David G. Smith, Sunday, November 13, 2016

David G. Smith with guitar

Music at 3:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 2:00 p.m.
$15-20 suggested artist donation*

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

David G. Smith was raised in a musical family in the hills of northeastern Iowa. He started writing songs and played in a variety of bands, locally and then touring the Rockies for 10 years. He moved to Nashville to follow his passion for songwriting. His song catalog began to explode, but at a price.

“I started losing my soul writing material that didn’t speak to me in the name of writing songs for others to sing. It was an insidious process and eventually the muse was not showing up and I didn’t know why. “

He ventured on a song-writing retreat to Costa Rica with Americana all-stars Darrell Scott, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and Mary Gauthier. He recalls both Darrell and Mary looking him straight in the eye and challenging him to stop writing songs to pitch to others. Their advice: To stop chasing the Nashville music scene and start performing his own songs. But their real challenge cut to the bone: Write the truth!

He took their advice and five albums later, he’s following his own path, touring nationally, winning song writing competitions and taking his story songs to audiences around the country.

[Smith] “comes across with the same sort of weathered resolve that best exemplifies fellow travelers like Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt.” -Lee Zimmerman/No Depression

Check out David G. Smith at the links below:
http://davidgsmithmusic.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/davidgsmith33/videos
https://www.facebook.com/heydavemusic
https://www.facebook.com/davidgsmithmusic

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

* All funds go to the musician

Jenn Grinels – Sunday, October 23, 2016

Jenn Grinels

Music at 3:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 2:00 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

Award-winning musician Jenn Grinels is a dynamic songwriter, powerhouse vocalist and all-round entertainer who will absolutely dazzle you.

Last year the rising star spent time on the road opening for famed band the 10,000 Maniacs, at one point prompting San Francisco Examiner reviewer Kenneth Fish to write, “Grinels steals the show. She is a rock and roll temptress conjuring musical spells that no one could resist. Whether quietly purring into the microphone or seriously belting out a tune, the audience was hanging on every note and lapping up every well crafted phrase. (She) has the rare gift of being a well-rounded performer who engages the audience fully and openly, sharing the performer as much as the performance. And her performance was nothing short of amazing.”

The self-described “soulful, bluesy, jazzy, folk rock artist” has released three critically acclaimed full-length albums, built a loyal fan base all over the world and won numerous awards for her electrifying live performances. Her single “Right From The Start”(brokenHEARTbreaker) can be heard on radio stations nationwide and music from her full length albums has been featured on several major television networks and in films all over the world.

“When you end the night standing and cheering with all of your friends and 200 strangers, you know something wonderful just happened. If the stars made music they would be jealous of Jenn Grinels. …an unbeatable live experience. Goosebumps all around.” – GuerillaCandy.com (Seattle, WA)

“Her voice is just absurd. Two artists kept coming to mind – Martin Sexton and Fiona Apple. Sexton because of her vocal focus & control; Fiona Apple because of her tell-off confessional and conversational lyrics, her penchant for complex rhyme schemes, and her powerful, listen-up-buster delivery.”
– Crazytalk.com (San Francisco, CA)

“A folksinger of uncommon strength and vitality, who puts the lie to most popular notions about women with guitars who sing of life and love’s injustices. She achieves the energy of rock without subverting the melody and lyrics, and the effect is electrifying.” – Wenzel Jones, Back Stage West

Recent videos of Jenn playing a house concert:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpFzFTFVdPMrbqYlGUV1mWA

Jenn on the web:
http://www.jenngrinels.com/
https://www.facebook.com/jenngrinelsmusic/

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

* All funds go to the musician

Ernest Troost – Cancelled for Sunday, September 11, 2016

Ernest Troost

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Music at 3:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 2:00 p.m.
$15-20 suggested artist donation*

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

Update: We had to cancel this show – please join us for a future show.

I’m thrilled to host Ernest Troost in his return to Chicago. He played WFMT Folkstage last year in June and this year we get to host him. He’s also playing Two Way Street Coffee House on Friday, September 9 before heading north to Wisconsin for several shows. We’ve hosted Ernest previously in New Mexico and gotten to know him a bit. Some of his songs are a bit dark, but he’s a lovely person to spend time with.

Ernest is an Emmy-winning film and television composer as well as a recipient of the prestigious Kerrville New Folk award for his songwriting. He also composed and produced two award-winning albums of songs for Judy Collins using the words of Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning, Gertrude Stein, and others. Los Angeles-based Troost’s scores for films include the cult classic Tremors and HBO’s award-winning Lesson Before Dying.

