By ERIC SCHELKOPF
Now in its ninth year, the music festival A Day in the Country once again holds much promise for fans of bluegrass, folk and traditional country music.
Lady Parts - comprised of acclaimed singer-songwriters Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Connor, Kent Rose and The Lawrence Peters Outfit are among the acts that will perform at the festival on June 12 at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., Chicago. A full schedule is listed below:
Front porch stage: 2 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.
2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. - The Mountainaires
2:40 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. - Big Sadie
Backroom stage: 3:15pm
3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. - Girls Of The Golden West
4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Kent Rose (CD release!)
4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. - Glass Mountain
5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. - Tim Menard
6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. - Gin Palace Jesters
7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Oak Street Ramblers (from Madison, WI.)
7:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. - The Lawrence Peters Outfit
8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. - Lady Parts - Kelly Hogan & Nora O’Connor
9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Coyote Riot
10:15 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. - Cochino Y Los Pistoleros
Tickets are $10, available at www.ticketfly.com.
I had the chance to talk to organizer Lawrence Peters about the festival.
Q - Great talking to you again. How did you go about choosing the lineup for this year's A Day in the Country and how do you think it compares to previous lineups?
Likewise! My approach is always basically the same - I look for music that I like, with an ear for what is happening in the Chicago and national country scenes, and I aim to have at least half of the bands new to the event. I’m very happy with this year’s lineup.
It’s a solid mix of styles, and runs the gamut from youngsters to established players. I like to think that there is something for everyone.
Q - Are there any acts that you were especially happy to book as part of this year's festival?
This year’s highlight is Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Connor’s group, Lady Parts. I’ve been asking Hogan to put together a country band for the festival, since the first year, and the timing finally worked out. Bonus that she and Nora have teamed up for it. It’s gonna be rad!
Q - Have you met all your goals for the festival? Has it lived up to your expectations?
I definitely met my goals for this year. As for expectations, I never know how the event will turn out.
I start with a bunch of ideas, and by the end it’s like that quote about sculpture, where you chip away everything that isn’t the piece. The event always ends up being exactly what it should be, and I couldn’t imagine being any happier with it.
Q - Of course, your band will be performing at the festival. Are your honored by the fact that your band has been nominated for “Best Country And Western Performer" in the Chicago Music Awards?
It was a very nice surprise to learn that The Lawrence Peters Outfit was nominated, and it is an honor, for sure. Chicago has a huge and legit music scene, and getting to stand in the same category as Robbie Fulks, Al Scorch, and the Henhouse Prowlers is primo.
I’m extra excited that we’ll be representing the country and western category with a performance of one of my songs at the awards event.
Q - What do you think of today's country music scene? Are there any other country musicians on the scene today that you especially admire what they are doing?
I like everything that Caleb Klauder does, and Sturgill Simpson’s first album is a favorite. Robbie Fulks, Freakwater, and Al Scorch's new albums have some great songs. Red Meat and Dale Watson are favorite stalwarts of the semi-underground country scene, in the US.
I’ll go ahead and state the obvious, and say that it’s still hard to find much on top 40 country radio that has any recognizable connection to what I think of as country music.
Q - How would you like to see A Day in the Country continue to grow?
I have a list of national acts, and some other projects, that I would like to have play the festival. I’d like to have a couple of headliners for each of the upcoming years.
Dale Watson is on the list, and so are Robbie Fulks, Caleb Klauder, Foghorn String Band… Otherwise, I’d like to keep the intimate feel that it has always had, but keep attracting larger crowds.