Mark this one on your calendars folks.

It's gonna be a great night of fun on September 17 when we open up for American English on the CEFCU Summer Stage in downtown Bloomington, Illinois, starting at 6:30 p.m. 

We are part of the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts (BCPA) Summer Concert Series, and can't wait to play. In fact it's gonna be a Dads 'n' Lads show of sorts with Edwin on lead guitar, me, my 15-year-old son Steven on drums, Ed's 14-year-old son Everson on rhythm guitar, and Rick Bennett slappin' the bass and singing too. John Ganser will also be joining us on drums, keys, and vocals.

American English recreates the look and sound of the Beatles, and they were voted #1 three times running at Beatlefest. 

It's truly a picnic. You bring your lawn chairs and blankets and sit out on the lawn with great friends, music, food, and drinks. Tickets are only $15. The show goes on rain or shine, so if it rains, the show moves inside to the big stage (darn!)  

Really hope to see you there. Visit the BCPA on the web for more details about this show and the BCPA's upcoming 2011-2012 Season.

Hey, just a reminder, Kurt, Edwin, and myself are doing a little shindig at Theatrescool (403 N Main, Bloomington, IL) this coming Saturday, May 23, 8 - 10 pm.  About half the songs are from 'Splash' and the other half from 'Sky', some oldies we haven't played in awhile.  With cello, bass, guitar, loops, vocals, and special effects, this will be a very different show than the last one at T-Scool.  

We are sharing the evening with our friends Tommy & Breann Neal. Again, we are allowed to bring our own bevies. It's a party with original music. Seating is very limited, so please send me an email, leave a comment here, or accept our facebook invite if you plan to come to the party, and we'll make a reservation for you.

Busy people get the most done, right? Well, we are definitely busy. Wifey is launching a new business, kiddies are work/work/workin' so hard at their new Jr. High School, and Dad is mixing a new record and keeps booking shows! What's up with that?  

Here's what we have on the books so far this spring. Come out and get silly with us. We are going to break out the loop pedal and do the next few shows as an acoustic trio: Me, Ed, and our good friend Kurt on the CELLO. 

April 18 (Saturday), Springfest!, Rhinos, 602 N. Main, Bloomington, IL, 4:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

April 19 (Sunday), 2009 Earth Music Art Festival, Recycled Office Furniture Factory, 407 S. Main (under the bridge!), Bloomington, IL, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

May 23 (Saturday), TheatresCool, 403 N. Main, Bloomington, IL, (sharing the bill with Tommy & Breann Neal), 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

May 30 (Saturday), Mulberry School Event, El Toro3805 Ballybunion Rd, Bloomington, IL, 5:00ish p.m. 

June 23 (Tuesday), Uptown Normal Farmer's Market, Amtrak Parking Lot, Normal, IL, 3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Awesome times will be had by all.

Thanks to everyone who came out to our two sold out shows at TheatresCool. Both audiences were awesome. We had an absolute blast with y'all. I guess we are gonna have to do this again...    

We did get some good video footage, so my son and I are in the process of putting together some video for youtube. Also, our friend Matt Edwards from Redcorn Studios (and The Redboy Podcast) was on hand to capture some amazing photos, including the photo in our new website header. Here are a few more great shots from Matt...

IMG_0057 IMG_0021 2 IMG_0017 IMG_0156 IMG_0318 IMG_9933 IMG_0212 IMG_0073 2 IMG_0202 IMG_9986 IMG_0259

100 Year Picnic, Live at TheatresCool, February 28 & March 7

We are pleased to announce two very special shows coming up on February 28th and March 7 at TheatresCool in downtown Bloomington.  

Update:  We are booked solid with reservations for both shows!  Tickets are at the door though, so we recommend that you arrive early for a seat.  

We are finally going to have the opportunity to put together a full cast of characters to deliver this album to you LIVE, from start to finish.  We have a slew of talented friends, singers, and players that are going to help us out:

  • Alex Chadwick: Guitar, bass, vocals
  • Jennifer Rusk: Vocals
  • Tony San Filippo: Drums, percussion, keys
  • Kurt Hoffman: Cello, vocals, keys (28th only)
  • Brian Choban: Trumpet, fluglehorn, percussion.  

