By: Ricky Carden
DUNN DUNN FEST PREVIEW FEBRUARY 16 – 18th, 2017
Donnie Biggins has done a great job with Chicago's music scene. We have grown to love him through our relationships with both Harmonica Dunn and Tonic Room. He is a big reason why rock music is able to keep it's luster amongst the vast electronic music scene that has slowly crept into our city's nightlife culture. Little did he know that starting this thing called Dunn Dunn Fest would make an impact on so many people.
Dunn Dunn Fest started in February of 2013. Biggins started this music fest to give local artists (like himself) an opportunity to showcase their talents. With just three venues – Tonic Room, Schubas, and Lincoln Hall - the vision was to bring bands from American-based genres ranging from Rock to Folk. The results were fantastic. This festival has grown each year by bringing in bigger talent and adding more venues.
I had to ask him, "Why was this year going to be different from any other?" He replied:
"This year I concentrated on making a more diverse lineup of artists, aimed to showcase more genres of music. Every night will offer different musical styles; that's the goal: for the Dunn Dunn Fest to reach new fans each year. Our city is diverse, so why not throw a music festival that can bring us all together?"
I couldn't agree more.
Dunn Dunn Fest 2017 features three nights of music; held at six venues (Beat Kitchen, Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Subterranean, The Hideout, and Tonic Room); hosting seventeen concerts. There will be over fifty bands performing this weekend!
Why you should come to Dunn Dunn Fest?!
Talking with Donnie gave us a good idea on how you music lovers can maximize your experience at this year's Dunn Dunn Fest. We look at this music festival similar to SXSW but on a smaller scale. You are going to want to hop around to the different venues each night!
Shows you need to check out:
See Full Line-up & Ticket Information at www.dunndunnfest.com
Follow along on Instagram and Twitter @dunndunnfest
Local artist Xoe Wise headlines our first highlighted show; with supporting sets by Tara Terra, and V.V. Lightbody. You can catch these bands tonight at Subterranean. Doors open at 8:30 PM.
Donnie Biggins had told me that Wise has always been one of his favorite songwriters in Chicago. She has found much success with her original folk pop sound, but has since fulfilled her electro rock fantasies with the release of her newest EP called Racecar Orgasm: Foreplay. It is a fast, loud and out of control new piece of work for her fans. The road is where this artist really thrives, logging considerable hours playing gigs from Hotel Café in Los Angeles to the House of Blues in Chicago. Its for her fans. See what she is all about in this music video for her song called 'Cigarette Break.'
Wise is a professional. She has even previously toured with Lisa Loeb, Greg Laswell, Tyrone Wells, Daley, and Tim Fite. Her business means a lot to her. Visit her booth tonight-- her band will have a donation table set up to help raise funds for Planned Parenthood & ACLU (given the recent changes in our governmental policies).
Find out more at www.xoewise.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @xoewise
Make sure you also check out the band Tara Terra at this show. They are an indie rock group that also now resides in Chicago. Since their debut album “Daughter” in 2014, they’ve toured the country twice; leading to a feature on Audiotree Live. Their unique mix of dynamic guitar textures and eclectic pop vocals is just the beginning. They are looking outward and upward with their upcoming album, which is expected out this year.
It is clear that Tara Terra, at heart, are friends from college who share the joy of making music together. It is their collective creative fervor that fuels them as they maneuver through the grind that is the music industry. The band holds firmly to a solid work ethic and motto: it being work hard, play hard. Holding on to these things has paid off for them.
Find out more at www.taraterra.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @taraterra_
If you’re smart, you’ll seize the opportunity to catch this show tonight at Lincoln Hall. It is our Groundscore Featured Show of the Week. Headlining the night is the music project of all music projects known as Golden Boys. They will be accompanied by opening performances from Funk Vendetta, OBY, and Expansion Pack. Doors open at 8 PM!
You will not be able to find much information about the headliner on the internet. Golden Boys is a project lead by Luc Parcell. This man is known as the "Bassman" in Chicago, which means he is obviously regarded as one of the best bass players in our city. He recruited the best local artists for this specific project. It is made up of 26 musicians! You have artists like Catherine Poulos (Nasty Snacks), Emily Nichols (Carlile), Christian Zwit (Woo Park), Kylie Moore (Wild Earp), Charlie Otto (Grood), Ashley Otis (Rhea The Second), Parker Grogan (Byzmuti), Mike Cantella (Indigo Sun), Xavier Galdon (Genome), and many other great musicians.
