Jerry Lee Lewis, Tony Sarabia, Folk & Roots

This week’s top picks: A killer concert at the Congress … backwoods music from Winter’s Bone … wee-hour cycling … The Post Family throws a party … plus, what the radio host Tony Sarabia is doing this weekend

Jerry Lee Lewis playing the piano
OH, GOODNESS, YES Will Jerry Lee Lewis shake the Congress to its rafters? Fingers
crossed.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 07.06.11 through Tue 07.12.11:

1

rock Jerry Lee Lewis
A few groups on its bill should bring some soul to this weekend’s Dave Matthews Band Caravan (Emmylou Harris, Sharon Jones), but why pay to see a largely limpid lineup (DMB, David Gray) when a rock ’n’ roll legend is playing across town? Lewis has put out a winning pair of duet albums in recent years, and then there’s his 2011 live recording produced by Jack White. Another possible pairing: Lewis alongside his opening act (and little sis), Linda Gail Lewis. Bottom line: This chance to hear the Killer’s lascivious drawl and riotous piano playing in person—his first Chicago concert in more than a decade—leaves us breathless.
GO: 7/9 at 7. $30–$95. Congress Theater, 2135 N Milwaukee. congresschicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: In other Lewis news, Ramsey Lewis, the estimable Chicago jazz legend, debuts a sweeping new commission in a Ravinia double bill with the retro swing group Pink Martini on 7/10.

2

folk Music from Winter’s Bone
The Oscar-nominated film only seemed worlds away: Hear echoes of the Ozarks, whose foothills spill into Southern Illinois, when musicians from the haunting sidetrack—singer Marideth Sisco, fiddler Billy Ward, clawhammer banjo picker Bo Brown, and others—perform live at Lincoln Hall.
GO: 7/6 at 8. $15–$18. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: And also at Lincoln Hall, Jolie Holland draws on old-timey folk, jazz, and country in her spare, lovely songs. Hear her 7/12.

3

sports/rec LATE Ride
See the city in a whole new light—moonlight. This 25-mile cycle takes pedalers through neighborhoods and past iconic monuments under the cloak of night. Bring your bike light—and a sense of adventure. All proceeds raised will benefit Friends of the Parks.
GO: 7/10 from 1 a.m. to dawn. $45. Buckingham Fountain, 500 S Congress. lateride.org

4

folk Chicago Folk & Roots Festival
The Old Town School of Folk Music’s annual alfresco blowout features a noon-to-night smorgasbord of the best in roots music and dance. Saturday features the bluegrass of Mountain Heart, Cajun tunes from the Lost Bayou Ramblers, the alt-country sweetie pie Rosie Flores, and the roots-rocker Delbert McClinton. Sunday brings the Tuareg guitar hero Bombino, classic Rasta reggae from The Itals, jazzy Haitian guitar licks from Bèlo, Cuban salsa from Maraca, and downhome jug-band tunes from The Schticklers, featuring Chicago’s own contributing writer Stuart Rosenberg. See you there.
GO: 7/9–10 from noon to 9:30. $10 per day. Welles Park, Lincoln and Montrose. chicagofolkandroots.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Irish Fest Chicago, 7/8–10, blows just as hard but channels its gusto into Emerald Isle acts and their descendants.

5

rock Local H
A-sides and arena-rock venues are for fair-weather fans. This intimate concert of deep cuts in a pocket-sized room is for those who know the H, those who love the H, and those who’d love to know what the H stands for.
GO: 7/8 at 10. $15. The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western. emptybottle.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Just want the hits, hold the esoteria? Local H plays West Fest the following day.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Radio personality and award-winning journalist Tony Sarabia
Tony Sarabia

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: the radio personality and award-winning journalist Tony Sarabia, host of Radio M on WBEZ.

“We’re actually going out of town to somewhere I haven’t been since the summer of 1981: Door County, Wisconsin. We’re actually going to the door of Door County, a small town called Algomaour friends are renting a house there. It’s about three hours away. My partner Andy and I will leave Friday morning, right after breakfast at Walker Bros. Original Pancake House in Wilmette. I’ve never been to that location. I’m like a pancake snob. I lived in Oak Park for 13 years before moving to Roger’s Park last October, so for me, Lou Mitchell’s is the hands-down best.

“We’ll definitely go to Al Johnson’s. They are famous for having a sodded roof with grazing goats on it. There’s even a goat cam. It’s just a cool little rustic Swedish restauranteven more so than Ann Sather. The waitresses all dress up.

“On the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula, Cave Point County Park is just this gorgeous park that has these cliffs and underwater caves. When you take the road that leads there, you can hear the whistling of the caves before you see the park. Maybe we’ll take a ferry to Washington Island and do some fishing. Right after I graduated from high school, I went salmon fishing there with my friend and his dad. I caught two 35-pound coho salmon. They took about 45 minutes each to reel in. We rented mopeds, which was a big thing back in ‘81. It’s kind of hilly and there’s not a lot of car traffic. I’m hoping they have scooters or mopeds so we can tool around the island.”

—As told to Jenna Marotta

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

folk Rupa and The April Fishes, Baloji
Rupa Marya leads her Bay Area group through songs that are part Indian raga, part American folk, and part Argentine tango, while Baloji pairs Congolese soukous with hip-hop beats and echoes of 1960s soul. Hear them both in one bumping double bill as part of the world-music series Music Without Borders.
GO: 7/7 at 6:30. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington. millenniumpark.org

dance Chicago Summerdance
Happy hour makes us feel like dancing year-round, but summer brings out our best moves—and means the return of a convenient Loop dance floor. This annual favorite offers one hour of dance lessons followed by two hours of shimmying under the stars four days a week. Dance styles vary nightly; see website for details and a live-music schedule. First up: Bollywood!
GO: 7/7–9/18. Thu–Sat 6–9:30, Sun 4–7. Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park, 601 S Michigan. chicagosummerdance.org

galleries The Post Family
This local design collective does a lot of things—all of them well: They run a popular website, as well as a letterpress and screen-printing studio, and they regularly curate shows that double as lively community gatherings. In other words, prepare for a party when the group takes over Chicago Urban Art Society.
GO: Opening reception 7/8 at 6. Exhibition continues through 8/27. Chicago Urban Art Society, 2229 S Halsted. chicagourbanartsociety.org

 

Photography: (LEWIS) Courtesy of Jerry Lee Lewis; (Sarabia) Courtesy of WBEZ

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