Courtney Marie Andrews (Full Band!)
Aug
30
8:00 PM20:00

Courtney Marie Andrews (Full Band!)

  • Ravenswood and Wilson Chicago IL 60613 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Courtney Marie Andrews is, in my mind, one of the greatest living folk musicians. Her voice is absolutely stunning, her songwriting impeccable, and she waves stories that draw you in - wholehearted. 

She played here once before, years ago, and it was one of my favorite shows we've ever hosted. Now she's back, full band in tow, to play songs from her new album 'Honest Life'. I cannot tell you enough how eager I am to share these songs with you.

"At just 16 years old, Courtney Marie Andrews left home in Arizona for her first tour. She traveled up and down the West Coast, busking and playing any bars or cafés that would have her. Soon after, she took a Greyhound bus four nights straight from Phoenix to New York to do the same on the East Coast. For a decade or so since, Courtney’s been a session and backup singer and guitarist for nearly 40 artists, from Jimmy Eat World to Damien Jurado. She never stopped writing her own material, though. Picking up admirers like Jurado and Ryan Adams along the way, she has quietly earned a reputation as a songwriter’s songwriter.

With plans to settle down for a bit and focus on her own songs, Courtney moved to the Northwest in 2011 to record her last full-length record On My Page. However, the record had hardly been released before she was on the road again performing other artists’ songs, eventually leading her overseas to play guitar and sing with Belgian star Milow. At the tour’s end, though, the other session players joined her to record her 2014 EP Leuven Letters in one take.

It was during this time that Courtney also wrote many of the songs on Honest Life. She found herself realizing the impact of growing up on the road and this constant reconciling between her and other’s art and identity. Courtney will take it from there:

'While in Belgium for four months, I was going through a major heartbreak. I started growing homesick for America and the comfort of family and friends, and life in the states. That's where I wrote the first songs for Honest Life. It was a giant hurdle in my life. My first true growing pains as a woman. That's why in a sense, I feel this record is a coming of age album. A common thread that runs through the songs, is a great desire to fit somewhere, when nowhere fits. And wanting to get back home to the people I know and love. Once I got back to the states, I started to bartend at a small town tavern. I was home for awhile, and needed to post up while rehearsing with the band for the record. At the tavern, I felt I could truly empathize with the stories and lives of the people there. I wrote the other half of the songs about coming home and feeling a sense of belonging again. A lot of the stories at that tavern definitely ran parallel with my own, even though our lives were so different. I was the "musician girl."  They were farmers, construction workers, plumbers, waitresses, and cashiers. But, no matter how different, I felt we were all trying to live our most honest life.'

Courtney produced the entire record herself at Litho Studios in Seattle with recording engineer Floyd Reitsma. Honest Life will be available on LP, CD and digitally August 19th from Mama Bird Recording Co. (USA/World) and on January 20th from Loose Music (Europe)."

Doors at 8. Music at 8:20. BYOB. Get Tix Here.

 

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Cereus Bright w/ VV Lightbody (of Santah)
Aug
19
8:00 PM20:00

Cereus Bright w/ VV Lightbody (of Santah)

  • Ravenswood and Belle Plaine Chicago, IL (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Cereus Bright are some incredible gents from Knoxville, Tennessee.

“We figured out what kind of band we want to be...We want to write songs about real life, which can be beautiful or messy or both. We want to play them in a way that’s melodic and catchy, but is still musical and real. And we want to connect with people–whether it’s in person or through our music, we want our music to mean something to people.”

Excuses, released July 29, reflects these values. The debut album is a step forward, showing newfound complexity in songwriting, arrangements and sound. The full band’s musicality and cohesion shines, at times dipping into folk influences of Bob Dylan and Damien Rice and growing to rock-and-roll heights inspired by Wilco and The Band.

This summer, the band will be sharing the album live with fans and new listeners, through a CloseUp tour. Leading up to its release, they have found unique spaces in over three dozen cities across the country to host private concerts playing all the new songs and older ones in a more intimate setting.

