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Special Performances

Jim Post CD Release Party with Basil & Heller 

Opening Friday, January 22 at 8PM Evanston SPACE
1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston 60202

Great pizza and More at Union - right in the venue.

"Post is one of the Midwest's great treasures."

Chicago Tribune

Jim PostPost performed and recorded in the 1960s as the duet Friend and Lover with his wife at that time, Cathy Conn Post. He worked as a solo singer-songwriter in Chicago and throughout the Midwest in the 1970s and 1980s. Post was a regular performer at the Earl of Old Town and other Chicago folk music bars, and was a contemporary of notable singer-songwriters Steve Goodman, John Prine, Fred Holstein and Bonnie Koloc.

 In 1971, he produced and played on an album of Chicago folk musicians, Gathering at the Earl of Old Town, that included the first recording of Goodman's City of New Orleans. During the 1990s and 2000s, he focused on performing in the character of Mark Twain in one-man shows. Post has also recorded an album of children's songs.



Larry Basil & John HellerLarry Basil and John Heller: High energy harmonies! They cover traditional folk songs, often recalling the times of Bob Gibson and Chicago's great venues.


Lilfest Fall 2016 Series


Lilfest More 20-21 Revised




Music From the Back Porch 2020

Joe and Vicki Price Cancelled 

Price's YouTube




A trio, quartet, quintet, and more. Music with great heart, for your events! 

Schmaltz photo by Eric Futran 

Nancy Emrich Freeman

Freeman and Bouchard - Ed Bouchard and Nancy Freeman

Freeman and Bouchard

Freeman & Bouchard

Dan Navarro Lilfest

Katie Dahl at Lilfest

SAT, NOV 16 @7:30 or call 518-576-9513

Kevin Burt

Kevin Burt Flyer

Heywood Lugosch Lilfest Sep 2019

Lilfest Summer 2019 Concerts

Lake Placid Lilfest

Freebo Maxwell Howell 6-13-19

SERFA 2019 Thus Night

SERFA 2019 


Suzie Vinnick 

James Lee Stanley Lilfest March 2019

Rad Lorkovic Lilfest 2-23-19

Gina Forsyth Liflfest

Tim Grimm Lilfest

Kerry Patrick Clark 12-15-2018

Moore and Heywood Lilfest

Mari Black

Lilfest Summer 2018

Roy Hurd

Natalia Zukerman - Lilfest

Phil Heywood Lilfest concert

Chuck McDermott - Lilfest

 Chuck Mitchell LilFest Presents3-13-18

Gina Forsyth LilFest Presents-3-13-18

More info about Freebo, Maxwell & Howe

Dennis Warner Lilfest 1-8-18

Dave Moore November 18


Stuart Eden Nov 17

Betty Soo Nov 13, 2017


Farm 2017 Concert

FARM 2017

 Ellis Paul Friday Oct 13 2017


Lambert and Waltz - Lilfest



Chuck McDermott - Lilfest

 Mark Stuart May 27, 2017

Mark Stuart Work Shop

Buy Tickets

Buy Tickets for Mark Stuart
at Mt Vernon
May 27 and/or May 28

→ Buy Tickets Online- Here ←

James Lee Stanley May 2017

Beth Wood and David Stoddard Lilfest 

Dan Weber Lilfest


Schmalltz Thorne Yearlings

Mount Vernon Lilfest Series Spring 2016

Phil Henry Lilfest

Lilfest Back Porch Music

Lilfest Presents Lorkovic and Bowers

Lilfest Presents Ronnie Coc

Rad Lorkovich 7-29-15

Lilfest Tall Trees Concert


Rodgers and Ramsay

Chad Elliott 4-26-15



Sunday, October 12
James Lee Stanley at 6:30 PM

Saturday, October 25
Jim Post with Randy Sabien at 6:00 PM



To buy tickets:

To check out SPACE: 

Two great opportunities to highlight at SPACE this month:

JIM POST's Birthday Concert:
Jim PostJIm Post commands main hall at SPACE with the brilliance of an old fashioned tent preacher -- but watch out: the humor will be irreverent and full of commentary, with many unexpected turns. If you've never seen Jim, get out and go for heaven's sake. His hit, "Reach Out in the Darkness," brought him one-hit-wonder status at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - and indeed Target made it popular again with today's audience this year with a very effective use of the song in an eponymous TV ad! If you know Jim's work, don't miss the chance to hear his latest adventures in music and fun. That splendid tenor voice is unmatched. Randy Sabien's intelligent musicianship supports JIm's folk repertoire with the intuition built by decades of touring experience together. Randy's a foil for Jim's humor and a talented musical star in his own right.
Jim's website.

James Lee StanleyJames Lee Stanley has a unique command of all things musical. Start with charm on-stage, honesty in musical intent, finesse of an extraordinary sort in voice, writing, musicality, lyrics, vocabulary, performance, creativity, musical ideas. And then there's his humor. I may have heard James more frequently than any other single solo artist -- and whether the joke or banter is new or old, repeated or augmented, I laugh. I laugh again. I can't help myself. It may be a pointed political judgment or a human foible; it will hit home. Did I say he's a singular recording engineer? And he pulls hard for the folk/singer songwriter/Americana/folk rock industry with his whole heart - mentoring, working on boards, blogging good ideas for other troubadours, encouraging new house concerts and presenters. GO!
James' website.

Warm fall wishes to all,

Nancy Emrich Freeman

PS The house with the fab acoustics and LilFest history is for sale - with an Open House Sunday, Oct. 12, 1-3. You are welcome to visit 711 Lake Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois - or click that address for an internet tour.

PPS True confessions - in October, I also love Corky Siegel on Oct. 26; Michael Fracasso and Ralston Bowles on October 21. And while we're at it check the SPACE website for Natalia Zukerman, Garnet Rogers, Dave Specter, Greg Brown and Eddy Clearwater's 80th Birthday party. Breathtaking fun ahead.

Claudia Schmidt January 28

A LilFest Concert:
LAUREN SHEEHAN, a blues songster

Keene Valley Congregational Church
Keene Valley, NY
7:30 PM, Doors at 7:15 PM
Everyone welcome, suggested contribution $12

Lauren SheehanQuestions: 
or 847-256-0000 or

Reservations are not required.

"Lauren has the authenticity, the sound and the knowledge of the folk/blues genre that other acts can only aspire to.

She is a true entertainer.”
Gray Eubank, Director, Portland Revels.

There is a little-known (and at the time suppressed) story of how Gibson Guitars continued to manufacture their instruments at their factory in Kalamazoo MI during World War II with a nearly all-female workforce. That story has now finally been told by John Thomas in his new book "Kalamazoo Gals: a Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson's 'Banner' Guitars of World War II." 


It's a tale of fine craftsmanship, hidden by history, sexism and the 1940's market.
The "Banner Gibson Guitars" they're called.  Each one has a silk-screened golden banner on the head-stock. And, while the "Gibson Boys" were at war, the girl-made guitars brought new sonic standards and style to Gibson.
Lauren Sheehan's concert Saturday night in Keene Valley will be played on a "Banner Gibson." Her blues will reflect her work on the CD produced in conjunction with the Thomas book "The Light Still Burns."  Sheehan says:  "Many songs seemed to suggest themselves to me after I read the manuscript so picking the music was easy and it's mostly appropriate to the times and themes in the book."  
Sheehan's 2012 Portland (Oregon) Music Award for outstanding achievement in Folk, acceptance in the Library of Congress as part of the MusicBox project and the critical success of her 3rd CD, Rose City Ramble, #8 on the folk radio annual chart for 2011 led her to this project.
LilFest invites you to participate in this interesting concert -- and the hidden history it represents.  The concert is open to the public, everyone is welcome.  The suggested donation is $12, and amounts both higher and lower will support the artist and the telling of the story.
Looking forward to welcoming you in person,
Nancy Emrich Freeman

Chickenfat Klezmer Orchestra

ChickenFat Klezmer Band is playing to the vegetables, fruits and dancers at The Glenview Farmer's Market SATURDAY, Sept 21st from 10 - 12 Noon.  I'll be there, and welcome you to some great fall weather and informal fun.  Dr. Henry Meisels will be our lead singer and, I've heard the Wagner Farm cows come and listen!  If they start dancing, please take video for me.  The Market is at the Wagner Farm, 1510 Wagner Road at Lake Avenue, Glenview.

