Hiya. We are back. Excited to be sharing more music at our favorite venues in town, and of course, hoping to see you at a show. You’ll notice some changes in our lineup, so be sure to come celebrate the start of 2019 with us. We will also be in touch over the holidays (a few things are yet up our sleeves) but we are getting ready for our visit to the Friendly Tap in Berwyn on Jan 12, and then Amy’s Wine House on February 23. Victoria will be sharing some tunes at Amy’s Wine House in more sparse arrangements, singer-songwriter style on Jan 26. Put em’ on your calendar – we want to see you.
Got any questions? Don’t be shy. KettlestringsMusic@gmail.com.
We kicked off the warm weather (hallelujah!) by accompanying the Women Inspired by Song Ensemble on Sunday May 6 at Unity Temple in Oak Park. We got those toes tapping and our ensemble members reported having a great time singing with the band.
June 20th we are performing at Navy Pier for a private party. Speaking of which, do you want us to come play your private party this summer? Give up a shout and we’ll see if we can make it happen!
If you are interested, our own Victoria Storm and Richard Raskin will be playing some of Victoria’s original tunes along with a few Kettlestrings tunes at Wishbone on Chicago’s north side on June 23, along with the one and only Scott Fab, captivating singer/songwriter from Detroit.
In July you can find us warming up the lovely space at Amy’s Winehouse in Forest Park on July 28. Then we will be at the Outtaspace in Berwyn on August 18, so put it on your calendars. Loads of new music to share with y’all.
Oo, we can tell it already, this is going to be a GREAT summer! Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Join us, and another 15 or so performers/bands, for a delightful evening of songs dedicated to supporting young musicians through scholarship. Yep, it’s the annual Spring Music Festival at Unity Temple in Oak Park. This has been a pet project of Ray Holdsworth’s, our drummer extraordinaire, who has been producing this evening (along with a whole host of committee members) for something like 20 years. We raise money through ticket sales for the UTUUC Music Program and the Vocal Scholarship Competition, which through a rigorous audition process, supports promising high school vocal students with scholarship monies to continue their studies. Awardees then perform at a service in the following year.
It’s a great show and you will not be disappointed with the big hearts and big sounds shared by this caring community. Come help us keep the music flowing.
Shoot us an email and we will share with you how to buy tickets.
Happy New Year! May 2018 be full of art, inspiration, and peace for you and your beloveds. May it be the same also for those who we struggle to connect with, so that our collective worlds can embrace greater joy. After all, what’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding anyway?
We are looking forward to sharing a night of music with local band Kaldi Jones, Jan 27, 2018. Our Victoria and Kaldi Jones’ Jeff Kust have shared the stage multiple times in the past back in the days of Hoot Nights at Schubas hosted by Tom Dunning, as well as a few go arounds at The Hideout with friends Jacquie Krupka and others. Kaldi Jones is sure to satisfy with their roots focused revival set. Here’s a tune from a show this summer “Jacob Sings the Blues.” And a little “California Dreaming” in January is always a good thing too.
Come join us at Berwyn’s ever enjoyable Outtaspace at 6840 32nd St. in the Depot District.
Till then, we are going to go and play some Nick Lowe and meditate on world peace. Or maybe some local peace. That would be good too.
Happy New Year!
Join us next weekend as we reflect and say goodbye to summer, and welcome autumn. It’s the best time of year. What are you looking forward to? Back to school? Back to work? Back to dark beer and pretzels?
As a student and professional musician of a few varieties, rehearsal has been a regular part of my life. Rehearsing with Kettlestrings however has become a new experience, a space of friendship, of exploring joy, an adult playground. Each time we prepare for a live performance we engage in this space of playfulness, where creativity is invited and being in the moment is the imperative. I’m heading to rehearsal tonight, inviting of this space and energy, looking forward to convening with my music friends once again.
Hope to see you at The Outta Space on September 9.
We are looking forward to seeing you at The Outtaspace on Saturday night in lovely Berwyn. Shaken Not Stirred is playing at 8, Kettlestrings at 9. Order yourself a Kettlestrings Cocktail (a whiskey and beer concoction) and the proceeds will go to your favorite charity, or maybe my favorite charity. We’ll decide by raffle by the end of the night. Fun!
Wow – what a whirlwind.
Invited to play at Magic Tree bookstore, Ed (accordion), Steve (bass and vocals) and Victoria (vocals and guitar) shared a set of tunes unplugged. It is so much fun to explore these tunes in different formations! We love it!
Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park
Later that night, Steve, Victoria, and Ray shared a set of Victoria’s original tunes at the UT Spring Music Fest where a dozen or so additional musical acts raised scholarship money for student musicians. It was a great night of sharing and variety!
Here’s a few photos to share the events. If you were there, thanks for coming!! You know who you are!
Looking to purchase Victoria’s solo EP? You can grab it at iTunes or CDBaby.com/cd/VictoriaStorm. Follow on your favorite streaming platform – available on AppleMusic and Spotify.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a “cover band”. It all started when I was chatting up the bar tender at a local beer and music establishment where I naively believed Kettlestrings was a shoe in for a gig. I had a nice chat with this bartender, and then she asked me if my band plays originals. I responded that, no, we play our own arrangements of songs written by other people. In her mind, that made us a “cover band,” and the bar wasn’t interested in hiring cover bands. Conversation over.
I didn’t argue. She was busy pouring beer. But on reflection, I should have made the case for bands that play other people’s songs. It seems crazy to divide the music world between cover bands and original bands. Wouldn’t it make more sense to divide it between bands that play good songs and bands that play bad songs? I mean, it’s great that there are bands writing new songs, but there are so many good songs already out in the world that deserve to be played well and discovered (if they are not well known) or reimagined (if they are).
Many great jazz and pop artists (not to mention orchestras and chamber ensembles) are “cover bands.” The best ones bring fresh ideas to even the most over-played songs, and enable listeners to hear those songs again, for the first time. My life is richer because Linda Ronstadt covered “Tracks of My Tears” and “Blue Bayou”, even though I knew the Smokey Robinson and Roy Orbison versions. And I first discovered Warren Zevon’s “Poor Poor Pitiful” when Ronstadt sang it. (I love Zevon’s version too — each has its own rewards.) Doesn’t the world need both the Nick Lowe version of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding” and the Elvis Costello version (not to mention the Kettlestrings’ version, which is different from both)? And weren’t both Ronstadt’s countrification of Motown, and Costello’s transformation of Nick Lowe’s sad ballad to an angry anthem acts of creative audacity?
Kettlestrings mostly plays music written by other people, though we are starting to add originals by our marvelous lead singer/guitarist Victoria Storm. But I don’t think of Kettlestrings as a “cover band” — at least if that term diminishes what we do. We are musicians who find inspiration in a world of great songs. We try to mine them for new inspiration so we and our listeners can enjoy them together, again.