“We want people to hear this music the way we made it, which was together as a band in a room like these.” Ford says “We think if we can introduce our fans to Excuses in a way that they’ve never heard or seen before, they’re going to walk away loving it.”

This show is going to be a little different for us here at Music Means Family. We're partnering with a brewery that's really close to our hearts, so no BYOB this time. Just really good beer from really good folks.

Doors are at 7:30, show is at 8. We can not sell any tickets at the door for this one, so the only way to come is click here and reserve your spot. See you there.

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Prairie Empire
Jun
27
8:00 PM20:00

Prairie Empire

To say I'm excited to host Prairie Empire is an understatement. Touring as a trio, fronted by the incomparable Brittain Ashford, Prairie Empire's music has soundtracked so many early mornings and even more late nights in my life.

Ashford's enchanting voice, floating over a unique array of instrumentation, absolutely dazzles and mesmerizes. Her lyrics are mysterious and inviting. Her new album "The Salt" will be released prior to this tour, and it's exceptional.

I've wanted to host Prairie Empire since I started this series, and now I can't wait to share this night with all of you.

Ticket link will go live Monday.

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Buffalo Gospel
May
2
7:30 PM19:30

Buffalo Gospel

We're back y'all. It's been awhile.

We're welcoming the wonderful Buffalo Gospel down from Milwaukee.

"Building on a solid foundation of heartfelt and heartbreaking Country/Western and Americana arrangements, and featuring a stellar cast of local and national musicians, Milwaukee-based Buffalo Gospel delivers wholly original material that manages to feel utterly timeless.

Buffalo Gospel’s music has been praised as “minimalist and masterful,” “musically arresting,” and “Milwaukee’s Best Kept Secret.” Their first EP, “Four Letter Words”, was written and released in the snow-covered part of 2009 and was soon followed by “The Good Land” in 2010."

I'm so glad to welcome you all back into our space with these incredible musicians.

Get your Tix here.

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Jeff Taylor & Jess McIntosh
Jul
9
7:30 PM19:30

Jeff Taylor & Jess McIntosh

We're very pleased to welcome Jeff Taylor to Music Means Family.

The title track of Jeff Taylor's EP, 'Organelle,' originally emerged as a dream dialogue. In creating the music for the four song release, Taylor envisioned himself scrambling to fan the final dying embers of a foundering romantic relationship. The world which begat the doomed experiment is melting, all color and stories from their failed relationship running in anastomotic streams. 

Jess McIntosh is an old friend, and her new solo music is something you should probably hear. You may have caught her previously playing with Kalispell or Field Report at earlier MMF shows!

As always, BYOB, music starts promptly at 8. The details will be e-mailed to you as you RSVP! 

RSVP HERE!

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Hope Country & Hip Hatchet
Jul
7
7:00 PM19:00

Hope Country & Hip Hatchet

Oh man. This is going to be awesome.

Brent Johnson (Hope Country) blew me away when he played with Joseph and Judah and the Lion at Schuba's earlier this year. His brand of country/folk/stomp/clap will have your heart soaring and your feet tapping. 

When Hip Hatchet came through Chicago last time, he blew away everyone at the Music Means Family show he played. That was almost two years ago. With a stellar new record, the same beautiful beard, and a bit more of life in the smoke of his voice, this set will be something exceptional.

This double bill is both once in a lifetime, and also one you really won't want to miss. $10 to RSVP, and it's BYOB as always. 

RSVP HERE.

See you there.

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CANCELLED - Erin Rae & Count This Penny - CANCELLED
Jun
28
7:00 PM19:00

CANCELLED - Erin Rae & Count This Penny - CANCELLED

I'm overjoyed to welcome both Erin Rae and Count This Penny back to Chicago for what will definitely be a fantastic night.

"Growing up, Erin Rae would listen to her parents sing and play music together after family dinners, playing folkier versions of Mississippi John Hurt, Doc Watson and John Prine. As she grew up and began playing at county fairs ‘before she got too old to be shy”, Erin Rae looked up to the legends of Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin and Gillian Welch, and their influence can be felt on her debut. She shares Brandi Carlile’s immaculate sense of melody blended with lyrics that are both extremely personal, but make you feel right at home in the story. It’s an intimate album that makes an instant connection with the listener. When she sings, it’s as if you’re the only one in the room. It’s an album of transition, coming to terms with the truth that life isn’t exactly the way you thought it would be and coming to terms with reality, and being content with that. " - Cause a Scene

Count This Penny's Allen and Amanda Rigell write songs that never cease to take my breath away. Their dusty folk and soulful harmonies are nothing short of entrancing, and having them play another Music Means Family show has me jumping for joy.

RSVP HERE.

$10 donation to RSVP, BYOB as always. Can't wait for this.

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Caitlin Canty with Opener TBA
Jun
23
7:30 PM19:30

Caitlin Canty with Opener TBA

We've had the pleasure of hosting both Hayward Williams and Jeffrey Foucault in the past - now I'm thrilled to announce a show with their inspiring collaborator Caitlin Canty. A bit about her:

Caitlin Canty delivers her songs with a 1930’s Recording King guitar and a dusky alto, painting the line between joy and pathos with uncanny precision and power. Raised in small-town Vermont, the daughter of a school teacher and a house painter, she spent a decade in New York City cutting her teeth on both sides of the microphone – as a performer and as the first employee of the Artists Den. Produced by acclaimed songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, her latest record Reckless Skyline features an all-star band on twelve songs that veer nimbly between country ballads and straight-up rockers, dark blues and sparsely arranged folk.

Both on the road and on her records, Caitlin Canty teams with some of the finest musicians in the world – including members of Morphine, Booker T, Cold Satellite, and Ray LaMontagne’s Pariah Dogs – to create a sound that harnesses the grit and spark at the very heart of American music, tempered with a voice both haunting and distinct.

RSVP HERE.

The show will be BYOB, and a $10 donation will be required to RSVP. 

Come share this special show with me!

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An Evening with the Women of Maiden Radio
Jun
14
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with the Women of Maiden Radio

Last summer, we had the absolute pleasure of hosting the wonderful ladies from Maiden Radio in a beautiful backyard. This summer, we get to do it again. And this time, two pretty special things are happening.

One, we'll be having a campfire, so feel free to bring marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate, etc. Let's make s'mores and become friends.

Two, and most importantly, we're structuring this show in a really special way. All three of the ladies who make up Maiden Radio are incredible songwriters in their own right, so the evening's set will not only feature new Maiden Radio songs, but also music from Cheyenne Mize, Joan Shelley, and Julia Purcell. These are some of the finest songwriters in the Midwest-ish, and this will be an evening to remember.

RSVP HERE.

As always, the show will be BYOB, and a donation of $10 will be required to RSVP.

Let's kick a perfect summer off together, eh?

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The Local Strangers w/ Gregory Jackson Combs
Apr
25
7:30 PM19:30

The Local Strangers w/ Gregory Jackson Combs

Deeply involved in the Seattle music scene, Midwest transplants Matt and Aubrey came together in 2010. The band has grown a supportive and enthusiastic fanbase. Compelling lyrics and rich harmonies have delighted fans of The Local Strangers at sold out venues in the Pacific Northwest and intimate living rooms around the country since 2010. Seasoned by over 20,000 miles of independent touring, Aubrey Zoli and Matt Hart showcase both their powerful duets and raucous 5-piece band with their most ambitious and evocative work so far: the two-disc set "Take What You Can Carry." Matt and Aubrey are fantastic musicians, and to have the opportunity to see them play their album release tour with Music Means Family is something that makes me so, so excited.

Greg Jackson Combs has become an influential writer/performer in the ever prolific Chicago music scene since his first performances and tours began based out of the windy city in 2006. Combs is best known for his work with Chicago Folk Rock group: "Goodbyehome". The band has released two records with independent record label CAUDog Records, with much critical acclaim. Combs represents an honesty and authenticity as a songwriter and performer that just does not exist in modern pop-music today. Drawing main influence from the 60's and 70's songwriting greats such as Dylan, Lightfoot, Chapin, Townes, Gilmore and Young. Performers of his caliber just don't exist today, making what he does, truly unique and remarkable. A overall message of hope and the power of positive thinking are a predominant subject of his music.