ChickenFat Klezmer Orchestra is at the Atlantic Bar and Grill Sunday Sept 22 from 4 - 6 PM at 5062 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.


Suzie Vinnick

Susie Blues and Gospel

Blues and Gospel singer and guitarist

FRIDAY, March 15, 2013


Keene Valley Congregational Church

1791 NYS Route 73
Keene Valley, NY  12943

by LilFest

7:30 PM

Everyone always welcome, suggested contribution $15

Suzie Vinnick in ConcertA Saskatoon native living in Toronto, Canada, Suzie Vinnick is the owner of a gorgeous, powerful voice and performs with a sweet mixture of engaging candidness and unparalleled musicianship. And, indeed, she is regularly receives top awards for her music... a Suzie Vinnick concert is just plain fun because she is so down-to-earth, but be prepared to be blown away by what she can do onstage. Call friends, tell everyone you know. This will be special and memorable.

Some recent accolades include:

- 2013 Finalist at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN;

- winner of 10 Canadian Maple Blues Awards;

- winner of CBC's Saturday Night Blues 2012 Great Canadian Blues Award; and

- 3-time Juno Nominee

Suzie VinnickSuzie has performed across Canada and the US, internationally in France, Germany, Ireland and Bosnia and on national Canadian television. She made her New York City debut in 2011 supporting John Hammond at a free outdoor stage in Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Suzie's gospel and blues sensibilities will remind you of the greats, take your breath away, and then her presence, humility and personality will bring you back to your senses. It doesn't get much better than this.

The LilFest Series at Keene Valley Congregational Church brings world quality performances to an intimate concert setting.

Suzie Vinnick follows in the footsteps of performers like Michael Smith, Tim Grimm, Claudia Nygaard and Radoslav Lorkovic.

"Her crisp guitar work is all the framing Vinnick's strong, soulful vocals need..."

Kerry Doole, Exclaim Magazine

A L i l F e s t C o n c e r t : 


Keene Valley Congregational Church
Keene Valley, NY
8:00 PM, Doors at 7:45 PM
Everyone welcome, suggested contribution $12
Questions:  or 847-256 -0000 or 518-576-9513

Reservations are not required. www.LISSASCHNECKENBURGER.COM 

Lissa Scneckenburger and Wiekmab“Hugely endearing and toe-tappingly enjoyable…Tasty and feisty fiddle" 
-- Folk Roots
“A World class fiddler …. far from just offering one dance tune after another, simple settings allow the true beauty of the music to shine through." 
-- Sing Out


-- for your calendar:

LilFest Presents 

Tales From the Forgotten Kingdom

with Guy Mendilow & Sofia Tosello

Saturday, April 6th 7:30 PM

at Heritage Hall

101 W. Main Street, Lisbon, Iowa and 

Guy MendilowGet ready for an emotionally powerful, artistic voyage awash with warm harmonies, intricate rhythms and spellbinding vocal improvisation. On April 6th LilFest presents Guy Mendilow and Sofia Tosello in a special intimate performance of Tales From the Forgotten Kingdom: Ladino Songs Renewed, at 7:30pm. The suggested contribution is $15.00. Tickets are available both at the door and in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at this link:

In a concert that crackles with rich musical storytelling Israeli composer Guy Mendilow (twice voted Boston's Best World Music Act Boston Phoenix) and Argentine vocalist Sofia Tosello re-imagine centuries-old Sephardi songs, starting in ancient Spain and winding through Sarajevo, Salonica and Jerusalem. Epic tales of sailors and love lost to the seas, fantastic dreams and the intrigue of kings and queens come to life in vivid arrangements that shift from quiet and haunting to fast-paced and refreshingly spontaneous. It's a recasting that takes the music out of the realm of art songs and back to its roots as songs of the streets and of fiestas; a music alive with adventure and humor and grit.

"It's a folk music of hope and affirmation sophisticated in its delivery but easily accessible to listeners anywhere."

Chicago Tribune


Small Potatoes A Winter Concert:
Small Potatoes

FRIDAY, April 26, 2013
7:30 PM

Keene Valley Congregational Church, Keene Valley, NY

by friends of LilFest


Everyone welcome, suggested contribution $12

Questions:  or  or

Reservations are not required.
“They don’t sound like anybody else. I like that.
They lay out a blanket and every song is a picnic.”
Warren Nelson, WI PublicRadio




WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2013


Stephanie Rogers
North Shore's
Extraordinary Songstress

 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Stephanie RogersWhile in pursuit of her acting degree at NU, Stephanie was asked to sing a role in a play, which led her to join a campus band. She was a theatre student by day and a singer in Chicago clubs by night. She moved to LA for film and tv work shortly after college and starred in over fifty commercials, movies & television shows. Stephanie has been a busy mom musician for the last ten years and recently emerged with a gorgeous new cd.

"An album replete with stand-outs, it also evokes the attitude and "free spirit" of Rogers, a talented woman who laughs easily and often, and who wants to share her love of life with the world. With "Daisy Petal in the Dirt" Rogers steps into a bright spotlight with mature songs of substance and style."


Paul Crosby
Leads the Blues Jam

8:00 PM - 12:30 AM





Wednesday, March 13
Paul Crosby

Paul CrosbyPaul Crosby was a regular in the house band at the famous Bill's Blues Jams, hosted the Blues Jam at Hanson Brothers Tavern for three years, and is currently the drummer in The Louie Zagoras Band. We fully expect - just as has happened week after week - that Paul and the band will be joined onstage by a who's who of Chicago blues talent.
(Did you miss last week's " in the house" surprise guest, Tommy McCracken!? Bill's Blues jam is a never-miss-a-week activity. When the Chicago blues greats step out on Wednesdays, they do it here in Evanston at the Orrington!)

We are pleased to have Paul lead our traditional blues jam again.

REMEMBER: Anyone wishing to join the band on stage has merely to sign the blues jam sign-up sheet and wait for their turn to be called up to play with the blues pros.
Everyone is invited to come for "the best music in Evanston"
Chicago Sun Times, November 23, 2012



Bills Blues Evanston IL

Enjoy Bill's Blues's Revisited
great live blues, folk and rock again in Evanston,
join me
on Wednesdays
at The Indigo Lounge of the Orrington Hotel.

Every Wednesday -from 5:30 PM -12:30AM
Bill's Blues @ Indigo Lounge Hilton Orrington
1710 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

The Indigo Bar was built for music. It can be a Listening Room at 5:30 and a a rollicking blues venue at 8:30. And on Wednesday's, we're doing just that!

Join in!-- bring your celebrations, your family, your dates to Bill's. this month. Wednesdays are popular, hip, right and fun. And your presence will make it all those things and more. Buy drinks, tip the bands, there will be no cover charges.
Thank you in advance -- and here's the schedule!
Nancy Jones Emrich




WEDNESDAY, February 20, 2013


Sue Fink, Larry Mesirow & Margaret Nelson
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Chainsaw Dupont
8:00 PM - 12:30 AM


Wednesday, February 20

5:00 - 8:00 PM


What does that mean today?

A sampler starring Sue Fink, Larry Mesirow and Margaret Nelson

THE NASHVILLE ROUND is an idea medium for comparing and contrasting songwriters and songwriter styles. And it can have surprises galore!

Singers present their work in a round setting, one song from each, revolving and building subjects and styles based on an instantaneous decision. The evening can go anywhere! Humorous, ironic, sad, traditional, international, pensive -- you name it.

Sue Fink
A totally disarming songstress, with humor based on wit and style -- and brains of a very quirky nature. She can be devilish, childlike, deadly serious -- and sometimes all at once! Fun to be had at every intersection.

Larry Mesirow
Larry performs a wide range of music, which includes his own love ballads, political and satirical songs, as well as international folk music. Ask Larry for a song in Ladino, the language of the Spanish Sephardic Jews.

Margaret Nelson
When Margaret's sister brought home a Berea College Choir recording while in college, Margaret fell in love with the Big British Ballad!

So in addition to well voiced peace songs, love songs, comic songs, lullabies, and ecology songs, get ready to meet traditional characters like "Earl o’ Bran" or "Lord Gregory."

Wednesday, February 20

Chainsaw Dupont leads the

Bill's Blues Jam

8:00 PM - 12:30 AM

Blues Guitarist Chainsaw Dupont was born in the tiny town of McComb, Mississippi and grew up in Swan Lake in the Mississippi Delta, where almost everyone worked on the nearby plantation. His mother was a piano player who had received lessons from a young Fats Domino in New Orleans and Dad picked cotton until he left permanently for a hopeful boxing career New Orleans. Chainsaw went north with an older brother to Chicago's west side, attended high school, and began to play guitar (after running away to find his dad in New Orleans!). Inspired by a Sly and the Family Stone lick he became inseparable from his guitar.

Eventually, he caught the attention of blues harp legend Junior Wells, and hooked up for an international tour that included Japan, in the coveted spot as Junior's guitarist. He's Evanston's own bluesman, and everyone should come out to claim him as our own on Wednesday!

February 27 at 5:00: Jon Spiegel's Tremolux 


Wednesday, February 13
5:00 - 8:00 PM
Andina & Rich
Two guitars, a dulcimer and an Attitude!

Sandy Andina and Stephen Lee Rich have a diversity and depth of experience and two giant piles of talent that most duos don't have.
Bring your honey out for this Valentine Eve if you prefer humor over Hallmark cards or wit over jokes.  Sandy is a veteran of something no other songer/songwriter can claim - 30,000* years of writing and/or appearing in Chicago's Famed Law Review Show. That language based audience is a tough one, and she's a staple who holds it all together.
 And I'd go anywhere to hear Madison, Wisconsin-based Stephen yodel.
Or maybe just to watch his infectious smile pop out from under that hat.  These are pros in action, with great music, homespun humor of every kind, whether taking a solo bit each or doing the duo, this show will be fun.

* Estimated

Wednesday, February 13
Rockin' Johnny Burgin leads the
Bill's Blues Jam

8:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Blues Guitarist Johnny Burgin came to Chicago from South Carolina to attend the University of Chicago, and earned the name "Rockin' Johnny" as a DJ at the college radio station WHPK. Rockin' Johnny began playing in the clubs of Chicago's West Side with blues singer Taildragger, and then began touring nationally as a sideman with former Howlin' Wolf drummer Sam Lay and blues piano legend Pinetop Perkins.


Small PotatoesA Winter Concert:
Small Potatoes

FRIDAY, February 8, 2013
Keene Valley Congregational Church, Keene Valley, NY

by friends of LilFest
7:30 PM


Everyone welcome, suggested contribution $12

Questions:  or  or

Reservations are not required.
“They don’t sound like anybody else. I like that.
They lay out a blanket and every song is a picnic.”
Warren Nelson, WI PublicRadio

Take note! A peek ahead at the next LilFest concert for your calendar: Friday, March 15 at 7:30: Suzie Vinnick, Have a listen at


WEDNESDAY, February 6, 2013


ChickenFat Klezmer Orchestra

5:30 - 8:00 PM

Chicken Fat Klezmer OrchestraA winter concert of Klezmer at its most unorthodox!

The 5:30 Show - Two ChickenFat Orchestra sets with an opening dash or more of solo songwriter, Eric Futran. ChickenFat presents their eclectic mix of pan-Adriatic, pan-Mediterranean fun in the minor key!

CFKO is fun, great rhythms, dancing and altogether a happening!

Featuring mini-sets by our own Rogers Park Cowboy, singer/songwriter Eric Futran.

And he's teaching "The Kvetch!"





WEDNESDAY, January 23, 2013


a Wicked Wednesday Duo by LilFest

The Kris & Marlon Show

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Dave Hawkins

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The Tom Crivelone Blues Jam

8:00 PM - 12:30 AM




Dave Hawkins
5:00 - 6:00 PM
David Hawkins is the singer, songwriter and guitarist from the cities of Chicago, Tulsa and New Orleans. David's songs come from the idea that music is a place where flesh and spirit meet, so his songs go high, deep, and wide.  An English teacher, he is inspired by his favorite authors, as well as by his favorite songwriters, David creates haunting melodies, soulful vocals, a strong poetic sense, with intermittent injections of humor, and a variety of musical styles.
The Kris & Marlon Show
6:00 - 8:00 PM

Kris Nichols is a national award winning songwriter
and has penned such tunes as "Illinois", "Look Back and Smile", and "Guantanamo". Marlon St. John has shared the stage with artists Leon Redbone, Delbert McClinton and Jimmy Rogers. Marlon writes urban folk songs with a sensibility gleaned from the rural route.

Yes, it's a free concert, but those in the know recognize they (and most of our musical artists) collect $10 - $35 at the door for their concerts, so hopefully you will remember this at the tip jar moment.

The Tom Crivelone Blues Jam leads the Blues Jam
8:00 PM - 12:30 AM
Blending traditional, driving Chicago blues and original music with soul, rock, and jazz influences. The current line-up includes original members Tom and drumming machine Dwayne Manuel. Their soulful vocals, hot guitars, and funky rhythm section will make your night 

A peek ahead for your calendar:

January 30 at 5:00:  Radoslav Lorkovic 

February 6 at 5:00:  ChickenFat Klezmer Orchestra

March 6 at 5:00:  Mark Dvorak 



WEDNESDAY, January 30, 2013


Radoslav Lorkovic

 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM


The Doug James Blues Jam

8:00 PM - 12:30 AM 



Radoslav Lorkovic
5:00 - 8:00 PM
So do you know the work of Radoslav?  Here's a little career photo retrospective for this itinerant musical genius and great friend of LilFest:
Radoslav Lorkovic

At a young age, Rad was kidnapped by the Blues scale. His early virtuosity took him right to the likes of dearly departed icon greats Hubert Sumlin and Levon Helm and others like them.  It's in his genes...grandmother Melita was a classical pianist of great renown in early 1900's though you may have to read Croatian in the Wiki!

Rad and OdettaYou can see the kind of relationship Rad develops with the people he works with, here Odetta, and over time Andy White, Ronny Cox, Greg Brown, Ellis Paul, Jimmy LaFave, and countless CD "cuts" and "sit-in's" on stage.  Indeed he expects to jam with Doug James and possibly You,tonight!

Rad will perform his solo work, and maybe a Croatian song or two, maybe some amazing piano keyboard virtuosity -- you never know.  Or maybe an Italian tour story or what it's like to run from Beverly Hills Cop and RoboCop avid fans.  You know with the great smile and hands like the Michelangelo Sistine ceiling, it will be worth gettin' out of the house tonight.



Doug JamesDoug James leads the Blues Jam
8:00 PM - 12:30 AM
The versatile, high energy lead vocalist/keyboardist/storyteller Doug James leads the Jam. In addition to being a first rate Chicago Bluesman, Mr. James also showed his acting chops on Boss, the hit Starz Network show, which starred Kelsey Grammer.   

He leads The Pocket, a band of veteran Chicago musicians who lay a groove so deep you'll never climb out of it.  Anyone in the audience who wishes to "sit in" and join a genuine Chicago Blues Jam, merely has to sign the Jam Sheet and wait to be called up to join the blues pros on stage.







