlare

Since the release of their first album, ‘Wake the Hero’ in 2009, Barnaby Bright has garnered high accolades for their songwriting and sound. Grand prize winners of the NY Song Circle competition, Barnaby Bright’s music has also been featured on national television to soundtrack heavy moments on shows such as ‘ER’ and ‘Days of our Lives.’ Their follow up EP ‘Gravity’ was named one of the top 100 records of the year by Amazon.com, keeping good company with the likes of Adele and Bon Iver. They continue touring in support of their brand new full length record, “The Longest Day,” gracing such notable stages as Lincoln Center and NPR’s “Mountain Stage” in West Virgina.

Nathan and Rebecca Bliss, the voices and the brains behind Barnaby Bright, are truly the modern day traveling troubadours, averaging roughly 200 shows and 40,000 miles traveled a year. You can find them on streets as far away as London or Amsterdam, and as remote as St. Paris, Ohio, toting their massive haul of instruments…multiple guitars, harmonium, banjo, ukulele, floorboard bass, thumb pianos and keyboards. Because of the great number of shows they’ve played in their world travels, as well as their unique instrumentation, powerful harmonies and thought-provoking, connective lyrics, this duo has mastered the original goal they set out to attain: to create a sacred, magical space for their audiences…a momentary escape from the outside world. Their songs deal with a diverse range of subjects as relatable as longing and love, and as dark as death and revenge. The resulting emotional journey Barnaby Bright takes you on during one of their shows is one you will never forget. Drawing inspiration from literature, human behavior, experiences shared with the fascinating people they’ve encountered on the road, as well as a hint of fantasy, Barnaby Bright is a classic vision of timeless indie folk rock in all its glory.

Nothing about the journey of this married duo has been accidental or without purpose…even the band name itself holds a myriad of meaning for them. The phrase “Barnaby Bright” is a medieval term for the summer solstice. In 17th century England, the longest day of the year was celebrated with a large festival to honor St. Barnabus, and all joined together in merry recitation of the limerick, “Barnaby Bright, Barnaby Bright, the longest day, the shortest night.” Nathan and Becky were instantly drawn to the name not only for its historical context, but also because of the many metaphors it represented to them: light and dark, good and evil, and the idea that though this innate, dualistic struggle is present in all of us, on the longest day of the year, light prevails over dark…goodness wins.

This dichotomy of the human condition is represented time and again not only in their songs, but in themselves. With over a decade between them, and drastically different childhoods and life experiences, Nathan and Becky find in each other so much of what the other is lacking, both musically and personally. They have discovered that their vastly different backgrounds give them each a unique approach to the world, and to songwriting. Perhaps that is why listeners find such depth and range of emotions in the songs of Barnaby Bright.

http://www.barnabybright.com/
https://www.facebook.com/barnabybright
http://www.youtube.com/barnabybrightmusic

Potluck and Socializing at 5:00 p.m. Music at 6:00 p.m.

For information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 575-571-9178 or e-mail windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com.

Suggested artist donation $20
(All funds go to the musicians.)

Friday, January 4, 2013: Heather Pierson

Heather Pierson

To celebrate the New Year, we’re hosting Heather Pierson and Shawn Nadeau from New Hampshire on Friday, January 4, 2013. Heather grew up with blues, jazz, soul but she performs, composes and writes in nearly every genre of music. Her wildly and beautifully varied live performances range New Orleans jazz, Delta blues, poignant and narrative story-songs, Native American chants, New Age instrumental piano, folk-pop, a capella vocal renderings, ethereal and synthesized soundscapes. Heather’s music and songs range from heartbreak to love song, sorrow to joy and lots of places in between, expressed with her beautiful, bell-tone voice and magnificent keyboard work. I’m looking forward to hearing Heather again after hearing her at a friend’s house in New Mexico. We’d love to have you come share our first show of the year.

http://www.heatherpierson.com
https://www.facebook.com/HeatherPiersonMusic
http://www.reverbnation.com/heatherpierson

Potluck and Socializing at 6:30 p.m. Music at 7:30 p.m.

For information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 773-334-5776 or 575-571-9178 or e-mail windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com.

Suggested artist donation $20
(All funds go to the musicians.)

Friday, October 5, 2012: Ana Egge

Ana Egge Poster red

We’ve had the wonderful pleasure of hosting Ana Egge a number of times in New Mexico. Now Ana is coming to Chicago to play for us.

“Saskatchewan-born, Brooklyn-based folk troubadour Ana Egge isn’t your run-of-the-mill alternative-country singer. Using unique production and rock-based chord progressions, Egge has made a name for herself as a Gillian Welch figure with a rocker attitude, which once prompted Lucinda Williams to call her ‘the Nina Simone of folk.’ ” – spinner

Ana’s acoustic performances run the gamut from quiet, almost fragile ballads to rollicking songs driven by the amazing sounds she produces from her self-built guitar. Ana is always a musical treat to hear, but especially in a intimate house concert setting.

For more information and an invitation, please contact Lee at 575-571-9178 or by e-mail at windycityhouseconcerts (at) gmail.com.

Suggested artist donation $15

Socializing and potluck at 6:30 p.m. Music at 7:30 p.m.

http://www.anaegge.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ana-Egge/51964832589
http://www.youtube.com/user/anaegge