The Brick


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Venue photographs from the exterior. I took these shots of The Brick Coffeehouse today (Thursday August 5, 2010) as I was up in Waukegan, IL.

Mason Reed played the last music performance inside The Brick under Jim's management.

The Brick
30 North Genesee Street
Waukegan, IL ShareThis

Last Minute Concert Announcement - Jaik Willis, Rob Reid, Mason Reed - DeKalb Illinois Wed Aug 3 2010


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DeKalb has a population of 45,734 (taken Summer 2009).

Tonight there is a concert that is a show to definitely catch now that the storms are gone.

Where?: The House Cafe
Address?: 263 E Lincoln HWY
DeKalb, IL 60115

Who's Playing?: Jaik Willis, Rob Reid, and Mason Reed

Time?: 7PM


Here are a couple videos from a recent Mason Reed performance in Waukegan, IL.

A photo of Jaik Willis from a show at The Cubby Bear on Aug 28, 2009 in Chicago, IL. (Photo taken by Chad Smith)

Rob Reid playing a song earlier this year at Phyllis' Musical Inn (Chicago, IL)

Interstate 88 westbound gets your right to the gig!

The brilliant manager and booking agent for The House Cafe, ......Matthew!!!!! Good people all around at this venue. Get out of Danville, Illinois for the night and go see this show. ShareThis

Mason Reed live at The Brick Sat July 31 2010 Waukegan IL


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Been a while for me to contribute, but I am back.

To begin again, here are some snaps from a show I had the pleasure to attend today in Waukegan, Illinois at a venue called The Brick. Today was the last day that The Brick was to be open. The doors done gone ahead and shuttered shut at the hour of 3 in the afternoon.

The reason I went to The Brick was not to say goodbye to the venue, but to catch as many songs as I could from Mason Reed as he performed an afternoon of music for the locals by the lakefront.

I had heard of Mason nearly 4 years ago from a co-worker of mine. It had taken me a few years to finally hear his music, which I did get my dirty hands on earlier this year. The album that Mason is currently touring in support of, entitled 'You Can't Come Back From Heaven' is quite a nice set of songs. When I sat down and heard him sing his first stanza today I just couldn't believe I was hearing the voice that I was actually hearing. Very cool. Gotta admit, the travelers of this world deserve much credit for doing what they do. My bandmate from the past 9 years, Chris Darby, is currently touring quite like Mason is, sleeping in the car if that is all that comes up after the show, just goin' for it. Mason tells me that he is nearing the tail-end of an 8-week stretch on the highways, byways, and sideways of the country. From what I gather, of the 7 months that have taken place this year, Mason seems to have been touring for the better part of it. He is a very nice fella to chat with, and surely he has stories to tell. Go ahead and see if he is making it into your town soon, if not, invite him to play a house show in your apartment, basement, garage, kitchen, dining room, or your favorite pub in town.

He played many a song today that I wished I had personally written. I do hope you can catch him soon before he goes on and runs back to Los Angeles, California, the place that is currently his hometown.

Catch Mason Reed at any or all of the following tour dates:

Upcoming Shows
Aug 1 2010 (10pm) Bremen Cafe Milwaukee, WI
Aug 4 2010 (6pm) The House Cafe (Mason Reed, Jaik Willis, Rob Reid) DeKalb,IL
Aug 6 2010 (9pm) Miss Kitty's Grape Escape Galena, IL
Aug 7 2010 (8pm) The Blue Room Cafe Hammond, IN
Aug 8 2010 (8pm) Elbo Room Chicago, IL
Aug 10 2010 (8pm) Rachel's Cafe Bloomington, IN
Aug 12 2010 (11pm) Lynagh's Irish Pub Lexington, KY
Aug 18 2010 (10pm) The Nick Birmingham, AL

.Mp3 file for Listening:

Singer-songwriter Mason Reed is currently touring to promote his new release
'You Can't Come Back From Heaven' - Not Perfect (track #3)

