Last night I had the opportunity to catch some songwriters from Chicago. One of them I know quite well, and three that I hadn’t really listened to before. The slate was Dina Bach, Phillip Michael Scales, Eric Quigley, and Nikki Morgan. The show was set up by Teri Bracken of the band Bronte Fall after she spent some time in Nashville and wanted to bring the focus on songwriting she found there to Chicago. Her band played a set after each of the featured songwriters played a round robin, with 3 songs from every player.
I was impressed with the quality of the songs these four artists played. I’ve known Phillip Michael Scales for a while (you may know him under his former moniker, Briar Rabbit), but hadn’t heard much of his new stuff. He sounded great and seemed the most comfortable on the stage. Dina Bach was bubbly and fun and played the most upbeat songs of the four. Her song about Tom Petty, called “Tom Petty,” is really good and you can listen to it here.
Eric Quigley, the lead singer of the band One More Moon, was probably the biggest surprise for me. I’d never heard anything by him and when he was talking and tuning I couldn’t really get a grasp on what he was going to sound like. Once he started playing, I was really impressed. His singing voice isn’t anything like I thought it would be-a lot of range and depth to his vocals. Nikki Morgan was also a bit of a revelation. She played new songs, but you can check out some of her other music here.
A short wait after the songwriters finished up brought the full power of Bronte Fall to the stage, which was a bit jarring after an hour of solo acoustic music. They sounded good, though. Katie Renshaw from The Fox And The Hounds joins Bracken for vocals and they harmonize well together. Guitarist Frank Minella got in a few tasty licks as they powered through the opener.
Their new single, “Grand Marnier” comes out this Friday and they gave the audience a full preview. It’s sounding good so look out for that later this week!