Lillie Mae at Old Town School Of Folk Music 6/7/18

Last night was a bit of a homecoming for Lillie Mae and her bandmates/siblings. Born in Illinois before moving to Nashville, the Rische’s were born to make music and all their aunts and uncles and cousins were in Chicago to hear them play. It gave the show a different kind of vibe, as no one was holding back their hoots and hollers. If they liked something, you knew it immediately. The set was nice and long, coming in at around 90 minutes, hitting all the favorites and giving everyone a moment to shine.

The thing that stood out the most to me was Lillie Mae’s profuse generosity as a performer. Though the show was billed as “Lille Mae,” she made sure that Frank, Scarlett, and McKenna Grace got to do their thing. She seemed as in awe of their talents as everyone else in the crowd, and everyone on stage was wearing a big smile for the duration of the concert.

They played a lot of material off last year’s Forever And Then Some, but didn’t hesitate to take it back to their roots. Before one song near the end Lillie said “Here’s one we’ve been playing for a while…about 18 years. Maybe longer.” And you could hear it in the music and see it on their faces-the song just poured out of them like they didn’t even have to think about it. That’s how every song felt. They’ve been playing together for so long and know each other so well that there’s no easing in or trying to find the groove-from the first note they’re all-in and everyone is on the same page. The biggest problem they faced was choosing what songs to play when McKenna Grace got her opportunity to sing.