RSVP HERE.

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An Evening With S. Carey
Apr
15
8:00 PM20:00

An Evening With S. Carey

When Sean Carey announced he wanted to do a living room tour - I knew Music Means Family had to host the Chicago show. Sean's music weaves such an incredible tapestry, an overlapping blanket of sound that wraps you up and leaves your head clear and calm.

I'm deeply honored to welcome Sean to Chicago - RSVP through Undertow here: http://goo.gl/JDWC23

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Secret Show - An Evening With Lily and Madeleine
Apr
9
7:00 PM19:00

Secret Show - An Evening With Lily and Madeleine

To say I'm thrilled to welcome Lily & Madeleine to Chicago is an understatement. When I first heard their song, 'Back to The River', I was stunned, reminded of the slowing of my heart rate when I first heard First Aid Kit's 'Ghost Town'. Featuring soft, sisterly harmonies and a wisdom beyond their years, Lily & Madeleine are primed for a meteoric ascent, and to get to spend time in an intimate, non-traditional space with them is bound to be an evening to remember.

As always, the show will be BYOB, some seating will be provided - but feel free to bring a cushion or blanket or pillow. RSVP here to receive the address. I can't wait to see you there.

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Session Americana ft. Jefferson Hamer and Dietrich Strause
Feb
16
7:00 PM19:00

Session Americana ft. Jefferson Hamer and Dietrich Strause

Music Means Family is thrilled to announce a house show with Session Americana ft. Dietrich Strause and Jefferson Hamer.

These folks are some of Boston's finest, and have toured the world with a bevy of unbelievably talented folk musicians. This is the kind of music that unique, intimate shows are made for, and it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them in a setting like this in the Midwest.

RSVP at rsvp@musicmeansfamily.com and the address will be sent to you.

BYOB, $15 suggested donation, bring your friends and their friends!

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Secret Show - An Evening With Noah Gundersen
Feb
2
7:00 PM19:00

Secret Show - An Evening With Noah Gundersen

I'm so deeply honored to present a very special, very intimate show with Noah Gundersen.

Noah is an unbelievable talent - perhaps one of the finest folk songwriters of our generation. Having recently sold out Lincoln Hall and SPACE, we are thrilled to bring him back to Chicago proper to play a very special show for us.

RSVP HERE

As usual, this show is BYOB. Bring a blanket or pillow to sit on. Click the link above to donate/rsvp in advance. It's the only way to get the address, and I promise you, this show will fill up. Don't miss this.

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Hayward Williams & Josh Harty w/ Old Sap
Oct
5
6:45 PM18:45

Hayward Williams & Josh Harty w/ Old Sap

So, October.

You know, actually autumn. Come spend Sunday night listening to two of Wisconsin's finest, Josh Harty and Hayward Williams.

Both are stirring songwriters, and exceptional musicians. They'll make you remember how happy you are that the leaves are changing.

Oh, and did I mention, Old Sap, from Montana by way of Chicago will be bringing his banjo along to serenade you.

A bit early for this one, doors at 6:45, music at 7:15. $15 suggested donation, BYOB and bring some friends. Address will go out to all who RSVP.

Can't wait to see you there.

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Smooth Hound Smith & Simon Balto
Sep
28
7:30 PM19:30

Smooth Hound Smith & Simon Balto

Hey.

You.

These pretty cool folks called Smooth Hound Smith are rolling into town, and they're ready to rock your proverbial socks off. And make you feel things. And do other awesome stuff. Oh, and by the way - they're doing all of that in a super intimate house show setting. Will you be there? You better!

Oh, and the fantastic Simon Balto is gonna come down from Wisconsin and serenade you too. You'll probably get kind of teary eyed, and then maybe drink some more whiskey.

