You know that creepy banjo duel in Deliverance with the terrifying beady-eyed halfling banjo phenom that foreshadowed certain death for the city slickers? Well it turns out that’s exactly what all bluegrass is like. No. It’s more about pleasant folksy background music at county fairs, and the wholesome, comforting soundtrack to Prairie Home Companion. No… it’s not that either. What is contemporary bluegrass like? You don’t know, because you can’t relate to anything beyond these ridiculous stereotypes, can you?
That’s why you need to go see some real bluegrass at The Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival next Saturday, November 22.
In their words:
The Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival is a one-day festival celebrating our city’s unprecedented appreciation of roots music and culture. Hosted by the legendary Congress Theater and the newly-minted KingTello Presents, a bevy of homegrown talent will unite with some of contemporary music’s most accomplished and influential artists for a day of collaboration and cause… Until now, fans have had to travel far outside city limits and setup camp to witness a legend like David Grisman share a stage with the scene’s newest genre-defying sensations, The Avett Brothers, and a host of rising talents from the roots, blues, bluegrass, and jamband scenes. This fall, the Saving Tiny Hearts Society will bring them all indoors and within city limits to a historical Chicago landmark and one of the city’s largest and most unique live music venues.
See 18 bands playing over 12 hours of music, at the historic and stunning Congress Theater. Performers include:
There’s a ton of bluegrass groups that exhibit a striking diversity of influences, moods, styles, etc. Why, did you know that bluegrassers sometimes crowd-surf? Apparently we need to reassess any preconceptions we’ve had about bluegrass. What other genre-defying stunts do these festival performers have in store for us? Strobe lights? Dancing pitbulls? The electric slide? The worm? These, and many more of life’s haunting mysteries, will be revealed to you next Saturday.
The festival also features some great Blues musicians, and clearly we have to reevaluate our preconceptions about blues too. And topping it off, a portion of festival proceeds are going to Saving Tiny Hearts Charity, which raises money to support life-saving research of congenital heart defects (CHD), America’s #1 birth defect that afflicts nearly 1 of every 125 US babies.
2125 Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60647Get Directions