Donnie Biggins said this is the show to be at. It has a mixture of everything Chicago has to offer-- rock, funk, hip hop, jazz and soul. There will be 50+ musicians that will be getting up on stage tonight at this venue. It is going to be a spectacle!
The late night show is happening at The Hideout. This will be Tom Hamilton's American Babies and Melk performing together again at back-to-back Dunn Dunn Fests. Doors open at 9 PM.
Tom Hamilton's American Babies is a Philadelphia-based band that shape-shifts between Americana, psych-tinged indie rock and classic rock—which lead them to spots opening for Bruce Hornsby, Greensky Bluegrass, the New Mastersounds and the Felice Brothers, as well as appearances at Gathering Of The Vibes, Electric Forest, Bonnaroo and the Allman Brothers-founded Peach Festival where Tom Hamilton was once awarded Best Peach (MVP).
At IEG, we are strong supporters and fans of the music Tom Hamilton writes. Hamilton’s courage to recount his experience of mental illness hope to inspire others in the same boat to speak up about this social reality and de-stigmatize those affected by these illnesses and the illnesses themselves—in other words, bring awareness and compassion to a deserving population (as you will see in this music video for the song called 'Goddamn.'
Find out more at www.americanbabies.net
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @ambabies
MELK is not a band to sleep on either. They are known for their instrumental melodic dance rock music. These guys are a fan favorite here in Chicago because they are committed to throwing the best musical parties around. This band was founded in 2014 by two great musicians: Brad Miller and Dave Brandwein. Through the seamless integration of musical technology, the band incorporates live-looping, triggered drum samples, and MIDI guitar textures into their on-stage arsenal. These methods allow them to perform as a duo as well as with any number of additional musicians.
Find out more at www.dancetomelk.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @dancetomelk
BoneLang is headlining over at Schubas tonight. This is a good show to be at. This venue will be hosting two other great opening performances by Deep Fayed and iLLphonics. Doors open at 9 PM.
The pairing of Matt Bones and Samy Language is one that works well throughout as the former offers well-paced singing verses that interplay well with Samy’s fervent flow that tends to dip off into unexpected asides and diagonal wordplay. From what we have seen with this group, the best is yet to come. And, come it shall. This show is serving as a release party for their latest album called Venn Diary Pt.1. See a little preview of it below with this interlude called 'Mushroom.'
Bonelang aims to celebrate and nurture self-awareness as a means for strengthening communal, familial, and romantic relationships. Their work forces people to look within, digest one's own flaws, then redefine one's outlook with a more full-bodied disposition of compassion, empathy, and love; ourselves included. The idea is to focus more on what we have in common rather than what we do not. See that here in the music video for their song called 'Pigeon Wing' Ft. Dan Kanvis.
Find out more at www.bonelang.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @_bonelang
Get there early to see Deep Fayed. They are a hot blender of musical influences. They stray from the expected. Their high energy grooves gives them the ability to seamlessly combine genres with a strong dose of hip-hop beats. Chicago rapper D2G takes the mic as the band’s MC. Chicago songwriter Catherine Poulos compliments on lead vocals. The rhythm section is George Wundsam (guitar), Matt Wilson (bass), Chresten Hyde (drums), Cole DeGenova (keys)
Deep Fayed released their debut, six-song EP, Deep Fayed, in 2013. The album features rapper and poet, Lawrence “Binkey” Tolefree, acclaimed jazz drummer, Makaya McCraven, as well as other well known musicians ann the scene. In their debut release the groove based group brings to the listener gritty, “urban-anthemic” songs that hit deep into the soul with a fearless, vastly layered soundscape of delicious ear candy.
Find out more at www.deepfayed.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @deepfayed
This is another really great show for you to catch. The headliner performing at The Hideout tomorrow is Alanna Royale. She is one of the few artist who was invited back-to-back years because she is just that good! The opener is Swamp Heat. Doors open at 9 PM.
Alanna Royale combines the best elements of rock, pop, funk and soul. Without a single recorded song, Alanna Royale was able to obtain an impressive fan base and a reputation solely because of their unforgettable live performances. In January of 2013, the band released its debut EP, Bless Her Heart, which led to sold-out shows across Nashville and prompted Mike Grimes, owner of the world famous Grimey’s to declare them, “the next big thing.”
This band shines bright by marrying smooth, retro roots with dirty Rock n’ Roll attitude. Since the release of Bless Her Heart, the band has shared the stage with some of Nashville’s finest, and made appearances at Bonaroo, Austin City Limits, East Nashville Underground and Music City Roots. See for yourself in this live performance of her song called 'I Know.'