WEDNESDAY, January 16, 2013


a Wicked Wednesday Duo by LilFest

Andrew & Casey Calhoun

5:00 PM - 8:00 PM




A C by Danny SchmidtANDREW CALHOUN IS "a true voice of  
by poetry and lore" as Jon Hogan said.  If you like folk music, or Americana, or old time, or gospel, chances are you love someone on the roster of Andrew's Waterbug Records. Look down the left-hand column here: Waterbug Records

To get acquainted with Andrew & Casey Calhoun, Go to:

Andrew and Casey CalhounWe hosted the first-ever performance of Andrew & Casey at Bill's Blues on Davis.  Much, much applause later, we are delighted to welcome them back.
"Their connected harmonies show the audience how well matched they are as singing partners, and her solo numbers are truly gripping and delightful." 
                                Blair Hull, Stained Glass Coffeehouse

Yes, it's a free concert, but those in the know recognize they (and most of our musical artists) collect $10 - $35 at the door for their concerts, so hopefully you will remember this at the tip jar moment.

8:00 PM - Robert Pasenko leads the Blues Jam with Sammy Fender

As a teenager, Robert Pasenko traveled with a rock-and-roll band and had the opportunity to gig with ten-time Grammy Award winner, Bobby McFerrin. For the past decade, he's been the first-call drummer for blues/gospel vocalist, Tommy McCracken, an incredible entertainer.  He's played hundreds of gigs with blues artists such as Sammy Fender (Again tonight!), Quintus McCormick, Aron Burton, Michael Dotson, Holle Thee Maxwell, and his friend Ron Michaels of Blue Plate Special.


Bill's Blues Revisited


Wednesday, January 2 - Today!

5:00 - 6:00 PM

Larry Mesirow, Singer/songwriter

 Larry performs a wide range of music, which includes his own love ballads, political and satirical songs, as well as folk music from America, England, Ireland, Latin America and The Carribean.

Wednesday, January 2

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Norm Siegel

Norm Siegel has been along for the whole ride.  Luckily born in time to experience the Heyday of the Chicago Folk Scene (Heyday #1, I firmly believe we're in Heyday#2 now!), Norm heard and played with the greats.  Do you remember It's Here, Chicago's Boss TeenAge Nightclub?  It was between Minstrels and the Granada Theater.  Norm did his early listening there and grew into a player who would share the stage with people like Michael "MJ" Johnson & Josh White, and eventually playing long bass gigs with Bob Gibson & Fred Holstein (before Evanston's fab Jim Tullio).  He started on sound with Redhead in 1976. And before that, (get this!) Norm had an acting career too, in '73 & '74 including a run at the Theatre on the Lake.  He's our favorite bad act-er around Bill's, and tonight he performs his current interest, keeping the music of the folk scene's dearly departed superstars, Bob Gibson, Fred Holstein, "Stevie" Goodman, and, of course, Tom Dundee.

 Wednesday, January 2

7:00 - 8:00 PM

Dave and Mark Glatt

Wicked Wednesday Duos* by LilFest

Dave and Mark Glatt, a Father-Son Duo, are first in the Wicked Wednesday Duo series at Bill's Blues Revisited! You remember the BB midnight band "Conscripted?" Well -- Mark has now graduated from College - NIU Vibraphone player (and more!)!  Anyway, they've been playing out for the three years in between as a keyboard and guitar duo - join us for their Acoustic Blues-Folk debut.  Dave's support of Bill's Blues through Dave's Italian Kitchen is legendary.  Welcome back Glatt Family!

Wednesday, January 2

8:30 PM - Bill's Blues Jam hosted by Tom Holland

Tom HollandTom Holland is in constant demand both in Chicago and on the road - both with his own eponymous band, Tom Holland and The Shuffle Kings - and as the lead guitar player for Chicago blues living legend, the great harmonica player, James Cotton.  The Shuffle Kings have been playing stages across the world for ten years now. Indeed, they've been the backing band for such blues luminaries such as Hubert Sumlin & Carey Bell. They regularly are featured at the Chicago House of Blues, as well as many other venues around Chicago. Always a great night!


Wednesday, December 26

5:30 - 7:30 PM
Jon Spiegel's Tremolux and Friends
A Boxing Day Event

Don't think it was at Harvard that Jon learned zither, but after guitar, slide guitar, piano,
drums, bass, percussion and more it was only natural. His versatility can be found in the Lyric Opera pit, Martyrs, LilFest shows, the Old Town School, private parties galore, you name it. Jon's an immense figure in Chicago music and in his finely selected wardrobe. Tremolux - well it's made up of his good friends, just like his other crazy-good bands -- The Otters, Brother Brother, The Klezticles, The Schticklers Jug Band. Jon is a true klezmer.

7:30 - 8:30 PM
Larry Mesirow, singer/songwriter/guitarist
 Wednesday, December 19
5:30 - 8:00 PM
Laura Joy, Heather Styka & Emily White:
Ladies Night at Bill's Blues Revisited
Three Young Songwriters You Won't Forget

Emily White  Heather Styka  Laura Joy

Laura Joy: A percussive fingerstyle guitar reminiscent of Ani DiFranco and a songwriting flair that recalls the likes of Joni Mitchell
Heather Styka: A poet and writer, Styka has an instinct for lyrics that are smart and unexpected.

Emily White: "A hushed, preternaturally haunting vocal delivery (and bewitching sense of indie-rock-informed melody."


Wednesday, December 12
Check with Lucy5:30 - 7:30 PM
Check With Lucy:
The singer-songwriter duo of Jeff Libman & Brad Cole

With roots in pop, folk, soul and Americana, Check With Lucy creates an infectious up-tempo new folk sound with Lucy's engaging, high energy stage presence. Throw out your expectations of what it means to be the audience-there are no walls between these performers and the crowd. Jeff and Brad are each phenoms in their own right, don't miss this!

7:30 - 8:30 PM
Larry Mesirow, singer/songwriter/guitarist
Larry performs a wide range of music, which includes his own love ballads, political and satirical songs, as well as folk music from America, England, Ireland, Latin America and the Caribbean. Larry's particular specialty is Ladino, the unique Folk music of the Sephardic Spanish Jews.

Wednesday, December 5
5:30 - 8:00 PM
ChickenFat Klezmer Orchestra
Hanukah's Ahead!
Klezmer at its most unorthodox!

The 5:30 Show - Two ChickenFat Orchestra sets with a dash or more of solo songwriter, Eric Futran. Fresh from standing ovations and a cheering full house last month at the Atlantic on Lincoln, ChickenFat presents their eclectic mix of pan-Adriatic, pan-Mediterranean fun in the minor key! CFKO is fun, great rhythms, dancing and altogether a happening!
Chicken Fat Klezmer Orchestra

Featuring mini-sets by our own Rogers Park Cowboy, singer/songwriter Eric Futran.

And he's teaching The Kvetch!

 Claudia Nygard at Keene Valley Congregational Church




Join Jim Post and me in a celebration of

Janet Smith Post's new (already acclaimed) novel Cotton Rock
LilFest Library, IL 

Saturday. March 24, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Add to my calendar

Jim Post's wife Janet Smith Post has just published a novel that is setting Amazon afire.  It is called Cotton Rock.  You can buy it there (they don't have too many left) or directly from Janet herself  ( I suggest you do Jim Postthat, and bring it to be signed at my books and music party (reservation only) in 2 1/2 weeks at my home.  And there's no Post family celebration without a lot of music by Jim! 

This book release, reading and concert is organized like a house concert in that it is a pot luck supper, but there is no suggested contribution. Call me to reserve (847-256-0000) and I'll explain to you how to get her book. And let me know what you will bring to the festive, shared dinner table so I can balance out the celebratory meal! 

Please! Register Now, here and by phone, before Mar. 22! 
Register Here 

Why buy the book?  Check out the reviews on Amazon.  Here's a sample.

"I loved Cotton Rock! The characters all sang to me! I am not familiar with the Ozarks, but the people who live in this book as are familiar to me as if I had grown up in Cotton Rock. They are as real and alive as my next door neighbors. Janet Post makes me feel for her people, from Anna's mother, who speaks Alzheimers, to Tom Ferguson, the complex Scots-Irish lawyer who defends Anna. Most of all, I loved this book because it pays lyrical homage to family history, the stories that families tell. This book made me hear my mother again as she related things her mother or grandmother said. This book is full of magic, not just the magic of all American families,but the magic of language. Each page resonates deep in my American soul! All this, and it's a page turning mystery! You will love it!" 