Chicago Happenings 6/27 to 7/3


Sunday, June 27th

Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray
Double Dour Dirt Room

8 PM

Tuesday, June 29nd

Honest Engines

Abbey Pub
9 PM

Wednesday, June 30nd

Ami Saraiya
Double Door
8 PM

Saturday, July 3

Sometimes Family Band
9 PM

Chicago Happenings 6/20-6/26


Sunday, June 20th

Ty Maxon
Uncommon Ground on Clark

7 PM

Tuesday, June 22nd

In Tall Buildings
8 PM

Wednesday, June 22nd

Mingus Awareness Project
(Dan Godston)
benefit for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Jazz Showcase
8 PM

Songwriter Night #10


This was the 10th installment of the Chris Darby Songwriter Nights at Phyllis' Musical Inn, in Chicago. It took place on June 9th, 2010.
This happened to fall on the same night that the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team won the Stanley Cup. The start time was pushed way back to accommodate that, and so the first 3 or sets were much noisier than these nights usually are. Things got quieter towards the end.
The lights were much lower than usual, and hence the videos are all pretty dark.
There is an audio recording of the show here


Chicago Happenings 6/13-6/19


Sunday, June 13th

Go Long Mule
Old Town Art Festival

12:30 PM

Monday, June 14th

Rob Reid, Willa Moore, and Tom Recht
songwriter circle
8 PM

Friday, June 18th

Heather Styka
Loose Leaf Lounge
7 PM

Saturday, June 19th

Shelley Miller
Old Town School of Folk Music
7 PM

Gia Margaret
The Double Door
9 PM


Chicago Happenings 6/6-6/12


Sunday, June 6th

Rob Reid
Logan Square Farmers Market

11 AM

Wednesday, June 9th

Songwriter Night!
Ty Maxon, Andru Bemis, Ben Summers, Mckenzie Toma, Heather Styka, and Banjo Pat
Phyllis' Musical Inn
9 PM

Thursday, June 10th

The Chopin Theatre
4 PM

The Sometimes Family
The Abbey Pub
10 PM

Friday, June 11th

Matt Crews
The Elbo Room
8 PM

Jessica Robbins
The Abbey Pub
9 PM


Chicago Happenings 5/30-6/5


Tuesday, June 1st

A Wu Li Conspiracy

9 PM

Wednesday, June 2nd
Matt Crews and Raul Cotaquispe
Uncommon Ground on Clark
7:30 PM

Thursday, June 3rd

Honest Engines

9 PM

Saturday, June 5th

Ty Maxon
Tonic Room
7:30 PM

Stealth Like A Canoe
Town Hall Pub
9 PM

Singing In The Abbey
Happy Dog Art Gallery
9 PM

Them Damn Kids and Facing Winter
The Birds Nest
10 PM ShareThis

EP Hall Mommy Crow


(photo credit: Ryan Monroe)

EP Hall was kind enough to send me a copy of her first full length album, entitled 'Mommy Crow'. I knew I would love it, because I was already a fan, after being introduced to her music sometime in 2006, and seeing her play at a very small house show in Bloomington, IN in early 2009. There is something really special in this music. Something which I have trouble describing in words, but nonetheless hits me right in the place it matters. There are things in her songs that leave me breathless and feeling that I've somehow stumbled into a place where time is forgotten, and the only thing that matters is the power of a whisper and the punch of a well delivered lyric line.
The album starts with the driving 'Emperors Note', which is the standout track of this recording. While the remainder of the album never quite reaches the emotional height delivered in that song, it nonetheless leads the listener through many twisting alleyways, through joy and pain and suffering, and all things in between. This is best listened to in it's entirety, as a complete piece.
'Would you rather carve your name in pavement or be the lonely ampersand curled up into a ball and reaching out before you fall out of the sentence.' This is a good example of the interesting nature of language used here. It seems familiar, but altogether new at the same time. That line is from the song 'Churchyard', which is my personal favorite track. EP is one of the strongest lyricists I have ever heard, and that just becomes more and more apparent with time.
This album is a gem, and should be heard by all. The copy I recieved was hand silk screened, and beautiful. If all albums were this well done, with as much thought put into the music, lyrics, and overall presentation, I believe that the album as a form of music would not be dying at such a rapid pace. But at the same time, it's albums like that this that give people the faith to keep listening.

