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33rd annual American Music Festival features tribute to Chicago’s Bloodshot Records
BY MARK GUARINO | FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA
Chicago’s Bloodshot Records label will be celebrated in July at the American Music Festival, the annual feast of roots music at FitzGerald’s.
The four-day festival, running July 2-5, remains the best value in the Chicago summer, featuring three stages of music stretching from the early afternoon to after hours. Announced Tuesday, the line-up for its 33rd year promises a musically opulent way to spend the July Fourth weekend.
On July Fourth, the club will toast Bloodshot’s 20th anniversary, featuring a full slate of bands from its roster spanning the years, including Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys, The Bottle Rockets, and Robbie Fulks and Corey Branan. Also performing that day: powerhouse blues vocalist Shemekia Copeland, Texas singer-songwriters Billy Joe Shaver and Jon D. Graham, up-and-coming Mississippi blues guitarist (and newly signed to Chicago’s Alligator label) Jarekus Singleton, as well as Shineyribs, the Kevin Gordon Band, the Lost and Nameless Orchestra, and Switchback Quartet.
Opening the festival on July 2 is Texas pianist and vocalist Marcia Ball and her band, Texas guitar-slinger Junior Brown, gospel soul group The Holmes Brothers, Chicago folk singer-songwriter Joe Pug, Austin’s Colin Gilmore, and The Black Lillies and the Warren Hood Band.
Slated for July 3 are Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett from Little Feat, Eric Lindell and the Sunliners, from New Orleans, Pokey LaFarge, Chuck Mead, a Tributosaurus set dedicated to The Band, and the New Orleans Suspects, a supergroup featuring some of the city’s finest side players who played key positions in the Neville Brothers, the Radiators, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, among others.
The festival ends July 5 with Texas music luminary Joe Ely with Reckless Kelly, and features a full slate of New Orleans music: Zydeco legends C.J. Chenier and His Red Hot Louisiana Band and Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, The Iguanas, trumpeter Glen David Andrews, up-and-coming folk-rock band Hurray for the Riff Raff, among many others.
Tickets are on sale at 11 a.m. Friday via ticketweb.com or at the club. Advance tickets are $30 per day. A $100 four-day pass is available online only. For children aged 12 and under, tickets are $5; they must be accompanied by parents and are allowed until 10 p.m.
More artists will be announced in coming weeks. For more information, visit fitzgeraldsnightclub.com. FitzGerald’s is located at 6615 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Berwyn.
Here’s a full set of Alejandro Escovedo from last month at a taping of World Cafe in Philadelphia: