Josh Ritter at The Vic 11/9/2017

I got very spoiled the first couple of times I saw Josh Ritter play. He’s still a fairly under the radar artist as far as the mainstream goes, but in 2008 and 2009 he was even more so unknown. He played at Vaudeville Mews, which is a great small room in Des Moines, to about 200 people (including the balcony). Those shows were amazing, with … Continue reading Josh Ritter at The Vic 11/9/2017

Arkells at Lincoln Hall 11/3/2017

Arkells play with the same heart and energy in a sold-out venue that holds 1,000 or a poorly attended show in a tiny bar. I’ve never seen the latter happen, but I have seen them at three different-sized places and the vibe was exactly the same each time. They’re entertainers there to put on a show, and they do not disappoint. ​ ​ A band … Continue reading Arkells at Lincoln Hall 11/3/2017

The Strumbellas at Thalia Hall 10/19/2017

I first heard about The Strumbellas at a music festival in Toronto back in 2014. Unfortunately, they were playing the same time as another group I wanted to see. So finally, over three years later, on Thursday night I got to see the Canadian Americana band take the stage at Thalia Hall. The band did not disappoint, playing a set filled with the hits from … Continue reading The Strumbellas at Thalia Hall 10/19/2017

Dan Rico at Cafe Mustache 10/14/2017

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the new 7″ “Flesh & Bone” from Chicago musician Dan Rico. Saturday night I got to see him live and it was great. The vibe on stage completely matches the fuzzed out honky-tonk you hear on the record. I referred to it to a friend as “dirty Elvis,” and I think that fits pretty well. I hadn’t been … Continue reading Dan Rico at Cafe Mustache 10/14/2017

Tei Shi at Schubas 9/30/17

I received a copy of Tei Shi’s debut LP Crawl Space back in March, and I was immediately taken by the sense of finding strength in your flaws. The album features sections with a little girl doubting her ability, talking about being a bad singer, and you can feel the joy of overcoming those misgivings in Tei Shi’s voice. It’s not all as bittersweet as … Continue reading Tei Shi at Schubas 9/30/17

Dizzy at Schubas 9/30/2017

Dizzy are currently touring with Tei Shi around North America, opening up the evenings with some of their new music. I’d never heard of the Toronto-based quartet before, which makes sense because they recently changed their name from Good Ghost. They spent part of the summer recording their debut record, and the songs they played off it Saturday night at Schubas were definitely ones I … Continue reading Dizzy at Schubas 9/30/2017