Nancy Emrich

Janet PostPS About Janet: Janet Smith Post co-authored two children's books, Barnyard Boogie and Jungle Beat, and numerous award-winning songs for children. Cotton Rock is her first novel. Raising eight children, earning her Master's degree in English, Janet also cared for her mother, a victim of Alzheimer's. This task, coupled with her Ozark heritage, inspired her to write Cotton Rock. Co-creator of Reading By Ear, Inc., a musical reading program for children, Janet lives in Galena, Illinois with her husband, Jim Post, well-known folk singer and composer of the 1960s hit song, "Reach Out of the Darkness."

PPS By Janet: "I wove these stories, my own and my family's, into one. I placed it in the Ozarks, the home of my people. The stories changed in the weaving, but the love and the loss, the hope and heartache, the glory and the shame are all flesh-and-blood true: of my great grandmother who could name the medicine and magic of nearly every Ozark plant; of my great grandfather who was a circuit preacher; of my grandmother who ground sorghum into molasses and my grandfather who stole kisses from the girl in the burgundy dress-all intertwine as the river carves the land and the land shapes the river..."

PPS Semi-Final Word from me: I think we all know and love Jim Post's music -- and his Texas storytelling spirit. If you've read this email, you probably get it now why the Jim and Janet love story is the one that fostered two decades of solid, grounded creativity for both of them. I love having them in the river of my life and know you will also.
Click here to buy Cotton Rock from Amazon

PPPS OK. One more thought. Of course, we'll owe Jim Post something for his concert part of this event. Here's what I suggest since I can't collect money, I want to collect ideas. In concert with Jim, I (my LilFest) helps him book his plays and concerts around the world. I need your ideas and help. Whether it is his Mark Twain show, the Heart of Christmas show (early December's still open) or the folk show, I am looking for names of personal contacts for venues, performing arts centers, TV and radio friends, quality house concerts - I need names and contact information for some "listening ears who book" in places he'll be properly paid and respected. Call me, email me at or hand it to me on paper on party night. Thanks for your thoughts!



LilFest Presents James Lee Stanley in Concert


Mount Vernon, Iowa

Wednesday, September 14 at 6:30 PM

Meadowbrook Gazebo across from 1201 3rd St. SW,

Mount Vernon, Iowa

Suggested Donation $12

Rain Location:  1201 3rd St. SW

Questions and optional reservations: 847-256-0000

Bring your own lawn chair, cushion or blanket rain or shine

Please don’t park on the street immediately adjoining the park.



Some people have it all!  The venerable James Lee Stanley has appeared on stages around the world – and TV screens as well.  That happens when your musicianship, songwriting, humor, and stage presence are impeccable.

And when the entertainment community knows you are the real deal.

James Lee’s remarkable ability as a vocalist and composer allow him to create truly great songs, each accompanied by his amazing guitar orchestrations.  His concert, while fundamentally acoustic in nature, includes masterful electronic creativity as well.  And then there is the trademark James Lee humor, devilish, fun, and thought provoking.

LilFest, a national presenter of live concerts is offering its initial Iowa concert on Wednesday night, September 14 at the Meadowbrook Gazebo across from 1201 3rd St., SW in Mount Vernon.   

Presented in the style of a House Concert, audience members are asked to bring their own lawn chair and a suggested donation for the artist of $12. 

Chicken Fat Orchestra at CJ Arthurs

Dukes Performance April 2011

 Chicago Seder Poster


Chicken Fat Klezmer Orchestra
Opens For...
Caravan of Thieves
Wed February 16, 2011 8PM at Space

Chicken Fat Klezmer Orchestra

Caravan of Thieves stretches the parameters of acoustic swing and gypsy guitar stylings with humor and spirit.. In from Bridgeport, CT, husband and wife duo Fuzz and Carrie have extended their family to include fiery violinist Ben Dean and double bass madman, Brian Anderson to complete their colorful vision. Seeking inspiration from beyond the great divide, the quartet produces layers of Beatlesque vocals, driving rhythms, satirical, dramatic song writing and an overall circus of sound.



Michael Smith & Tim Grimm
March 5, 2011

 Smith- Grimm Concert
1791 NYS Route 73 Keene Valley, NY
Full Size Brochure


 LilFest presents

Jim Post CD Release Party with Basil & Heller

Opening Friday, January 22, 2010, at 8PM Evanston SPACE
1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston 60202

Great pizza and More at Union - right in the venue.

"Post is one of the Midwest's great treasures."

Chicago Tribune

Jim PostPost performed and recorded in the 1960s as the duet Friend and Lover with his wife at that time, Cathy Conn Post. He worked as a solo singer-songwriter in Chicago and throughout the Midwest in the 1970s and 1980s. Post was a regular performer at the Earl of Old Town and other Chicago folk music bars, and was a contemporary of notable singer-songwriters Steve Goodman, John Prine, Fred Holstein and Bonnie Koloc.

 In 1971, he produced and played on an album of Chicago folk musicians, Gathering at the Earl of Old Town, that included the first recording of Goodman's City of New Orleans. During the 1990s and 2000s, he focused on performing in the character of Mark Twain in one-man shows. Post has also recorded an album of children's songs.



Larry Basil & John HellerLarry Basil and John Heller: High energy harmonies! They cover traditional folk songs, often recalling the times of Bob Gibson and Chicago's great venues.







 Bill & Kate Isles

Friday, January 23, 2009

7:30 Doors and Pot Luck Dinner, 8:00 Concert,
711 Lake Street, Wilmette IL

Welcoming home two LilFest true favorites

“There are moments of brilliance.” Many! NJE


Bill and Kate IslesBill Isles' songs are down-to-earth poetic reflections of life experiences and often explore adventurous metaphorical worlds. These worlds vary greatly in scope and texture such as the differences between the clever honky-tonk ambiguity of "The Hole in Our Town" and the enchanting feel of "Sistine Chapel", both from his 2003 release "The Threshold". Each of his compositions provides a spectrum of interpretation opportunities, as well, as demonstrated by "Sistine Chapel". It is this multi-layering that has drawn fans to listen over and over again, and to describe his live performances as "mesmerizing".

Bill's performance at the Just Plain Folks Anniversary Party in Minneapolis caught the attention of City's Tone Publisher David Keiski. "Isles' use of word pictures and metaphors separates his work from the others in more ways than one. He is a more seasoned craftsman that has put a lot of work into the task of songwriting, and it's easy to tell that Isles takes a lot of time, is serious and diligent about his subjects. He is a thoughtful and creative storyteller, mixing interesting images into what is the perfect introduction to the other songwriters, and to our table, this song, Photo Mosaic... I imagine Bill Isles doing very well in Nashville, and at bluegrass and folk festivals... he has the craft of songwriting down... The musical feeling of (his) CD is warm like Isles' voice... there are moments of brilliance"  

Sally MartinLilFest presents

 Sally Martin

Friday, December 5, 2008

6:30 Doors, 7:30 Concert, Holiday Pot Luck Dinner
711 Lake Street, Wilmette IL

A very special night of folk cabaret elegance to open the Holidays

Meet her in person before her WFMT 98.7FM radio live broadcast on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 8PM 

