Ordinary Elephant – ** Saturday**, July 14, 2018

Find out more about the Ordinary Elephant show.

Special Note: This show is Saturday afternoon. Weather permitting, it will be outdoors. Sunday, July 15th you can also see Ordinary Elephant at the Woodstock Folk Festival.


Escaping Pavement, Sunday, December 3, 2017

Escaping Pavement

Music at 4:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 3:00 p.m.
$20 suggested artist donation*

For an invitation to attend, please contact Lee
by email at windycityhouseconcerts@gmail.com
or at 312-810-3067

Free child care provided (advance notice required)

Fresh from their fine Official Showcase at FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest), Escaping Pavement
brings their lively and exciting show to Windy City House Concerts!

Hailed as “One of the most dynamic Americana groups out of Detroit, Michigan” Escaping Pavement masterfully blends and blurs the lines of Bluegrass, Folk, and Americana. Their unique joint front person arrangement, with Emily Burns and Aaron Markovitz sharing equally in singing, songwriting, and guitar playing allow for astounding, harmony-driven, musical interplay. With over 500 shows under their belt, a new EP composed of music inspired by the National Parks, and a non-stop touring schedule, this Detroit-Music-Award-winning duo is ready to spread their roots-based message, far and wide.

From Detroit to Pasadena, to the high seas and then back to Detroit; it’s only when the Detroit-Music-Award-winning duo escaped the neon blitz and car-strewn concrete of the city that they discovered how well their music could bloom when they brought it back to the roots. There is so much life and vitality in the Americana-folk journeys of Escaping Pavement, sprung entirely from acoustic guitars, a mandolin, a ukulele, and two voices. With fiery passion, wistful reflection, awestruck adventurousness, and heartstring-plucking poignancy, the duo takes listeners through the range of human emotion and celebrates the purities of what we’ve left behind for the artifices of tech trends, drug stores and cacophonous city centers.

This Ferndale (MI) based duo is one to watch. The minimalist pair (Emily Burns & Aaron Markovitz) demonstrate a superb sense for harmony between their vocals and their strums on the mandolin and baritone guitar. It’s bluegrass-Americana revivalism that warms the heart. – Detroit Free Press – Jeff Milo

Dual gender vocals that embrace Americana, country and roots rock feelings, with banjo fills and a semblance of twang Uprooted surprisingly steers more toward a folk spirit than anything else. Rustic and graceful, there’s still plenty of playfulness with blues ideas, as these old souls in young bodies pen warm, sincere songs that digest so easily. – InForty Music Blog

Sometimes, there is amazing music right in your own back yard, and you don’t even know about it. Such was the case with Escaping Pavement. Straddling many SeMiBluegrass genres, this vocal/instrumental duo has garnered not only local, but regional and national attention with their hard-driving, vocal-driven approach to acoustic music as exemplified by their superb new album, “The Night Owl”. There’s a LOT of bluegrass in this duo…from the fiddle-tune laced mandolin licks of Aaron Markovitz or the driving, pounding rhythm guitar work of Emily Burns–she even rips off a killer flatpick solo at the end of “Leave the Light On” that is one Lester Flatt G-Run short of bluegrass perfection! But this band has so much more to offer. Sandwiched in between the first and last songs on the album (which are acoustic/electric guitar-driven American numbers) are eight mandolin/guitar pieces that will blow you mind. – SeMiBluegrass Blog


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* All funds go to the musicians

The Flyin’ A’s – Friday, July 11, 2014


The Flyin’ A’s mix Americana, honky-tonk country, aggressive guitar work, distinctive vocal harmonies and strong songwriting with breath taking ballads, “Texified Jazz” and good old Southern Blues to create a musical mix that will lift your spirits and have your toes tapping! Hilary and Stuart Adamson are both multi-instrumentalists and great entertainers. You’ll enjoy their music and leave uplifted and inspired from this rocking show!

“…this powerhouse duo brings a unique mix of rockin’ countrified music served with a taste of blues, jazz, and gospel on the side. With their considerable talents as both songwriters and vocalists, they combine for a spirited and soulful explosion of distinctively original music. Whether tapping your toes one minute, or getting swept up by the heart-wrenching ballads the next, there’s no denying that you’ll be entertained.”
– Mike Hall, Uncle Calvin’s Coffee House

“Stuart and Hilary deliver a spirited brand of original music. It’s a fusion of country, rock, jazz, and gospel.”
– Sam Kindrick, Action Magazine, Action Magazine

“…Their rockin’ set brought the house down. High energy doesn’t quite describe this powerhouse duo’s blend of blues, jazz, folk and gospel…”
– Eddie “Edge” Ferranti, Senior Editor,
Houston Music Review

For a quick introduction to The Flyin’ A’s, check out this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJy4I3JrvXM and then click on the email link below to get an invitation to join us.


