Tortoise and Ryley Walker concerts, in one night

Aug. 25 felt like a quintessential night of live Chicago music: seeing Tortoise at Millennium Park, followed by Ryley Walker’s late concert at the Empty Bottle. Tortoise’s instrumental music resonated beautifully in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, with the band members constantly shifting around the instruments, playing intricate patterns with almost astonishing precision. The show Continue Reading

Joshua Abrams + Natural Information Society in Millennium Park

Millennium Park’s series of free summer concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, always one of the highlights of the year in Chicago, is in full swing now. Monday’s headliner was Omar Souleyman (click here to see my photos of Souleyman), but the show also featured a top-notch opening act, Chicago Continue Reading

Steve Dawson at Simon’s

In addition to his recordings as Dolly Varden’s main singer-songwriter, Steve Dawson has released a couple of solo albums, and now he’s getting ready to record another. He played a free show Sunday night, Feb. 16, at Simon’s Tavern in Andersonville (a cozy drinking establishment that features live music on Continue Reading

Jeff Parker-Nels Cline Quartet

Jeff Parker and Nels Cline, two virtuoso guitarists who are fluent in both jazz and rock, played together Aug. 8 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Backed by drummer Frank Rosaly and bassist Nate McBride, they played their version of the 1964 avant-garde jazz album The Turning Point by pianist Continue Reading