AMERICANA MUSIC FEST - 3 DAY PASS!

AMERICANA MUSIC FEST - 3 DAY PASS!

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$15 – $65

Date and time

Location

THE VENUE

21-23 South Broadway

Aurora, IL 60505

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Refund policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

AMERICANA MUSIC FEST at The Venue!

About this event

The Venue is pleased to present American Fest - a 3 day outdoor musical extravaganza with Chicagoland's favorite Roots and Americana Music artists, August 12, 13 & 14.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12: Doors open at 6

7pm - Nora O'Connor & Casey McDonough

8pm - Nathan Graham

9:15pm - Chicago Farmer & The Fieldnotes

Advance General Admission - $25

+$5 door

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13: Doors open at 5

6pm - Make it a Double

7pm - Big Sadie

8pm - Dick Smith

9:15pm - May Erlewine

Advance General Admission - $25

+$5 door

SUNDAY, AUGUST 14: Doors open at 6

7pm - A Special Album Cover Tribute: Tom Waits Mule Variations

Advance General Admission - $15

+$5 door

Bring Your Own Chair or Blanket. *This is a rain or shine outdoor concert.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Nora O'Connor - Nora O’Connor is a Chicago-based musician whose vocal talents are the secret weapon behind some of the city’s best performances and recordings. For much of 2013, O'Connor toured internationally as a singer in Iron and Wine, and she continues to record and perform with longtime collaborator, Andrew Bird. Nora also plays bass and sings back-up for Kelly Hogan (she recorded and toured with Hogan for her release I Like To Keep Myself In Pain on ANTI- Records) and in 2010, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy enlisted her and Hogan as primary vocalists on gospel legend Mavis Staples’ Grammy Award-winning album You Are Not Alone. She has been most recently been touring with The Decemberists, singing harmonies and playing a bunch of their really nice guitars

In the studio and on the stage, Nora has backed (among others) Neko Case, Jakob Dylan, The New Pornographers, Archer Prewitt, Chris Mills, The Aluminum Group, Otis Clay, Justin Roberts and Robbie Fulks. Though she may be primarily known for her signature honey-sweet vocals, Nora is also revered among her musician peers for her chops and versatility. She's a solid sender on guitar and bass, an enthusiastic and inspired collaborator, and always ninja-nimble and professional to a T -- just a few of the reasons why this lady's phone never stops ringing.

Along with Kelly Hogan, she's part of the vocal one-two punch for the soul/pop/AM radio geek out band The Flat Five.

Casey McDonough -

Nathan Graham - Nathan Graham is a musician born and raised in Chicago. His music bridges the gap between South Side Soul and Nashville Americana, creating a new inclusive vision of singer-songwriter. He built his career over the last ten years as a guitar-for-hire, touring internationally with major label and indie acts, but all the while focused on songwriting and honing his skills as a solo performer.

“My goal is to show a different kind of singer-songwriter. I don’t look or sound like you’d expect, but I’m writing about universal experiences of love, loss, uncertainty and anxiety. I’m writing music to connect my story to yours, show you all that we have in common, and maybe help both of us feel less alone.”

Chicago Farmer - The son of a small town farming community, Cody Diekhoff logged plenty of highway and stage time under the name Chicago Farmer before settling in the city in 2003. Profoundly inspired by fellow midwesterner John Prine, he’s a working-class folk musician to his core. His small town roots, tilled with city streets mentality, are turning heads North and South of I-80.

“I love the energy, music, and creativity of Chicago, but at the same time, the roots and hard work of my small town,” he shares. Growing up in Delavan, Illinois, with a population less than 2,000, Diekhoff’s grandparents were farmers, and their values have always provided the baseline of his songs.

He writes music for “the kind of people that come to my shows. Whether in Chicago or Delavan, everyone has a story, and everyone puts in a long day and works hard the same way,” he says. “My generation may have been labeled as slackers, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t work hard - many people I know put in 50-60 hours a week and 12 hour days. That’s what keeps me playing. I don’t like anyone to be left out; my music is for everyone in big and very small towns.”

He listened to punk rock and grunge as a kid before discovering a friend’s dad playing Hank Williams, and it was a revelation. Prine and Guthrie quickly followed. The name Chicago Farmer was originally for a band, but the utilitarian life of driving alone from bar to bar, city to city - to make a direct connection to his audience and listener, took a deeper hold.

Make it a Double - Mark Frystak (Vocals/Guitar) and Hayley Skreens (Vocals/Banjo) form the duo Make it a Double. Reinventing their favorite tunes alongside heartfelt originals, they offer a sound that showcases their spirits as singers while remaining true to their acoustic instrumental roots as well.

Former frontman of the bluegrass band Close Enough, Mark Frystak provides a driving, steadfast rhythm on his Martin D-28 while embracing the role of lead vocalist. Instilled with a rich love for singing and strumming at an early age, Frystak's warm tone and precision are tirelessly evident in his playing. With influences ranging from the Grateful Dead to Baroque Classical to Newgrass, today he finds himself at home in the bluegrass/folk world centralized in the Fox Valley.