Music starts at 7:30 p.m. You’re welcome to join us from 6:30 p.m. for socializing and potluck supper. Wine or beer are welcome.

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

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

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

Friction Farm – Thursday, June 5, 2014

Friction Farm

Modern folk duo Friction Farm combine storytelling, social commentary, and humor to create songs of everyday life, local heroes, and quirky observations. From ballads to anthems, each song is filled with harmony and hope.

Blending country, folk and pop into a seamless package, guitarist/vocalist Aidan Quinn and bassist/vocalist Christine Stay bring a rare freshness and spontaneity to the stage. Their genuine warmth and enthusiasm is so contagious you won’t be able to help smiling and tapping your feet as you listen to them.

Friction Farm have been selected Kerrville New Folk finalists and Falcon Ridge Emerging Artists, honors that hint at their skill as writers and performers.

“Aidan and Christine command any stage they’re on. Their appreciable force is gently delivered with keen lyrics and beautiful melodies, with a hint of humor to mitigate the seriousness of some of their material.” David Engels, Emerald Concerts

“Friction Farm’s strong point is gorgeous harmonies, that thread nearly every song” Xtreme Folk Society, Philadelphia

“Friction Farm’s live performance is full of funny and poignant stories, spontaneous diversions, audience participation, good music, and lots of fun.” Pine Island Eagle

You can see live performances at the YouTube link below and listen to their latest album on bandcamp. Then you’ll understand why I’m a huge fan of their music and excited to be able to host Friction Farm.


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 musicians.)

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

Ben Bedford – Sunday, February 2, 2014 – 3 p.m.

Ben Bedford

To say that Ben Bedford is a talented singer/songwriter is a significant understatement. A compelling storyteller and a painter with words, he transports the listener to historical and contemporary times and places. Ben’s songs bring these scenes to life almost like short films, tackling diverse subjects including homelessness, the plight of a Confederate soldier’s wife during the American Civil War, the aerial triumphs of Amelia Earhart, the life of Jack London, the murder of Emmett Till in 1955, John the Baptist, the poet Vachel Lindsay and even the 1973 standoff between members of The American Indian Movement and federal agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Folk music fans (including me) love hearing Ben – he’s a fine performer and guitar player with a magnificent voice he suits to sweeping historical ballads and tender love songs. Kari Bedford, Ben’s wife joins in on some songs to provide beautiful harmonies and counterpoint to Ben’s deeper voice. And Ben is a distinguished folk musician carrying on the authentic folk tradition. Rich Warren, host of WFMT-FM Folkstage, included Ben in his list of the 50 most significant singer-songwriters of folk in the last 50 years (http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2010/07/folkies.html), a rather august list of folkies.

I’ve only had a few chances to visit with Ben and Kari at various Folk Alliance conferences but I know you will enjoy meeting these lovely people and they will provide us with a musical treat.

Speaking of treats, please note that this is an afternoon show, so we are planning snacks and sweets for the potluck, rather than a full meal.


Music at 4 p.m. Potluck and socializing at 3:00 p.m. Please bring snacks or sweets 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 musicians.)

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

The Jammin’ Divas – Friday, January 17, 2014

The Jammin' Divas

We are thrilled to host The Jammin’ Divas in a rare house concert appearance. The Jammin’ Divas trio of Aoife Clancy (Ireland), Grammy Nominee with Irish supergroup Cherish the Ladies, Nicole Zuraitis (USA) and Kath Buckell (Australia), blend stunning renditions of traditional and contemporary original folk music and elements of improvisation from each of their cultures. Through stunning three part harmonies, The Jammin’ Divas draw the audience into an experience that transcends three continents’ histories by sharing songs and stories of how each country culturally influence and enrich one another. Each of The Jammin’s Divas is a noted artist in their own right; together they elevate each other to an even higher level of performance and musicality!


Aoife Clancy

Aoife Clancy (pronounced “Eefa”) brings a refreshing new voice to folk music, one that ranges from traditional Irish songs to ballads and contemporary folk. Aoife comes from the small town of Carrick-on-Suir, in County Tipperary, Ireland, where her musical career began at an early age. Her father Bobby Clancy of the legendary Clancy Brothers, placed a guitar in her hands at age ten, and by age fourteen she was playing with her father in nearby pubs. Through her career, she shared the stage with some of Ireland’s greatest performers, including The Clancy Brothers, Christy Moore, the Furey Brothers and the renowned Paddy Noonan.

In 1995 Aoife was asked to join the acclaimed group “Cherish the Ladies”, which is one of the most sought-after Irish American groups in history. For the past four years Aoife has toured extensively doing no less than two hundred dates a year throughout the United States and Europe. She has been a featured soloist with orchestras such as the Boston Pops and Cincinnati Pops and, while performing with Cherish the Ladies, collaborated with the Boston Pops on their Grammy nominated Celtic album.


