As I’ve aged, my musical obsessions have shifted a bit. I still enjoy noisier, headier sounds—psychedelia, prog, garage trash, punk, experimental music—but I often want a “peaceful easy feeling” instead, which calls for some heartfelt country rock. I’ve always responded to the groups that put down the genre’s roots, especially the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gene […]
If some sort of god or higher power exists, it clearly has a dark sense of humor—otherwise why send us plagues, floods, and fires, till even nonbelievers start to worry about the end times? And only a divine being with a cruel streak would’ve taken the Reverend Marvin Yancy from this earthly plane so young, […]
Since 2004 Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) has used the Secret History of Chicago Music to shine a light on worthy artists with Chicago ties who’ve been forgotten, underrated, or never noticed in the first place. It’s hard to believe that in more than 15 years of the Secret History of Chicago Music—at least 350 […]
People often ask me how I keep finding subjects for the Secret History of Chicago Music after more than 15 years. I don’t have one answer to that question—sometimes I stumble on a record I didn’t know about, sometimes I go down a research wormhole in books or online. But one of my favorite ways […]
Founded by Lorna Donley and David Thomas of DA!, the Veil broke up in 1989 without a formal release—but this month they finally get one.
Irish dream-pop genius Joe Cassidy lived in Chicago for more than a decade and became a beloved part of our music scene.
Ari Brown hasn’t often sought the spotlight, but his blend of bebop rigor and avant-garde daring puts him on par with the likes of Fred Anderson and Von Freeman.
James Holvay is best known for writing the Buckinghams’ “Kind of a Drag” and cofounding the Mob, but he’s still making music more than 50 years later.
Skanking Lizard’s new vinyl retrospective, Original Chicago Reggae: 1978-1996, quadruples the number of formally released tracks in their discography.
In his tragically short life, Ron Haydock careened through rockabilly, monster magazines, pulp novels, and exploitation films.
Jackie Ross had a smash with “Selfish One” in 1964—but that just happens to be the best-selling single from her decades of great songs.
Chicago singer-songwriter RJ Griffith has released a cover of his uncle’s old R&B band the Fabulous Turks.
Gene Barge has done his most influential work as a sideman or producer, but he’s just as important as any of R&B’s marquee stars.
Michael “Fuzzy” deLisle released just one single in his long career, but he’s played a staggering amount of great country rock and folk.
Andrew “Big Voice” Odom toured internationally—and also used to drop by Maxwell Street and overwhelm the makeshift sound systems.