As a solo performer, Ernest brings his amazing songs to life with a spare singing style and some amazing guitar chops, all in service of story-songs that tell a story – aural movies, if you will, that will draw you in time after time.

“Troost’s style and subject matter recall Dylan, Dave Alvin, and (especially for his concentration on life’s darker side) Richard Thompson —enviable company indeed.” – Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue Magazine

“Ernest Troost’s music is a perverse and diverse celebration of American folk music. . It’s a vibrant festival of tragedy and comedy, a wind-blown crossroads of American culture where Piedmont blues meets modern literature in the darkest of themes.” – Terry Rolands, Folkworks.org

“Imagine a bayou-bred John Steinbeck taking up a fret board instead of a pen and you’ve pretty much got the picture.” – Don Grant, Freight Train Boogie

http://ernesttroost.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ernest.troost
https://soundcloud.com/ernest-troost

Videos:

“Pray Real Hard” from Ernest’s most recent album, “O Love”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgMnKbFxhxU
“Switchblade Heart” is one of my favorite Ernest Troost songs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wLhoc2tem0

* All funds go to the musician

Joe Jencks, Sunday, August 28, 2016

Joe Jencks

Music at 3:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 2:00 p.m.
$15-20 suggested artist donation*

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

It’s a great privilege for us to host Joe Jencks and a rare opportunity to see him solo. While he’s based in Chicago, he’s usually out on the road solo or as part of the blockbuster trio, Brother Sun. He’s also appearing on Folkstage, the nationally syndicated folk show on WFMT-FM 98.7 Saturday, August 27.

Joe has an amazing voice, fabulous guitar chops and writes great songs. Besides, that, he’s one of the nicest, warmest people I know. He was really the first to welcome me to the Chicago folk music community, before we even moved here. So I’m thrilled to share his music with you and get a chance to spend some time with a great musician.

Please don’t take my word for it. Here are a few comments from other folks, some of whose names you may recognize. Then check him out online at the links at the bottom of this post. You really have to hear Joe perform!

“Joe Jencks is the type of musician that will cause you to drop that morning newspaper or pull your car to the side of the road when you hear his songs. He is the type of artist that will turn heads in his direction when he walks onto a stage. His voice will instantly draw you into his passionate songs. He is the type of musician whose music will become a part of you.” – Ron Olesko, WFDU-FM, Teaneck, NJ

“In these times, we need the singers who will do the homework and tell the stories! Joe Jencks is among the fine next generation singers who are ready to carry on the tradition as well as look into the future” – Holly Near, Ukiah, CA

“The key to the future is people joining in. The music of Joe Jencks captures this essential spirit. Joe is a fantastic singer who carries on the traditions.” – Pete Seeger

“The next time someone says that folk music has lost its conscience, lacks great protest songs, or has lost its connection with its causes, I will sit them down and play Joe Jencks’ CD, I Hear Your Voice. Jencks sings with a superb tenor voice, and picks flashy guitar… that doesn’t obscure the beauty of his voice or the words of his well-crafted songs.” – Sing Out! Magazine, Rich Warren, Host of ‘The Midnight Special’ and ‘Folkstage” on WFMT-FM 98.7, Chicago, IL

http://www.joejencks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/JoeJencks/
https://twitter.com/joejencksmusic

Videos:

“Love is the Reason” is one of my many favorite Joe Jencks songs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRq4gaoxlEw

“Come with Me” is one of my top favorites.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfamE-b44K0

Joe performing on Horses Sing None of It, a non-commercial cable TV show. Don’t be put off by the silly intro (a little over a minute). This gives a good taste of Joe in concert.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fertPVgXxXY

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

* All funds go to the musician

Beth Wood – Sunday, May 15, 2016

Beth Wood in Wyoming

Music at 3:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 2:00 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

I’m so excited to have Beth Wood return to Windy City House Concerts! Beth is one of my absolute favorite singer/songwriters, really the essence of all the best – an amazing voice, great guitar playing and wonderful songs. She can rock the house as she does when singing the Star Spangled Banner to open baseball games or present a poignant, sensitive ballad in a small, sweet voice. But don’t just take my word for it:

“Beth Wood is a musical triple-threat — a thoughtful songwriter and talented multi-instrumentalist with a supple, soulful voice.” — Washington Post

Picture a home-body with an ever-present wanderlust, an introvert with a passion for performing, a creative free-spirit with enough discipline to rework her dream year after year, calloused little hands and a big pile of curly hair…and you’ve got Beth Wood, modern-day troubadour. She won the 2005 Kerrville New Folk Contest, along with another dozen awards for her performances and songwriting at the national and regional level. I’m happy to brag on Beth as a friend, but the point is that Beth is widely recognized in the folk world for her songs, performance and spectacular vocal ability.