To buy tickets, click: Suggested Artist Contribution: $15 plus Potluck/BYOB

Singer and actress Sally Martin is a favorite of audiences and critics alike for her vocal range and multilingual interpretive skills in concert, cabaret and musical theatre. The Washington Post hailed her first CD as "extraordinary" and called her "wonderfully controlled singing…both dreamy and wise." She has performed in wide-ranging venues including Washington's Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Baltimore's Everyman Theatre, Arlington's Signature Theatre, and New York's Dramatists Guild and Federal Hall. Her eclectic interpretive abilities in French and German have drawn comparison to Edith Piaf and Lotte Lenya. She released her second album, "Another Time, Another Place" in September 2007 with a concert at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The recording was nominated for a Wammie award as jazz recording of 2007 by the Washington Area Music Association and was praised by writer and lyricist Judith Viorst for its "dazzling array of choices." A Chicago native and New Trier alumna, she studied voice at Stanford University and later with the well-known lieder singer Ilse Wolf of London's Royal Academy of Music. For more information, go to


 Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008      "Bound to Go" with "Andrew Calhoun & Campground"

7PM Pot Luck & Dessert, 7:30PM Concert, Doors 6:45PM
Information Nancy Emrich @ 312-371-2284

LilFest House Concerts is pleased to host the Chicago - North CD release party for Andrew Calhoun's "Bound to Go." A tribute to Andrew's determination and perspicacity, his release is a collection of 35 African American spirituals and secular folk songs with 18 musicians/singers. The musical material is astounding: authentic spirituals, shout songs from the Sea Islands, prison ballads and rare secular songs from the African American folk tradition, all researched with Andrew's intense and detailed ear and musicological genius. The works will be performed by Campground, Andrew's band, with guitar, cello, trumpet, percussion, banjo and vocals. You will hear: Andrew Calhoun , Lana Lupiani, David Young, Runako Robinson, Valerie Carter-brown, Katherine Davis, Tyisha Williams, Casey Calhoun, and Big Llou Johnson

Listen at Andrew Calhoun's MySpace page.

Andrew's Accolades

"History with a great sound," Bill Hahn, WDFU

"Extraordinary CD. It is wonderful work, saving the songs" - Nikki Giovanni

"...this is a tremendously powerful album with a great sense of atmosphere and the deepest possible commitment that shines through both in the performances themselves and the exceptionally fine recording and presentation. Prepare yourself for a heap of neck-prickling moments. This is a landmark release..."
-David Kidman,  

Andrew Calhoun, a nationally-renowned singer-songwriter based in Chicago, has put together a phenomenal CD of African American spirituals and folk songs. Bound to Go, with original cover art and detailed liner notes, is really an important, relevant work. It's heavily researched and includes songs that haven't been performed in decades, and some that may never have been recorded. Campground is a fabulous ensemble of talent, comprised of young and old, black and white, with a chemistry that resonates from the stage. My overall impression--this is not your average folk concert, but a "show" deserving of major staging."
-Lilli Kuzma, host of Folk Festival, WDCB, Glen Ellyn/ Chicago

Calhoun and 17 other musicians, white and black, resurrect these wonderful songs from graveyard silence and place them inside spare arrangements with the voices up front.
-Jerome Clark, 

Andrew Calhoun was born in New Haven, Ct, and raised in Long Branch, NJ, and Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He's lived in Chicago's Rogers Park, Evanston, and Portland, Oregon, returning to Glen Ellyn in 2005, where he lives now with his father and son. He has recorded 9 albums, on Hogeye, Flying Fish and his own Waterbug Records label as a singer-songwriter, plus a collection of Scottish Ballads translated from dialect. A lifelong love of traditional folk songs along with events around his mother's passing led to an immersion in African American spirituals, with extensive research into their connection to American history and West African religious traditions. Bound to Go, a collection of 35 spirituals and rare secular folksongs, is the debut project of Andrew Calhoun and Campground. Andrew sings lead and vocal harmonies, plays guitar, and does ongoing research for the group. (Listen at Andrew Calhoun's MySpace page.)

Tyisha Williams grew up in the Cabrini Green housing project. Her father, LeCarlton Williams, was a preacher and songwriter who sang with the Jericho Travellers. Tyisha sang "Move On Up the Mountain" in church at age 6 and continued to perform at talent shows and in church. Ms. Williams sang with the All-City Elementary Youth Chorus of the Chicago Public Schools, which performed at the White House and in Vienna with the Vienna Boy's Choir. She performed in gospel choirs at Lane Tech and College, and with Joshua's Generation.  A single mother of three, she has been writing songs since the age of 9. She says, "I love to usher in the spirit."

A Chicago native, Big Llou Johnson has been in dozens of stage plays, including "Master Harold and the boys", Fences & others.  His distinctive signature voice is heard on TV and radio  ads internationally.  His film credits include Quentin Tarrantino's "Grindhouse"  "Lets go to Prison"  both Barbershops I and II and others.  He has also voiced such TV shows as "Ballers" on BET and "Mix It Up" for Courtney Cox on the "WE". Vocally, he has performed overseas with his gospel quartet group "Phava", The Oak Park Concert Chorale & Sue Conway and the Victory Singers. He has recently retuned from Poland performing with Polish vocalist Dorota Jeremy for her CD release concert.   He is currently working on his second single release entitled "Thick" .. a follow up to his European hit song.. "Step Wit Chu"  as well as publishing two audio books entitled "Stories of the Bible" & "Stories for African American Children".  Big Llou started his career in entertainment as a saxophonist turned talent agency owner representing then little known artists such as Queen Latifah, Lisa Raye and Halle Berry.

Casey Calhoun, born and raised in Evanston, began performing in dance theatre at the age of 9. She studied at Dance Center Evanston and Cornish College in Seattle, and danced solo on the mainstage during Dan Bern's set at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2006. She grew up singing rounds with her mother and stepmother (Kat Eggleston), sang in the choir at Evanston Township High School and studied voice with Kathy Cowan. She has performed in a duo with her dad and adds lead and vocal harmonies and a few smooth moves to Campground.

Runako Robinson was born and raised on the West side of Chicago, Runako has been singing and dancing since she was 5 years old. Both of her parents were avid music connoisseurs. Runako graduated from Alabama State University with a degree in Secondary Education. She was cast in 9 productions with the Alabama State Theater Company. Recently, Runako graduated from National-Louis University with a Masters in School Counseling. A teacher and guidance counselor now living in Oak Park, she moonlights in local theater productions and with Campground on lead and vocal harmonies. 

David Young, trumpeter and music educator, was born and raised in Evanston, receiving a music performance degree from Northwestern University. He studied and performed with Wynton Marsalis, and has performed with Howard Levy, Eddie Palmieri, Michele N'degeocello and Lauryn Hill. He released his debut jazz recording, Appassionata, at the age of 20, in 2001. A 2000 trip to Cambodia has led to a continuing interest in Khmer culture and education; Young will return to Cambodia in early 2009 to continue studying traditional flute styles with surviving masters. With Campground, David plays trumpet, flute, and percussion, and sings. 

Lana Lupiani's father,  Henry Ferrante, studied  piano and violin at The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.  He taught, played gigs, tuned pianos and supported a family of 6 children with music. When Lana was in 4th grade,  he brought home a cello, taught her the basics and she played in his school orchestras. Ms. Lupiani studied with the late Al Trnka of The Chicago Symphony for 2 years.  Played cello and sang with "Rainy Day People" folk group in the 80's.  She lives in Glen Ellyn and works in horticulture sales.  She is now Campground's principal cellist.

Josh White, Jr.

Friday, January 2, 2009

6:30 Doors, 7:30 Concert, Holiday Pot Luck Dinner
711 Lake Street, Wilmette IL

Josh White Jr.A very special night of songs and stories to welcome the New Year

Meet him in person after his WFMT 98.7FM radio live broadcast on New Year’s Eve

Josh White, Jr., became, a 'hit' literally over night at the age of four, by performing with his legendary father JOSH WHITE one night at New York's famed "Café Society" night club (America's first integrated nightclub). For the next five years, Josh, Jr. and Sr. performed from New York to Boston to Philadelphia. In 1949, Josh, Jr. landed his first role on Broadway, and as Josh says, "It was type casting..." he played his father's son in How Long Til Summer? with Dorothy Gish and Don Hanmer. While continuing a solo acting career, Josh went on to perform and record with his father for the next seventeen years on radio, television, Broadway, concert halls and nightclubs around the world. A solo career as deep and wide as his voice followed. As a concert artist, Josh, Jr. has performed on the world's greatest stages of four continents, including Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Odeon Hammersmith Hall, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, and Madison Square Garden to name a few. At the peak of this folk boom, in the mid 60s through the late 70s, Josh was considered one of the college circuit’s most celebrated and honored performing artists, the 'Dean of College Concert Attractions'.