Find out more at www.alannaroyale.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @alannaroyale
Another group that has been invited back for a second straight year is Low Cut Connie. They will be perfoming at Lincoln Hall tomorrow night. Its expected to be a big event. Supporting performances will be by The Shams Band and Sleepy Kitty. Doors open at 8 PM.
Recently the New York Times called Low Cut Connie's live show a "phenomenon" and "pathologically fun." The LA Weekly says, "their live show is unmatched in all of rock right now."
In 2015, Low Cut Connie released their third album 'Hi Honey.' It was produced by renowned Daptone Records guitarist Thomas Brenneck, which has worked with artists such as Amy Winehouse, Charles Bradley, and Alabama Shakes. And, also featuring guest stars Merrill Garbus (Tune-Yards), Dean Wean, Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound), members of the Dap Kings, and a cameo from the Sopranos cast-member Vinne Pastore (Big Pussy). The album was immediately lauded by the likes of Rolling Stone, MOJO, Maxim, Magnet, and NPR/Sound Opinions. Jamie Foxx was even featured in the music video for their hit single called 'Shake It Little Tina.' Check it out!
Find out more at www.lowcutconnie.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @lowcutconnie
This show also features an appearance by the owner of the festival, himself-- Donnie Biggins. He is one of the founding members of The Shams Band. They drawing influence heavily from the legendary bands like The Kinks, Rolling Stones, and Wilco. Both Biggins and Paul Gulyas are the songwriters that create whiskey-driven blues songs; always complete with four-part harmonies. It is whiskey-driven storytelling. What more can you ask for?
These guys have opened for Drive-By Truckers, Dawes, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. You can always expect it to be a SOLD OUT show when they are in Chicago.
Find out more at www.theshamsband.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @theshamsband
Saturday night is going to be a good one! You have to be at Schubas on this night. Naughty Professor will be headlining the night with opening performances by Nasty Snacks, and Funk Trek. Doors open at 9 PM.
Naughty Professor is a forward thinking music endeavor pioneered by six young musicians from around the country, now anchored in New Orleans. Formed in 2011, the band's mission was to embody the jazz-influenced party culture of the Big Easy in a constantly evolving, This band's live performances weave together complex compositions and loose individual improvisation. They have some fresh recorded material in the works and a rigorous tour schedule planned for 2016 and beyond, Naughty Professor is poised to soon become the next household name associated with the echelon of New Orleans music. I mean they already have shared the stage with artists such as Galactic, Snarky Puppy, Victor Wooten, Rebirth Brass Band, Fitz and the Tantrums, The Revivalists, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Papadosio, George Porter Jr., The Soul Rebels, and many more.
Find out more at www.naughtyprofessormusic.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @naughty_professor
One of our favorite local groups is Nasty Snacks. See them before the headliner! They are a 9-piece funk band with some elements of soul and R&B mixed in. Most of them are from Chicago and the sound is unique to the region. They strive for POCKET rhythm and SLAMMING melodic horn lines - similar to what you would hear from Lettuce, Earth Wind and Fire, and the likes of Tower of Power. Their ultimate goal is to get people moving.
It is key to get people thinking about the music they create. Lately, they have been writing a ton of new stuff and really trying to make every band member's ideas come to fruition. It is not quite time to tour yet, but soon you will see this band branch out of Chicago. They are currently lining up summer dates; some possible outdoor music festival in the near future.
Find out more at www.nastysnacks.com
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @nastysnacks
G-nome Project will be closing out the Dunn Dunn Fest at Tonic Room. Its the late show. Its bound to be a good time. Buy your tickets before its too late! Doors open at 11 PM.
G-Nome Project has been regarded as "Israel’s premier Livetronica band" by the likes of Relix Magazine, performing what Live For Live Music deems "impressive and surprising shows."
They formed in September 2012 and have rapidly been building one of the most loyal fan bases in the country, packing venues to capacity in their home city of Jerusalem. The band is comprised from a super group of four nationally renowned musicians – Eyal Salomon, Zechariah Reich, Chemy Soibelman, and Shlomo Langer – who each bring a distinctive flavor to the dynamic electro-funk palate of this Jerusalem-based quartet.
It is very great to see how fans of many backgrounds flocked to this band. Their shows are for the music-- there are good vibes and hardcore dancing. This exemplifies the character of the band's community around them. Building on their success in the Middle East, the band has embarked on five international tours in the USA and will be returning to America for the Winter 2017 Groove Tour.
Find out more at www.g-nomeproject.net
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter @g_nomeproject