By ERIC SCHELKOPF
Now in its 10th year, the music festival A Day in the Country will feature two-time Grammy Award winner Jim Lauderdale along with an array of other artists, including Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys, Lint Trappers (feat. Tony Magee), The Lawrence Peters Outfit, The Hoyle Brothers and The Family Gold.
The festival will take place at 2 p.m. June 25 at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave., Chicago. Tickets are $12, available at www.ticketfly.com.
A full schedule is below:
2 to 2:30 p.m. - Jess McIntosh
2:40 to 3:10 p.m. - Northside Southpaws
3:20 to 4:05 p.m. - Lint Trappers
4:15 to 4:45 p.m. - The Family Gold
5 to 5:30 p.m. - Becky Levi & Mike Vanier
5:45- 6:15 p.m. - Hoyle Brothers
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. - Jim Lauderdale
7:45 to 8:15 p.m. - Lawrence Peters Outfit
8:30 to 9:30 p.m. - Rex Hobart And The Misery Boys
9:45 to 10:15 p.m. - Dirty Green
10:30 to 11 p.m. - Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders
I had the chance to talk to organizer Lawrence Peters about the festival.
Q - Great talking to you again. Of course, this is the 10th year of A Day in the Country. What does it mean to you that the festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year? Are you surprised the festival has made it to 10 years?
It’s cool, man! I’m excited and honored that this grassroots event has managed to come this far, mostly through word-of-mouth.
Q - What do you think of this year's lineup? How did you go about choosing the bands for this year's festival?
I’ve been proud of every year’s lineup, but I’m extra stoked about this one. Jim Lauderdale is a long-time favorite of mine, and it’s going to be incredible seeing him on the Hideout stage, as part of my festival.
He’s an ace songwriter and singer, and a helluva showman. I’m not always impressed by the Grammys, but that guy has earned both of his.
I usually start the year with some new local favorites in mind, and a headliner wish list. I put the word out from there, and see which headliners are an actual possibility, when the smoke clears.
After I have my star attractions, I balance out the lineup to include what I think is the right mix of honky tonk, bluegrass, string bands, and so on.
Q - What was your idea for creating A Day in the Country in the first place and has it lived up to your expectations?
I started the festival with the intention of giving the Chicago country music scene an event that we could call our own. It seemed that we were being under-represented in the bigger festivals, so starting a country-centric event was my solution to that.
Folks are already asking to be part of next year’s line-up, and that is a good sign that the event is achieving the goal of supporting the local country scene.
Q - Your band is again part of the lineup. What is the band up to these days? Are you working on new songs?
Yes sir, I always include The Lawrence Peters Outfit in the lineup. As much as I enjoy watching my favorite bands playing my favorite kind of music, I like singing and playing, even more. It’s a highlight of my year.
The band has been busy! We recently won our second Chicago Music Award, in the Best Country And Western Entertainer category, and we are nominated for the Reader’s Best Of Chicago Poll, also in the country band division (please vote for us!).
We’ve also been getting some solid shows. We opened for Wanda Jackson (a career highpoint!), and we have a bunch of cool events on the calendar ( Summer Dance on July 9, Navy Pier on Aug. 6, the season's last Picnics On The Porch, on Aug. 25, at the Hideout, and a bunch of other rad stuff).
It’s being a good year for us. We also recently tracked eleven songs, and are in solid shape for a spring 2018 release. We’ll do vinyl, CD, song books… the whole shebang.
All of the songs are originals that I finished since our first record, and I’m very excited about the recording. Gonna be a good one!
Q - Where do you see A Day in the Country going in the future? What are your goals for the festival?
I’m hoping I can keep walking that fine line between a small, friendly event, and a festival that can afford to give the local musicians a great day, and a solid paycheck, while bringing the great touring acts I want. I have an ongoing list of folks who are making the kind of country music I like, and I’ll be contacting many of them for next year’s event.
It feels real good to know that there is excitement and anticipation for this yearly event.