Odetta will perform 11-16-08 LilFest SPACE Bill's Blues Evanston ILLilFest, Bill's Blues and S.P.A.C.E. present


 Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008, at 2PM

Venue: S.P.A.C.E., 1245 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, IL 

LilFest, Bill's Blues and S.P.A.C.E. work together to welcome you to experience live music at its best, right here in Evanston and the North Shore.

Odetta will perform 11-16-08 LilFest SPACE Bill's Blues Evanston ILThere are few musical opportunities in lifetime that are on a par with a concert with Odetta (with Radoslav Lorkovic) in an intimate setting like S.P.A.C.E.

From Tonight with Belafonte in the '50's to the Tavis Smiley Show in 2008, Odetta has been an American treasure and an icon. She was a deep musical influence for Dylan, Baez and Joplin, and Odetta will perform 11-16-08 LilFest SPACE Bill's Blues Evanston ILthe musical "Voice of the Civil Rights Movement" alongside Martin Luther King. (He called her "The Queen of American Folk Music" in 1964.) Her artistry is extraordinary, her spirit transcending and her music deeply affecting. This will be unforgettable. With her deep, Odetta will perform 11-16-08 LilFest SPACE Bill's Blues Evanston ILrich voice she has carried blues, gospel and songs of America throughout the world, bringing diverse individuals together through music.

Tickets are available through or Bill’s Blues or S.P.A.C.E.

General Seats $40.00

Armchair Patrons $65.00










A Little About...
Jan 13, 8pm
James McCandless & Julianne Macarus

James McCandless
From his earliest “attaboy” from Pete Seeger in the ‘80’s through his recent illness induced sabbatical, James McCandless has been known as Chicago’s poet-songwriter.  Now, healthy and performing again, I am so pleased to reunite James with his past audiences and introduce the new ones to him.  This will be a special night for LilFest as James is also a well-loved teacher at Hogeye Music on Central Street in Evanston – making him a teacher-father-son-partner-cousin figure to so many around us.  So bring your friends, prepared for wonderful songs, great guitar, and a ride on James’ stories and images.  He’s a writer who brings fascinating created worlds to life with words.  Come and watch your mind’s TV.

Julianne Macarus
Julianne has been James’ musical partner for 15 years.  When they perform together, the space where folk overlaps Irish music widens, becomes richer and brightens up.  Julianne’s work as a violinist-vocalist, add vim, energy and grace.  Especially notable: their instrumentals are little gems.

February 2, 7:30pm
Cliff Eberhardt

Cliff Eberhardt
It’s hard to say more about Cliff than Jay Votel of the Washington Times did:  “If life were fair and stardom based on raw talent, Cliff Eberhardt would be a household name. In another age, Mr. Eberhardt would have found his niche on Tin Pan Alley or writing for Broadway shows. His songs display the highest level of craftsmanship, his guitar playing is superb and his singing deeply emotional.

But if life were fair, singer-songwriters would also have less insight into quotidian ironies of life and their material would be lacking. Mr. Eberhardt takes advantage of every angle in this extended look at relationships: "School For Love," which features 12 new songs and closes with a rich version of the traditional "Clementine."
Although most of these songs are about affairs of the heart, only two - "Blessings" and "My Sweet Liza" - qualify as love songs. The rest deal with love from some other perspective, such as a wise confidante, as in the title track, when he sings "Someone should have told you from the very start/love could lead you to this broken heart."    … These songs - like all of Mr. Eberhardt's work - have a timeless quality. The title track starts with a musical and lyrical introduction, the like of which hasn't been heard in popular music since The Beatles' "If I Fell."

March 17, 8pm
Garnet Rogers & Natalia Zukerman

Garnet Rogers and Natalia Zukerman
Garnet is a formidable instrumentalist and a highly literate balladeer with a powerful baritone voice.  Traversing Canada and the US regularly, Garnet used his travel experience to create music which reflects the Maritimes, the plains, the mountains and the seas.  His songs of less-than-obvious heroes and everyday victories bring optimism into the audience’s reality.  His humor and wit are legendary.  Sing Out says it all:  “The greatest interpreter and vocalist performing in the contemporary folk scene.”  Will LilFest have crowd control issues?  Maybe, if people really figure out that Garnet is coming to 711.  Wake up and reserve!arnet is a formidable instrumentalist and a highly literate balladeer with a powerful baritone voice.  Sing Out says it all:  “The greatest interpreter and vocalist performing in the contemporary folk

Natalia Zukerman will open for Garnet.  People had e-mailed me out of the blue last year to say I really should hear Natalia and have her for a house concert. To be honest, before I got myself organized, this wonderful concert appeared on my horizon to my great delight.  Some of you remember my friend Daniel Mehta who has stayed here in the summers.  He’s a special friend of the Zukerman family and recommends Natalia to you all!  From the New Yorker Review of last Nov. 21: "Natalia Zukerman, comes from a family of noted classical musicians (her mother, Eugenia, is a flutist; her father, Pinchas, is a violinist; and her sister, Arianna, is an opera singer), but she has chosen to forsake grand performance halls for a dusty resophonic slide guitar in small clubs. She has nimble fingers capable of picking upward of thirty notes per measure, and when she sings she can switch from scat to swoon in the course of a glissando."

April 9, 7pm
Jonathan Byrd Jonathan Byrd’s buzz "izz" big and broad. (Say that with a deep southern accent.) That’s what happens when you are one of six winners of the 2003 New Folk competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival. How much of an honor is that? Lyle Lovett, Nancy Griffith, and Shawn Colvin have all been finalists at the legendary Texas festival. Born in Fayetteville, NC, Byrd convinced his father to buy him a cheap electric guitar. Then Byrd started breaking the rewind button on cassette players, learning Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix licks. He carried a guitar behind his bunk for three Navy tours in the Mediterranean. Back home, Byrd connected with the folk scene and fell in love with traditional music. His writing took a hairpin turn, as he flat picked fiddle tunes and began writing the new ballads that have gotten much attention.
Saturday, April 22, 8pm Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart

Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, the dynamic Tennessee folk singer/songwriter duo, have an elegant southern way about their performance, all at once world-traveled and Texas down-home friendly.  Stacey Earle is a member of the intensely talented family Earle.  Her brother Steve Earle leads the clan with many nationally known records, tours and concerts – to say nothing of his books and plays.  Stacey’s nephew Justin performs his own songs, and plays southern blues guitar around Nashville.  (I cut my music business teeth promoting a gig for Justin and Bucky Halker at Uncommon Ground, many years ago.)  Stacey and Mark debuted as a musical duo with 2001’s double live CD Must Be Live.

Their songwriting gifts sum up to more than one plus one with many interesting stories and moods, rhythms and lyrics.  Mark contributes a rock and roll background, while Stacey’s brand of country-folk springs comes from the south-Texas roots of people like Steve Young, David Olney, Eric Taylor.  Stacey Earle's touring experience started on an arena stage in Sydney, Australia, playing rhythm guitar in her brother's band, Steve Earle & the Dukes, on "The Hard Way" tour in 1990. Mark is a veteran touring artist, making appearances with Neil Young, Freddie Fender and also with the Dukes.  Learning from and listening to the greats, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, John Fogerty, The Beatles and many more, as a teenager Mark found himself playing in the School of Honky Tonks and Beer Joints in and around Nashville by age 15.

Sunday, April 23, 1pm Gerry O'Beirne

Trust me, Gerry O’Beirne is not to be missed: Ireland’s Celtic music darling Gerry O’Beirne is an inspiring master guitarist, songwriter, singer and producer. This Brunch (pot luck) House Concert is the perfect April Sunday family and friends memory-to-be. These quotes will make it clear if I haven’t!