One could find a copy of 'Mommy Crow' here
Find out more at and

1. The Emperor's Note

2. Mommy Crow

3. Gone are the Thoughts of Sparrows

4. The Shade

5. Churchyard

6. (Go the Sun Down)

7. Water Tower

8. The White Bird, In Springtime, Will Find You

9. The Secrets Change, They Melt and Freeze

10. (Chase Scene Through the Silent Forest)

11. Ladders and Mirrors

12. Analysis of Variance

EP Hall is currently on tour, supporting the album. Listed below are the remainder of her US dates:

May 26 2010 8:30P
Historical Monument 157 Los Angeles, CA
May 27 2010 7:30P
Mike Barn
Isla Vista, CA
May 27 2010 10:00P
Live Radio Set on Santa Barbara’s infamous Santa Barbara, CA

May 28 2010 8:00P

May 29 2010 9:00P
San Francisco, CA

Jun 2 2010 8:00P
Portland, OR
Jun 4 2010 8:00P
Olympia, WA
Jun 5 2010 8:00P
Seattle, WA

Jun 6 2010 8:30P
Jun 7 2010 8:00P
Provo, Utah

Jun 8 2010 8:00P
Panthernaut Productions Grand Junction,CO

Jun 9 2010 8:00P

Songwriter Night #9



Chicago Happenings 5/23-5/29


Sunday, May 23rd
John Bellows
Empty Bottle

Wednesday, May 26th
Them Damn Kids and Vaudeville Bandits (Matt Crews)
Silvies Lounge
9 PM

Thursday, May 27th
Singing In The Abbey
The Hideout
9 PM

Saturday, May 29th
Elusive Parallelograms
Beat Kitchen
10 PM ShareThis

In Miniature, Clip Art, Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray, Miss Autopsy, and Them Damn Kids at Ronny's May 16 2010 Sunday


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A few photos here from a show at Ronny's Center for the Performing Arts this Sunday May 16, 2010. I wish I had some better photos of Miss Autopsy, ran out of space on the memory disk. Miss Autopsy closed his show with an excellent song called 'Catepillar', it is a masterpiece of a song. Apologies to Them Damn Kids as none of their set was photographed due to memory disk issues. They seemed to really enjoy themselves onstage.

Miss Autopsy

Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray

Clip Art

In Miniature

All bands that played have music listed at the following sites: ShareThis

Chicago Happenings 5/16-5/22


Sunday, May 16th

Rob Reid and Carmel Mikol
Uncommon Ground on Clark

7 PM

Them Damn Kids, In Miniature, and Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray
8 PM

Matt Crews
Empty Bottle
9 PM

Wednesday, May 19th
Songwriter Night
with Stefanie Kohn, Tom Recht, Steve Mulcahy, Jesse Chapman, and Jessica Robbins
Phyllis' Musical Inn
9 PM

Saturday, May 22nd
Erick Rudiak
Rockwell Crossing House of Folk

(write Derelict Songs for more info)
8 PM

Eric Nassau, Ladies and Gentlemen, Eric Nassau


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Photos from one of the recent Eric Nassau shows in Chicago, Illinois, when he wasn't on a tour, at least that is what the poster said. (This particular show took place on Friday April 30, 2010)

It was great to hear Eric's voice again. I hadn't seen him in nearly a year and a half. Fun show, great entertainer and he is a fine guitar player, as well. Go to the website listed below and some of his music will be listed for listening. Here's a photo of Eric Nassau with 3/5ths of The Sometimes Family.

Eric played one new song about enjoying a pleasant afternoon in Texas hill country underneath a shade tree, letting it all happen. I don't recall the name of the song, but it was amazing, for sure. Eric has been in the habit of going to the Kerrville Folk Fest in recent years. The song is a product of spending time down with the friends that all attend the Fest and partaking in the experience.

Eric reports that his beard is older than dirt.

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