If you ask Beth to describe her music, she might just shrug. Some have called it folk, pop, folk-pop, country-folk, Americana, etc. Beth prefers to say it is soulful, organic, free-range, barefoot music delivered through a high energy communicator of joy. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram calls Beth “a superb singer-songwriter whose versatility discourages labeling.” Beth’s songs tell of life and love, stories of all kinds of folks she knows or has seen.

Beth is wonderful to be around – her joy and energy are contagious. Her performances are masterful and warm and personal at the same time. Please get in touch so you can be part of this wonderful evening.

http://www.bethwoodmusic.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beth-Wood/157422938805
http://www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.aspx?epk_id=26213
http://twitter.com/#!/bethwoodmusic
http://www.myspace.com/bethwoodmusiccom

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

Claudia Nygaard – Sunday, April 3, 2016

Claudia Nygaard

Music at 3:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 2:00 p.m.
$15-20 suggested artist donation

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

Claudia Nygaard’s captivating storytelling overflows from her songwriting into her live performance. With a voice like amber honey, and a twinkle in her eye that makes the entire audience feel she is sharing a secret with them alone, she takes them on an emotionally fearless journey with stories that expose a rare vulnerability and tenderness one moment, then a quick wit and an outlandish, irreverent sense of humor the next. Her songs move from heartfelt to humorous and from scrappy to sensual, and all the while the stories she tells in between them are as entertaining as the songs themselves.

“Claudia Nygaard’s music invitingly straddles the fence between country and folk with a band sound that is decidedly unplugged and artfully laid-back in support of her sensually lyrical alto. And then, there’s the matter of her songs — that rival the likes of Guy Clark or Ian Tyson in their plainspoken, memoir-like quality, rich with personalized images and a resonant point-of-view.” Sing Out Magazine

“I am continually amazed by the emotions she can evoke; heart wrenching I cry every time, to a social statement which could be a call to action or at least some inner searching, to sexy and funny that leaves everyone in the room delightfully joyfully heated. She is a pleasure to work with and gives her best every time. Always delighted to have her at Kerrville!” Dalis Allen, Producer of the Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX and Chair of SWRFA (SouthWest Regional Folk Alliance)

I met Claudia at a Folk Alliance conference long enough ago not to remember exactly when it was and she made an immediate impression. Different with more of a country/Americana flavor than most of the singer/songwriters, but with story songs that drew you in with paintings in words and characters alive with emotion. Over the years, I got to see her at a number of conferences, but only a couple songs at a time. I knew she had a sense of humor but I didn’t realize how really funny she can be until a couple years ago.

Finally in July, 2014, I got to see her do a full show at Two Way Street Coffee House and discovered she has a wonderfully impish sense of humor. Her songs and performance will have you crying at times and laughing out other times. She’s a sweetheart and a house concert is the perfect way to see her.

http://www.claudianygaard.com/
https://soundcloud.com/claudianygaard
https://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaNygaardMusic
https://twitter.com/claudianygaard

Moors and McCumber – Thursday, March 3, 2016

Moors and McCumber

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

Moors and McCumber create that rare chemistry that happens when two gifted singer- songwriters and multi-instrumentalists perfectly complement each other’s strengths, a modern day version of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

“These guys should be playing every major Festival in the country. They bring it all to the stage and deliver it in a big way.” – Lloyd Maines, Grammy award winning Producer and Multi-instrumentalist.

James Moors and Kort McCumber grew up in different places and listening to different kinds of music – classical, rock, bluegrass, you name it. But when they met ten years ago they knew they’d found something golden. Since then, they’ve been cultivating their wide-ranging musical influences in songs that delve into love and life through haunting lyrics, soaring harmonies, and dazzling instrumental proficiency.

http://www.moorsandmccumber.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MoorsandMcCumber/
https://www.youtube.com/user/MoorsandMcCumber/videos

Dave Gunning – Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2016

Dave Gunning at the Beach

Music at 3:00 p.m.
Socializing and light potluck at 2:00 p.m.
$15 suggested artist donation

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

We have a special treat for Valentine’s Day! Dave Gunning from Nova Scotia in Canada is going to warm up the day musically! I’ll have my Valentine with me and we’d love to share the afternoon with you. Still time for Valentine’s Day dinner after the show, too!

