Chicago Reader2022-08-13T11:59:34+00:00
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Pravda Records goes the distance

Chicago’s longest-running independent rock label throws the first Pravdafest, celebrating 38 years of rolling with the punches and putting in the work. by Mark Guarino June 22, 2022 Beginning with Napster and continuing through Spotify, the nemeses of independent record labels have been legion over the past [...]

November 12, 2022|Categories: Chicago Reader|

Beau O’Reilly keeps the folk cabaret alive

His weekend bookings upstairs at Jimmy Beans Coffee preserve the intimacy, smarts, and daring of this endangered musical tradition. by Mark Guarino April 13, 2022 The email Paul Finkelman received last month from Beau O’Reilly read simply, “Can your car fit a piano? . . . Please advise.” [...]

November 12, 2022|Categories: Chicago Reader|

Bloodshot Records is bought by Exceleration Music

Given the beloved alt-country label’s recent troubles, this is probably the best news we could’ve gotten—but it’s too soon to say whether Bloodshot will keep releasing music. by Mark Guarino October 22, 2021 Bloodshot Records, the Chicago record label that launched the alternative-country genre in the mid-1990s, [...]

December 25, 2021|Categories: Chicago Reader|

Dennis J. Leise grows his own

His Indiana farm doesn’t just produce food—it’s also the wellspring for his smart, witty country and rockabilly tunes. by Mark Guarino July 1, 2021 Dennis J. Leise whistles a high note and a crowd of turkeys, roosters, chickens, and ducks explodes in shrieks, quacks, and clucks. A [...]

December 25, 2021|Categories: Chicago Reader|

Azita has more to say and more ways to say it 

For Glen Echo, her first album in more than eight years, she played and recorded every instrument herself. By Mark Guarino The first time you see "If U Die," the new video from Chicago singer-songwriter Azita Youssefi, it might take you a minute to realize that the colorful [...]

May 30, 2021|Categories: Chicago Reader|

Rest in peace to Chicago drummer Joe Camarillo 

The beloved musician and collaborator extraordinaire built a long resumé, which includes decades playing with the Waco Brothers and Hushdrops. By Mark Guarino Joe Camarillo, an intuitive and potent drummer who played with dozens of Chicago bands for more than 30 years, died Sunday following a stroke. [...]

May 30, 2021|Categories: Chicago Reader|

Goodbye to songwriter Michael Smith 

With “The Dutchman” and other widely recorded songs, he created emotional realities that let you feel along with his characters. By Mark Guarino Michael Smith died in his bed at home on Monday, on a cold August afternoon in Chicago. Wind snapped at the windows of his [...]

January 2, 2021|Categories: Chicago Reader|