Singer, writer, and multi-instrumentalist Hayley Skreens is happy to be rooted in the Fox Valley area as well after traveling full time with Under the Willow from 2012-2016. Her unmistakably soulful voice shines whether she is playing banjo, piano, bass, or anything else she can get her hands on. Having shared bills with acts such as Jeff Austin, Jason Isbell, Fruition, Old Shoe, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Shook Twins and SHEL, she is a true music lover at heart.

In addition to original music, influences include Tony Rice, John Prine, Widespread Panic, Little Feat, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Bela Fleck, NewGrass Revival, Sierra Ferrell, Billy Strings, Grateful Dead, Lefty Frizzell, Henhouse Prowlers, John Hartford, Hot Rize, Bryan Sutton, David Bowie, Prince, & countless more.

Big Sadie - Big Sadie is a Chicago-based acoustic band fronted by Elise Bergman (upright bass, vocals) and Collin Moore (guitar, vocals). Defined by rich, intricate harmonies and rustic yet sophisticated instrumental arrangements, Big Sadie takes a modern yet timeless approach to American roots music.

Bergman and Moore both grew up surrounded by music. With roots spanning from the Midwest to the heart of Appalachia, their sound honors their heritage and is inspired by the rich musical histories of these places. Chicago native Bergman brings a solid blues and folk influence to the group while Moore is firmly planted in the bluegrass and old-time he started playing as a boy in the hills of East Tennessee. Bergman was trained in classical and jazz piano and started playing guitar and writing songs in early high school. Moore began learning tunes at a young age from his mother, an accomplished fiddler and ballad singer, and went on to play guitar, bass, and mandolin with various bluegrass bands in Tennessee and Montana. Since first teaming up in 2005, Bergman and Moore have collaborated with numerous string players and toured the Midwest, Southeast, and Northwest United States as a duo and as members of other projects.

In early 2015, Bergman and Moore began playing with Andy Malloy, a native Oklahoman and mainstay of Chicago’s vibrant bluegrass scene, and Matt Brown, a Pennsylvania-raised multi-instrumentalist and instructor at the Old Town School of Folk Music. After a series of collaborations, Malloy and Brown officially joined Big Sadie in mid-2016. With the addition of Malloy’s energetic and inventive banjo playing and Brown’s masterful fiddling, Big Sadie is quickly gaining recognition for their compelling songwriting, skillful playing, and dynamic live performance.

With the ability to move seamlessly between traditional and original, the versatile band is equally at home on a festival stage, in an auditorium hall, accompanying a dance, busking on a sidewalk, passing tunes around a circle, or in an intimate rock club. Big Sadie has opened for acts ranging from country-music legend Marty Stuart to pop and indie-rock outfit Wild Belle.

May Erlewine - One of the Midwest’s most prolific and passionate songwriters, Erlewine has a gift for writing songs of substance that feel both fresh and soulfully familiar. Her ability to emotionally engage with an audience has earned her a dedicated following far beyond her Michigan roots. She shows us her heartbreak, but she also shows us her empowered and emboldened spirit. In her quest to find her most authentic self, Erlewine gifts each listener with a powerful, emotional experience that immediately connects us.

Raised in a home full of art and music, Erlewine began writing songs at a very young age. As a teenager she hitchhiked across the country, honing her skills as a performer and absorbing the kind of stories and landscapes that would inform her music. Her songs show a very real connection and concern with everyday folk. In the following years, Erlewine would perform in every kind of venue imaginable, from street corners to festival stages to the live airwaves of A Prairie Home Companion.

Erlewine draws from a wide variety of influences to create her sound. Lyrically, her songs are rooted in hard-wrought wisdom, joy and sorrow, simplicity, and stories from her own everyday experiences. Musically, these messages are wrapped up in traditional folk roots, Americana, old-time country swing, soul, and even rock and pop sensibilities. As a live performer, she is just as magnetic playing solo acoustic songs at a living room house concert as she is when supported by her carefully chosen backing bands.

With a long list of full-length albums, two EPs, and numerous collaborations, Erlewine’s catalog is proof of her creative power. Her work has been spotlighted by Rolling Stone and NBC’s The Voice. National acts who have covered her songs include Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Sawyer Fredericks (Season 8 winner of The Voice), Joshua Davis (Season 8 finalist of The Voice), Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, and others.

Erlewine uses her music as a platform for positive change. She considers her job a service-oriented one and carries the torch of the folk-singer activist. Her voice on stage encourages connectedness and stresses the importance of environmental advocacy, social justice, creative empowerment and community building as necessary work for all of us.

Erlewine’s music has touched people all over the world. Her words have held solace for weary hearts, offered a light in the darkness, and held space for the pain and joy of being alive in these times. She is a true artist, an anthem, and another example of why we need to listen to women. We need to hear these stories. When she starts to sing, there’s no way around it: The time is now.

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