Saturday, May 14, 2005

Music For Young Moderns

Since this is my space to use as I see fit, I am going to give shouts and praise to artists in the Chicago/Midwest scene that I feel are deserving, whether they have a new album release or not. Consider this a permanent ‘Best Of” kind of thing. Anyway, here we go.

Braam – Their debut CD, “Gravity And The Right To Fly”, was the best local CD I ever got to review a couple years back. As a result, Braam is permanently on my radar. Imagine a combo of Neil Young and The Eagles and you start to get an idea of what they sound like. Taking their name from the three Braam brothers in the lineup, the band has been a positive presence in the Chicago music arena, spreading great tunes and intelligent lyrics everywhere they go. These guys do actually have a new release available, “Madelaine”, that continues this tradition. Highly recommended.

The Honeybees – The Honeybees are a way gone rockabilly band that features two female vocalists harmonizing like the Everly Sisters on every tune. They are one of the more interesting roots acts in the city, and one of the few trying to do anything to expand the old sounds. Their CD “The Bee Sides” is a great, twangy listen for folks like me who enjoy such things. Check them out at

Willy Porter – Wisconsin boy Willy Porter may quite possibly be the best solo acoustic artist playing today. Dig if you will a picture of someone with the lyrical ability of John Hiatt or Bruce Springsteen combined with the guitar chops of Leo Kottke and you will begin to see the light. His last release, “High Wire Live”, is his definitive statement, recorded live and alone on stage. He is a fearless performer and has the kind of ability that cannot be denied. Go to to see for yourself.

Bucky Halker – Bucky Halker is a fine and gifted writer of American songs as well as a walking library of the historical music of the American working class. He is equal parts poet, teacher, guitar picker, and left-leaning agitator. Catch him solo or with his band The Complete Unknowns. See for more.

Urban Djin – Urban Djin is the singing-est singing cowboy in all of Chicago. He has a great, authentic feel for all things hillbilly and is always a pleasure to see live. He does a solo thing as well as a full band show in various venues around town, including a pretty regular Thursday at the Smoke Daddy on Division Street. His is also one of the more unique characters you will meet as you mix and mingle through the local music community. reveals all.

The Joe Moss Band – Joe Moss is one of the best young blues players on the street today. He is schooled in the old ways but not bound by them. His sound is classic and current at once and his guitar style is eclectic, jazz-influenced at times, and distinctive. One listen to his CD “Monster Love” will give you the picture. Go to and see for yourself.


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