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Concert Review: Gun Hat @ Reggie's

I spoke to the male lead of Gun Hat a few weeks before the show on the 29th at Reggie’s; Andrew was a little nervous. With good cause, one can suppose, as he had found out that they’d been booked to open for Country-Rock legends Supersuckers. Their first night of a three night cycle of shows culminating in a New Year’s Eve show. Andrew knew there would be quite the crowd and quite the show, he expressed a genuine desire to go on stage and give the audience the show they came for. This conversation represented the entire crew’s approach to their set and their attitude on stage. Comprised of the vocal stylings of Andy and Sarah, a Tenor and an Alto, Gun Hat’s steady country song structure is melodic and pleasing to the ear. The melodies are well underscored by the strings that Andy, Laura, Tara and Nick all deftly leverage towards this unique group’s sound. Held together by the classic and steady beats, as laid down by Andy’s wife Ann, these folks don’t disappoint.

Disposing of the modern notions involving “country” music they are a rare breed of music that shares few local comparisons. Perhaps The Golden Horse Ranch Band or The Steepwater Band may give you a hint as to what you might hear; but you wouldn’t be close. Everyone on stage was free of any twang or pop sensibilities, with this home-made style of American Rock N Roll, harking back to the early big bands of Little Richard or Elvis Presley. Even with that early rock swagger, they remember the roots of American music and provide the simple flavor of a country tempo and structure to delight the ear and the audience.

Full of energy and all evidently very happy and grateful to be there, Gun Hat gave a wonderful show. With a 10-song set they all had a great time and interacted with the audience as a family might. Clearly a tight knit group this can often translate into the performance of their songs. From “When You Lie” or “Theme from Gun.Hat” you can tell they all have a good sense of each other. Their easy smiles and friendly demeanor was a breath of warm air on a brisk Chicago morning. Gun Hat’s unique Country-Rock sound is definitely refreshing in a world oversaturated with honky-tonk-hijinks and pop-tarts. If you want a fun band to take friends or family to see, keep your ears perked for these guys. The well-written songs and lively performance will not disappoint and will surely put you in a Rock-N-Roll kind of way. - Ben Kessell


The Flexible Entertainer

 On January 26th Pit Er Pat and Thrill Jockey will team up once again to break down some musical walls. As Butchy and Fay of Pit Er Pat put it, “It has been just 10,992 hours since the last album”, but it is what remarkable is what they have accomplished in that time. Their new lp is called The Flexible Entertainer, and as I listen through the layers of sound I can see just how fitting that title is. These two are flexible in how they develop songs and sounds and in the structure and instrumentation they utilize. In their words they “freak you hard with banging mpc”, but the album has more depth than that statement may allude to. A mixture of instrumental jam sessions and vocal tracks, it the diversity of sounds that make it such an enjoyable listen. The duo is calling it a “brave new sound” and in a way it is. There is really no classification, it’s danceable, it has guitar, it has drum machines, it has mpc, but really what is it?

Aside from this wonderfully dense and complex collection of tunes Pit Er Pat have hard at work collaborating with the like of Soft Circle, Hecuba, These Are Powers, Rainbow Arabia, and others. These are two talented and creative musicians and other bands are seeing this and wanting to work with them in some capacity. There is no word yet, but hopefully their will be a tour this Spring to support this impressive album.


The Deli’s Emerging Artist of 2009 Poll

The goal of the poll is to involve local scenemakers (the jury), local music fans (the readers) and Deli writers in choosing the best emerging artists of 2009 of the various local scenes covered by The Deli.

There will be prizes for the winners of The Readers Poll and the Jury Poll, and likely also for some of the runner-ups. Please make your vote today. The poll will be open until January 16th.

The “scenemakers” that helped select the bands are as follows: Brent from Avant/Chicago, The Chicago Independent Music Review, Phil from Double Door, Michael from Ear It Now, Tankboy, Billy from The Whistler, Brian from Chicago Snacks, Bill Valenta, Matt from Schubas, Brian from Gallery of Carpet, Frank from Windy City Rock, and Farrai from Stop Being Famous.


Brighton MA Giveaway

Brighton MA, Coach House Sounds, The Deli, and Schubas have all combined to put together a contest to end all contests. It all started when BMA announced their two night stay at Schubas this month (Jan. 22nd and 23rd), but more on the show and the fine supporting bands on the ticket. You need to enter this contest today. One lucky winner will win a pair of tickets to one of the upcoming Brighton, MA performances at Schubas, and also admission for two to come and watch Brighton, MA's upcoming Coach House Sounds session* on Sunday 1/10 at 1:30 pm!

To enter contest, please send email to: coachhousesounds@gmail.com with Subject: BMA SESSION

Winners announced Friday @ Noon!



Chicago’s Tall Corn Music is releasing the latest effort from Brad Loving (aka Lobisomen) this February. As Lobisomen, Brad is free to explore the depths of electronic music. Combining influences as diverse African, South American, and Jamaican music with elements for hip hop and jazz, his new ep Brightest Solids is near global effort. It’s not surprising given his extended stays in Brazil, France, Japan, and Mali. However, when you listen closely you can hear heavy elements of thriving local improvisational music scene. Tall Corn is giving us a sneak peak at the ep which is scheduled for release on Feb. 23. Here is “Plasma Is For Lovers” (mp3).


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