Nicole Zuraitis

As diverse as the city that spawned her music, Nicole Zuraitis uses world travel experience as inspiration for her sound. Genre-bending is her forte; cultivating her diverse musical background into a sound that can only be described as hybrid innovation. A broad mixture of jazz, R&B and Indie fusion, Nicole bridges the gap between styles with her unparalleled vocals. Motivated by all genres, Nicole received her Bachelor of Music from New York University in classical vocal performance, and has been pursuing a successful and diverse career ever since.

She was recognized as a finalist in the 2013 Songdoor International Songwriting Contest, as well as a selected competitor for the 2013 New York City WNYC Battle of the Boroughs. Nicole has opened for jazz legend Dave Brubeck, the doo-woop group, The Platters and collaborated with world renowned Indian carnatic guitarist and composer Prasanna. She is fortunate to have played with jazz all stars such as Jane Monheit, Bobby Militello, Rachel Z, Panagiotis Andreau, Lauren Sevian, Michael Kanan, Don Braden, Dave Stryker, Charli Persip, Winard Harper and Chris Brubeck.


Kath Buckell

Kath Buckell is not only a singer-songwriter, she’s a bridge builder — between people, cultures, and genres of music. “We all come from different places, but we all have something that connects us, which is the beauty of the human race and our connection to our environment.” At only 26 she has already been touring internationally for eight years, opening for Jewel, Ben Taylor (son of James Taylor) and Carly Simon. She found “… from each culture I came across I was immersed in their connection to traditions and sense of belonging to their land especially whilst living in Israel for three years. Being Australian I wondered what is it that defines me and how did the culture of Australia come to exist from early colonial times and who voiced this…well I found it in the poetry.”

After identifying this connection with her roots in Israel she met the renowned Aoife Clancy… “After meeting Aoife, I was not only incredibly touched and inspired by such a beautiful person and natural artist though my understanding about tradition really took hold as she is preserving such a rich tradition of Irish music and the music of her father and uncles whom had such an impact on the people I admired and respected such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Van Morrison.”


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 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.


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.


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, April 27, 2012: Jeni and Billy

Jeni and Billy

“This is either the most sophisticated simple music or the simplest sophisticated music I’ve ever heard.”

That comment, heard after a Jeni & Billy performance, sums up the appeal of the duo’s “New Old Music.” With exquisitely spare accompaniment and performances that are never rushed, Jeni & Billy’s harmonies harken to a lost time and reverberate with a rare honesty, as they inhabit the lives of miners, preachers, ramblers, lovers, and plain-living folks.  Their music is quiet enough to be heard and just loud enough to be unforgettable.

Sharing the duties of songwriting, arranging, and performing, Jeni & Billy bring to the work very distinct musical backgrounds that both draw from the deep well of Appalachian roots music.

In recent years it’s been practically considered a given that the writing of coal-mining songs is a thing of the past, but lo and behold, along comes an album of new songs related to, or inspired by, the coal-mining lifestyle. Jeni Hankins is the granddaughter of coal miners, so she is well steeped in the tradition. Her mournful vocals compare favorably with other Appalachian old-time folks singers . . . the accompaniment is always very spare, and the performances are never rushed . . . Jewell Ridge Coal is a very worthy addition to a genre that may not be so antiquated after all. – Paul-Emile Comeau – Dirty Linen

Jeni and Billy call their music “New Old Music” on their facebook page and that is just what it is. Jeni and Billy write their own songs, but in the style of traditional country, Appalachian, old-time, country blues, bluegrass and folk music. Jeni was born in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia and traces her vocal style to Virginia Lowe, the blind music minister of the Friendly Chapel Church on Smith Ridge, VA. Billy grew up in Baltimore but spent his weekend nights high atop a hill in the nearby community of Oella — the home of Appalachian migrants who came to the city looking for work in the mills. There, among people much like Jeni’s grandparents, he fell in love with country music.

Steeped in roots of traditional music, Jeni and Billy perform their songs and tell their stories with heartfelt grace and genuine warmth that will reach anyone who hears them.

I first discovered Jeni and Billy online and then got to hear them in person at Folk Alliance, both in Memphis and at FAR-West, the Western Regional Folk Alliance conference. Regular attendees of house concerts know the close connection between musicians and audience members in general. Jeni and Billy exemplify that warmth. When I first met them in person, it felt like we had been friends for a long, long time, instead of just online correspondents.

Please join us for an evening of wonderful, unique music and warm friendship and camaraderie. You’ll be glad you came.

Listen to Monica Gomez’ October 2, 2010 interview with Jeni on her “State of the Arts” show on KTEP-FM.


Suggested artist donation $20

Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing from 6:00 p.m.

Light refreshments provided, BYO wine and/or potluck refreshments to share are welcome.

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