I'm pretty sure Ken Thornton is going to be joining us too for one of the shows.  Ed is playing bass for most of the show, and I'm on acoustic guitar, piano, and vocals.  

See what I mean? We are currently rehearsing for this show, and we are having a blast.   

A couple other things.  TheatresCool is a GREAT listening room with tiered seating, couches, and all around good vibes.  We will have some coolers with beer and soft drinks that come with the price of admission.  You are also welcome to bring your own beer, wine, or beverage of your choice for the show.  

Get this one on your calendar!  If you would like to come out to one or both of these shows, please email me with your reservation.  The seating is very limited.  Can't wait!  

Everybody Dreams Under Big Trees

Come out to see 100 Year Picnic's first show of 2009.  We are the opening act for Chicago songwriter Matt Robinson and his band at NV Lounge in Normal IL on Saturday, January 31. Festivities start around 9.  

Last summer I had the opportunity to sing background vocals and play drums on Matt's vibey LP, Everybody Dreams Under Big Trees. The record features a nice mix of country-tinged, folky, blues rock with big themes, lonely highways, blue skies, and haunted dreams. There's plenty here that rev-up, but the chilled-out ballads are my favorites.  

Matt conveys his unique perspectives in plain yet descriptive language with a sincere vocal delivery.  In the Neil Youngish Sing Me Do, "A young couple's love spills out onto the fire escape." The happiest sad song on the album is Sad Song Honey, where Matt laments, "And in this city, I'm never alone. It crawls through my closed window and I just want to be alone."  

My favorite tune on the record is Time Will Only Tell.  You will believe Matt when he delicately sings, "Yes time will only tell, if I will find you well. The moon lit our path, it turned red, and now it's black. I hope we can be, become friends."  It's an understated and beautifully arranged track, with violin, vibraphone, moog, percussion, and acoustic guitar.  If you're like me, and I know I am, this one will sneak up on you.

My friend Tony SanFilippo produced the album at his Oxide Lounge studio where he recorded and co-produced the last several Backyard Tire Fire albums.  Anyway, it was a blast working with Matt and Tony, plus some other music friends, including my lovely wifey who lent her sweet lullaby voice on Into A Dream.  To check out the music, visit Matt's website and CDBaby page.  And come out to the show!

Edwin and I are doing a 45 minute acoustic set at 7:00 PM, New Year's Eve, at TheatresCool, downtown Bloomington. In fact, we have several shows coming up this winter (more on this later). 

TheatresCool is, in fact, a very cool performance space at 403 North Main Street, Bloomington (2 doors south of Coffee Hound). It has comfy couches, rocking chairs, tiered seating, and popcorn for a dollar! And most importantly, it is a great sounding room, excellent for music, where you'll be able to hear all the words. It is exactly the sort of thing we are looking to do more of, so please come out and join in the fun.

We'll be kicking the evening off at 7:00.  There will also be performances by our friend David Davenport, Mark Kissinger, and even an appearance from magician J.B. Lemage. Admission is $5.

For those of you in the hometown of Bloomington, Illinois, tune into The Susan Saunders Show on WBNQ 101.5 on Thursday morning, March 6. 

Ed and I will be doing a live interview between 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.  This week Susan is doing a salute to independent artists in the area.  I know our friend Tony is going to be on Wednesday morning talking about Backyard Tire Fire and some other groups he's been recording and producing.

So anyway, tune in, it will be great fun.  I'm guessing we'll talk about the new record, independent music, sample a few cuts, and we may even bring in our guitars to do something live in the studio. 

Speaking of the new record, our pre-release promotion ends on March 10, and we'll be releasing Tales Of A Modern Splash to the public on March 11.  Locally, to start out with, you will be able to buy copies at Monster Pawn (of course) and the very cool and independent Waiting Room Records in uptown Normal.