“Gerry O’Beirne has written some of the best new tunes to come out of Ireland’s Celtic music scene. O’Beirne’s guitar playing is always a thing of wonder and his lyrics have become increasingly poetic and emotionally deep.”  - Dirty Linen

“The instrumentals are out of this world. A self taught master of the 6 and 12 string guitar, the playing of O’Beirne is superlative and subtle beyond words.”
- The Sunday Times

"While much of his material (Isle of Malachy, Shades of Gloria, Western Highway, The Holy Ground) is best known sung by others, Gerry reclaims his songs. He involves the listener with a gentle intensity that allows the beauty of his melodies to envelop and sweep them along: images abound of mountains and deserts, foreign lands, and County Clare, loves lost and loves won.”
- Irish Edition

July 16th, 7pm
You've heard Buddy Mondlock's songs for years- he has written for Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith and Janis Ian, wrote and recorded an album (and then toured) with Art Garfunkel and Maia Sharp, had a song recorded by Joan Baez, as well as written songs alongside Garth Brooks...
As passionate a performer as he is a writer, come listen to some of the best modern songwriting performed by the man who understands it like no other.
July 23rd, 12:30pm
James Lee Stanley & John Batdorf

All Wood and Stones: Intimate Acoustic covers of Rolling Stones songs

In an album that has the critics taking notice, James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf strip eleven classic Rolling Stones songs down to their bare essence and breathe new life into them; rendering the Stones' larger-than-life songs with acoustic instruments and tight harmonies.

In an era where Britney Spears has covered "Satisfaction," this album is a stroke of


2008 LilFest Festival VI


Print LilFest Poster



LilFest Music Festival  LilFest Music Festival

A Benefit for  CAPE(

ChicagoArts Partnership inEducation

Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Sept 12,13,14

Full Schedule

$10 Preview:Thurs 7-10:00PM+Fri 5-10PM+ Sat 1PM to Midnight+ Sun 1PM– 10PM+

Americana , Folk, Indie, Rock, Blues, Singer/Songwriter, Opera, World Music

T wo Venues: 711 Lake Ave, Wilmette = Ticket + BYOB + pot luck offering

Bills Blues, Evanston, 1029 Davis St. = Ticket + bar/BBQ menu


TICKETS & by direct mail to LilFest,711 Lake Av,Wilmette, IL 60091

Tickets will be held & sold at the door. $35 – 3 Day weekend pass or $25/day

Patron passes $100, Sponsors $250, Producers $500/up
(Want to become a sponsor? Details)

LiLfest Music Festival   312-371-2284

Open Mike by appointment

LilFest Festival 2008



LilFest Festival 2008 Schedule

  What people said about LilFest 2008...

  LiLfest Music Festival 

  See what you missed...


Friday Night Sept 12 '08 Bill's Blues 1029 Davis Evanston Friday Night LilFest Hse, 711 Lake, Wilmette,Friday Night LilFest Saturday, Sept 13 '08 Bill's Blues, 1029 Davis, Evanston Saturday Day/Night Outdoors, 711 Lake, Wilmette Saturday Day/Night Workshops  711 Lake, Wilmette, Saturday Aft. LilFest Sunday, Sept 14 '08 Bill's Blues, 1029 Davis, Evanston Sunday Day/Night Outdoors, 711 Lake, Wilmette Sunday Day/Night Piano Fest, 711 Lake, Wilmette Sunday Aft.
1:00 PM Altered Ego Josh Cohen Mark Dvorak Harmony Workshop $20 - 2 hr. 1:00 PM Eva & David Ted Geise Albie Powers Americana
1:15 PM Jay Einhorn 1:15 PM Patrick Quinn
LilFest Festival is a benefit for CAPE: Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education   1:30 PM Dean Milano 1:30 PM Steve Justman Dr. Dave Hartman Katie Gladych, Mozart's Opera
1:45 PM 1:45 PM
2:00 PM Jeff Meyer February Sky 2:00 PM Lost Dogs: Rt 66 Tour Gary Badik Carl Franzen, Jazz Folk
2:15 PM 2:15 PM
2:30 PM Rick Drost 2:30 PM Lonnie Knight
CAPE advances the arts as a vital strategy for improving teaching and learning by increasing students’ capacity for academic success, critical thinking and creativity. 2:45 PM Jay Einhorn 2:45 PM Radoslav Lorkovic, Blues Jazz Folk
3:00 PM Phil Cooper Guitar Esoterica $15 1 hr. 3:00 PM Bruce Foster Ed Holstein
3:15 PM Railjacks Folk Brothers: David Massengill and Jack Hardy 3:15 PM
3:30 PM 3:30 PM Mark Dvorak Sid Samberg, Contemporary Classical
3:45 PM 3:45 PM Tim Duggan
We invite you to learn about CAPE's students, artists and teachers at 4:00 PM Andina & Rich Laurie Akermark 4:00 PM Bob Gibson Legacy Show
4:15 PM 4:15 PM Lonnie Knight Steve Young, Jazz
4:30 PM Cooper & Nelson Alte Shteibles Klezmer Band 4:30 PM
4:45 PM 4:45 PM Bruce Foster
5:00 PM Rick Drost 5:00 PM Dennis Gruenling & Steve Guyger Blues Harp $10 - 1hr. 5:00 PM Bob Gibson Legacy Show
5:15 PM 5:15 PM Mark Dvorak Eric Futran 5:15 PM Radoslav Lorkovic
5:30 PM Alte Shteibles Klezmer Band 5:30 PM Norm Siegel 5:30 PM
5:45 PM 5:45 PM 5:45 PM
6:00 PM 6:00 PM Bob Gibson Legacy Show Jim Gary 6:00 PM Ed Holstein SASS! Trio
6:15 PM Jim Fine 6:15 PM Radoslav Lorkovic 6:15 PM Don't Forget!
6:30 PM Songwriters/ Composers Night with Jack Hardy, David Massengill and Chicago's Singer Songwriters: Albie Powers, Kris Nichols, Jeff Meyer, Sid Samberg, Dave Hawkins and more. Sign up at 312-371-2284. 6:30 PM 6:30 PM Dave Hawkins
6:45 PM Bill & Kate Isles 6:45 PM RSVP for Workshops -312-371-2284 or 6:45 PM LilFest Fest Preview Show
7:00 PM 7:00 PM Dennis Gruenling's Lil Walter Legacy Show featuring Steve Guyger Kris Nichols & Marlon St. John 7:00 PM Folk Brothers: David Massengill and Jack Hardy
7:15 PM Carl Franzén & Laurie Akermark 7:15 PM Thursday, Sept. 11 6-11PM
7:30 PM 7:30 PM
7:45 AM 7:45 PM $10 Cover for the whole evening! Then buy your discounted LilFest Festival Pass for $25 -- tonight only
8:00 PM Jazz Explorers 8:00 PM Lemondrop Dave Hawkins 8:00 PM
8:30 PM 8:30 PM Bill and Kate Isles 8:30 PM
8:45 PM 8:45 PM 8:45 PM
9:00 PM Basil & Heller 9:00 PM Radoslav Lorkovic 9:00 PM
9:30 PM 9:30 PM Carl Franzen 9:30 PM 6PM - Otchek: Nick Jaffe
9:45 PM Meridian Green, Rick Grumbecker: Bob Gibson Legacy Show Preview 9:45 PM Melvin Taylor 7PM- Laurie Akermark, Carl Franzen, Michi Regier
10:00 PM 10:00 PM LilFest Music Festival 2008 312-371-2284 Tickets through        or at the door 9PM- Rick Drost, Marshall Hjertstedt, Amy Dixon-Kolar & Sherry Bondi
10:15 PM Jon Spiegel's Tremolux 10:15 PM
12:00 PM 12:00 PM
12:15 AM Conscripted 12:15 AM
1-3 AM 1-3 AM "ElJay"