Anyway, this is going to be a wonderful show, and you should probably wander on over. BYOB. $10 to $15 suggested donation. Event will go out to all who RSVP here or at rsvp@musicmeansfamily.com

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Small Houses & Special Guest
Sep
21
7:00 PM19:00

Small Houses & Special Guest

Come out and watch the leaves turn with the exceptional Jeremy Quentin (aka Small Houses). We'll hang out, drink some beers, and hear some phenomenal tunes.

Oh, and there'll be a special guest. Can't tell you who yet, but you'll be super bummed if you miss out!

BYOB. $15 suggested donation. Come have some fun! RSVP on Facebook or at rsvp@musicmeansfamily.com. Address will be announced to those who RSVP!

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Dietrich Strause & Anna Vogelzang
Jul
22
7:30 PM19:30

Dietrich Strause & Anna Vogelzang

While we'll only be doing one Music Means Family gathering in July - I'm absolutely ecstatic to welcome two exceptional songwriters to Chicago.

Dietrich is a Boston based singer/songwriter, who's toured with luminaries like Ben Sollee, David Wax Museum, and Aoife O'Donovan. His most recent album, 'Little Stones to Break the Giant's Heart' is full of intricate, heart-tugging songwriting, and I can't wait to see them played live.

Anna Vogelzang continues the Music Means Family tradition of welcoming stunning songwriters from Wisconsin, and if you don't know her music yet, you'd be well served to check her out, and make your way out to see her live.

As always, BYOB, a suggested donation ($10), and bring some old friends and come make new ones. We're at a new space this time - make sure to RSVP for the address, or keep your eyes on Facebook, where it will be posted.

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Bradford Loomis & Ty Maxon
Jun
26
7:00 PM19:00

Bradford Loomis & Ty Maxon

There's an ancient, wise, jubilance in each song that Bradford sings, something infectious that is both otherworldly and so unbelievably grounded and human.

I am so, so pleased to be able to host Bradford in an intimate house show, and I really hope I get to see you there.

We'll open up the space at 7:00, music will start at 7:30. Bring something to drink, some cash for a suggested donation ($10+), and a friend or two to see some phenomenal music in an intimate setting.

RSVP to guarantee a spot at rsvp@musicmeansfamily.com.

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Jeffrey Foucault w/ Hayward Williams
Jun
18
7:30 PM19:30

Jeffrey Foucault w/ Hayward Williams

"we fought all night/
and then we danced in your kitchen/
you were as much in my hands/
as water, or darkness, or nothing/
can ever be held"

I remember the first time I heard Jeffrey Foucault sing those lyrics, and my heart caught in my throat, and I was knocked breathless by the whole scope of his singing, and the dusty imagery that his songs overflow with.

There are so many reasons that I am grateful for how these house shows have gone to this point, and this one is a reminder of how lucky I am.

I really hope you come share this evening with me, and bring a few friends. We'll open the doors at 7:30, and music will start between 8 and 8:15. Suggested Donation of $15. BYOB. RSVP at
rsvp@musicmeansfamily.com

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Chris Porterfield (of Field Report) w/ Rivers
Jun
15
7:00 PM19:00

Chris Porterfield (of Field Report) w/ Rivers

There's not much to say here. Chris Porterfield's stirring songwriting coupled with a performance from Rivers, whose debut album will be getting a whole lot of play when it comes out? Sounds pretty perfect.

Come end what will hopefully be a balmy June weekend with some cold beer, maybe a sunset, and some comfy chairs with friends and family. I know I sound like a broken record, but seriously, don't miss this.

Suggested Donation - $15. Doors at 7. Music will start at 7:30. RSVP at rsvp@musicmeansfamily.com to guarantee a spot.

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Count This Penny w/ Simon Balto
May
18
6:30 PM18:30

Count This Penny w/ Simon Balto

An early sunday evening show with some lovely friends from Wisconsin.

Come let your heart break just a little bit with Count This Penny and Simon Balto.

We'll open up the space at 6:30, music will start at 7. Bring something to drink, some cash for a suggested donation, and a friend or two to see some phenomenal music in an intimate setting.

RSVP to guarantee a spot at rsvp@musicmeansfamily.com.

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