Sunday, January 01, 2006

January: A Month of Great Music for a Great Cause

If you like alt-country, no depression, insurgent country or whatever the cool kids are calling The People's Music these days, you should read this message from our dear friends at Bloodshot Records:
Tweedy, Farrar, Fulks, Devil in a Woodpile, Califone, Bottle Rockets and more to play Chicago shows to benefit Gary Schepers

Behind the public and well-known faces of musicians and bands of Chicago's vibrant and wildly diverse music scene there is a community of creative and dedicated people who make it all possible. Theirs are names you will likely never know and whose faces don't make the glossy magazines, but whose contributions to the music we all love are irreplaceable.

If you have been a regular concert-goer in Chicago during the past twenty plus years, odds are strong that you have benefited from the ubiquitous and experienced ears of Gary Schepers behind the soundboard. He has been the big man with the big voice and the good heart working the sound at Lounge Ax, the Abbey Pub, Empty Bottle, Martyr's, Fitzgerald's, Schuba's and every other venue you can think of. He's been the sound man for Eleventh Dream Day, Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, Material Issue, and John Parish. In short, Gary is one of THE unsung people that help keep our city the vital and accessible music scene that it is.

Recently, Gary was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and is spending the holiday season in a hospital room recovering and getting treatments. Like many people in the music industry, Gary is without health insurance. To help defray his mounting medical bills, there will be a series of benefit concerts featuring just a tiny percentage of the artists he has worked with over the years. The speed and ease with which these fundraisers have come together, and the breadth of talent participating in them, is testimony to the appreciation and high regard held for him within the community of musicians that have performed in this city.

From the Bloodshot perspective, Gary was responsible for the sound at our first showcases at Lounge Ax and Empty Bottle. He handled our neophyte, multi-band nights of chaos with a serene, unflappable manner. He never let on if he was bothered by a bunch of screwballs learning how to put on a show on the fly and on his watch. Over the years he's taught us when to worry, when to yell and when to just enjoy the moment. He has produced and engineered several records for us, both live and in the studio, and has been holding down the bottom end on the tuba with Devil in a Woodpile at the Hideout.

Gary's steady and quiet contribution to the Chicago music community is one of building, in quotidian fashion, a body of work and experience that has shaped the concert going experience for all of us.

Benefit Shows for Gary Schepers:

Fitzgerald's, Friday, January 20:
In the main room:
Robbie Fulks, Jay Farrar, Corky Siegel

In the side bar:
Devil in a Woodpile (all night)

Side building, front room:
Dolly Varden, Bunker Town, Prohibition Orchestra
Show times and ticket price to be announced.

The Hideout, Sunday, January 22:
An afternoon kids show from noon to 4:00pm with:
The Blisters, Wee Hairy Beasties (featuring Jon Langford, Sally Timms, Kelly Hogan, & Devil In A Woodpile), Nora O'Connor

In the evening:
Califone, Edith Frost, Chris Mills (solo)
Show times and ticket price to be announced.

The Abbey Pub, Wednesday, January 25:
Jeff Tweedy, Devil in a Woodpile
Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm $30.00 advance, $30.00 day of show, on-sale date to be announced.

Schubas, Friday, January 27:
Bottle Rockets, Tijuana Hercules, Great Crusades
Doors at 9:00pm, show at 9:30pm. $12.00 advance, $12.00 day of show.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here:

Plus many more bands: Jim Bohquist, Kelly Hogan & The Wooden Leg, Yellowhammers, Bakelite 78, New Duncan Imperials, Mr. Rudy Day, Jane Baxter-Miller, Hoyle Brothers, James Conway, Eric Nodon, Diamond Jim Greene.

Look for even more benefit shows at: Martyr's, The Empty Bottle, The Abbey, and The Hideout. 100% of all proceeds will go directly to Gary Schepers.
I can think of at least two shows where a band's on-stage technical difficulties, e.g. a blown amp, were taking 'em down in flames and Gary stepped up and single-handedly saved the day.

All you gotta do to step up for Gary is to see some damn fine live music.

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