A charismatic performer and world class songwriter, Dave has the magnetic gift of captivating audiences by painting pictures through his heartfelt stories and compelling songwriting, humorous lyrics and stunning musical arrangements. Blending sensitive folk and innovative arrangements to his original songs, Gunning is rapidly building a solid fan base across Canada and abroad. Dave has a beautiful voice and great guitar chops and a warm personality.

“Gunning is the next big thing in the True North of Song, an artist as compelling, as assured and attentive to every nuance of the writing process, as Lightfoot, Cockburn and Stan Rogers before him.”- Toronto Star

You can check him out at the links below and on the radio the night before.

http://www.davegunning.com/
https://www.facebook.com/davegunning
https://soundcloud.com/dave-gunning-1

He’s playing live on the renowned WFMT 98.7 FM Folkstage radio show hosted by Rich Warren at 8 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 13. (listen live online here: WMFT 98.7 FM Live Stream)

Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes – Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes playing

Socializing and Light Snack Potluck (BYOB) at 2:00 p.m.

Two sets of music starting at 3:00 p.m.

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

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

Ann Armstrong is right up there with the great musical exports of Texas! She plays guitar sometimes sweetly, sometimes prickly as an Ocotillo cactus, sings like a steam-powered nightingale and writes songs from a depth of experience.

“Ann Armstrong the powerful blues shouter-cum-folkie from Texas.” – Dirty Linen

“Ann Armstrong’s talents, both as a songwriter and blues performer, are deep and diverse. Armstrong’s music, whether recorded or live, is solid, sincere and roots-conscious. Her constant companion and musical partner Steve Hughes spices up the proceedings with fine harmonica and flute work. If you haven’t caught her act (check-out her blazing bottle-neck guitar work), you’re way behind the times in keeping up with the Texas blues scene.” – Austin American-Statesman

I’ve gotten to see Ann and Steve recently at Folk Alliance but they are long time favorites of Cindy’s and mine from when we lived in Dallas, TX some years ago. So it’s a great pleasure and privilege to host them for a house concert. Check them out and get in touch to be invited to the show!

http://www.ann-armstrong.com/
https://www.reverbnation.com/annarmstrongstevehughes
https://www.youtube.com/results?filters=year&search_query=ann+armstrong+%26+steve+hughes&lclk=year

Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio – Friday, July 10, 2015

Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio

Socializing and Potluck at 6:30 p.m.

Two sets of music starting at 7:30 p.m.

Suggested artist donation $20 (all funds go to the Trio)

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

Heather’s back! And this time with her trio! We’re really excited to host her again!

Heather Pierson is an award-winning pianist, multi-genre singer/songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and performer. From New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives, Heather’s live performances move seamlessly and effortlessly from one style to the next, and a growing catalog of wildly divergent CD releases reflects her boundless creativity.

The Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio features Heather on piano, Shawn Nadeau on upright bass and Davy Sturtevant on, as Heather often puts it from stage, “everything else” – guitar, mandolin, dobro, fiddle, cornet. They are all singers in their own right but as the trio, produce harmonies way beyond their separate voices.

Originally hailing from Erie, PA, Davy Sturtevant is a veteran touring artist, producer, engineer, songwriter, and performer who now makes his home in Lovell, ME. Armed with a gorgeous tenor voice and a mighty arsenal of instruments ranging from dobro to fiddle to cornet that come to life in his capable hands, Davy is at once a witty, thoughtful, and engaging stage presence.

New Hampshire native Shawn Nadeau brings a rock solid thump and nearly two decades of performing experience to the trio, informed by a wide spectrum of unique rhythmic and melodic sensibilities ranging from rockabilly to reggae to jazz.

In their able hands, these three veteran musicians have catapulted Heather’s live performances of her deep well of Americana originals – folk, jazz, blues – with intricate instrumental arrangements and stirring three-part vocal harmonies. The trio has just released their debut EP, “Still She Will Fly”. You can preview the trio at the player on Heather’s website (first link below).

“Heather Pierson is an amazing talent. Her gorgeous, rich vocals are filled with soul. She can mesmerize you on the piano, the guitar – even the melodica. She’s as comfortable and adept with bluegrass as she is with jazz. With Heather, there is absolutely nothing not to like. Don’t you dare miss an opportunity to hear her live or to purchase her recordings.” – Al Kniola | 88.1 WVPE Public Radio

http://www.heatherpierson.com
https://www.facebook.com/HeatherPiersonMusic
https://www.youtube.com/user/vesselrecordingshttps://www.youtube.com/user/vesselrecordings
http://www.reverbnation.com/heatherpierson