tribute band

LouderNow: Emo and Pop-punk from the Aughts

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub

Who: LouderNow
What: emo and pup-punk tribute
When: 2016-08-27
A Chicago-based cover band is bringing back music from the early aughts’ emo and pop-punk scene.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

A Chicago-based cover band is bringing back music from the early aughts’ emo and pop-punk scene.

LouderNow performs Saturday, August 27 in the Pinch Penny Pub beer garden (with the Copper Dragon Brewing Company as the rain location). The band brings back blasts from the not-so-distant past with a common interest in songs with which the guys grew up.

LouderNow includes Davey Carlson, Gary Weissman, Keaton O’Brien, Dan Zemanek, and Steve Zywica. Nightlife caught up with them before one of their rehearsals to talk about bringing back the music from the beginning of the millennium and how band politics and a fair-selection system helps keep a steady stream of music in their system.

The brainstorm behind the band’s concept comes from a night out. The five friends were within earshot of a fellow bar patron’s jukebox choices and almost immediately they had the idea of entering a setlist of their own.

“There was this kid playing a bunch of songs right in a row,” Zywica said, “and we were like, ‘Whoa! We haven’t heard that in awhile.’”

Carlson added: “We thought, ‘What if there were a band that played all of these songs?’”

The decision to bring back the glory days of skinny jeans, studded belts, eye liner, Vans, and screaming along to favorite emo and pop-punk songs featured on MySpace should satisfy a niche market thus far untouched on the regional touring circuit.

“There were a lot of cover bands playing songs from the seventies, eighties, and even some of the nineties,” said Weissman, “but we weren’t really hearing anyone play anything from this era.”

LouderNow performs tunes by Taking Back Sunday, the Used, My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Brand New, Good Charlotte, Paramore, Simple Plan, Jimmy Eat World, Sugarcult, the All-American Rejects, and Cute Is What We Aim For.

LouderNow band members say they developed a democratic system where everyone gets to choose a song to perform.

“That is one thing that is great about the free-pass system,” Zemanek said. “It gives us all a chance to have a say, and for the others it allows them to play something they might not have thought to include.”

LouderNow doesn’t plan to branch out. Even though the band’s members have a shared interest in emo and pop-punk, their other musical tastes diverge from there.

“It’d really be hard for all of us to agree on what to play,” Carlson said. “We differ that much.”

Up next for LouderNow are more tour dates, including in their hometown, Chicago. They all said they are excited about the upcoming show in Carbondale.

“We are all really looking forward to coming down,” Zywica said.

For more information about LouderNow, check out <>.

who: Louder Now

what: emo and pup-punk tribute

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company


when: Saturday, August 27

Crosseyed and Phishless: Covers of Phish Covers


Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

More Articles
Spread: Music-scene Alumni Return to Record a Live Album
Spread: Making a Nice Jam
Spread: Psychedelic Rockers Returns to the ‘Dale

Who: Crosseyed and Phishless / Melk
What: jam band
When: 2016-04-16
Crosseyed and Phishless, a five-piece cover band from Chicago, will perform Saturday, April 16 at th
Brett Haynes
Video Comentary

Crosseyed and Phishless, a five-piece cover band from Chicago, will perform Saturday, April 16 at the Hangar 9.

This is not your average cover band, folks. As their clever name so well describes, Crosseyed and Phishless performs songs that the legendary jam band Phish covers— a self-described “cover-cover experience.”

Crosseyed and Phishless consists of heavy hitters on the Chicago scene, including several from the band Spread, which formed in Carbondale, killed it here, then relocated to the Windy City. All of the members have other full-time bands, making Crossed and Phishless a supergroup of sorts.

The band includes Brad Miller of Zmick and Melk on guitar, Dave Petrizzo of Spread on guitar, Colin Finn of Spread on bass, Jason Kearney of Thinner Teed and Melk on keyboards, and Matt Rezetko of Shapes and Colors and Raoul Duke on drums.

If you have heard any of these cats’ full time bands, you know they bring the energy, the funk, and the skill necessary to turn it out.

It is not necessary to be a fan of Phish to enjoy the music of Crosseyed and Phishless, because throughout their career Phish has covered a fairly wide range of artists, including Talking Heads, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, Ween, and the Rolling Stones.

Kearney’s up-and-coming instrumental electronic dance rock band Melk will share the bill— find out more at <>.

Nightlife caught up with Crosseyed and Phishless mastermind Brad Miller and bassist Colin Finn to learn more about the group’s inception and what drew them to this project. They collaborated on the answers to the following questions by email, and this is an edited transcript.

Do you guys try to emulate the original songs spot on or is it more open-ended?
We play the song[s] with a Phish-esque attitude, adding our own flavors along the way. Each member is a big phan and a talented musician, so it’s phun to jam with this crew and play a bunch of great songs by the best bands. Phish teases all day.

Who came up with the name Crosseyed and Phishless?
Brad. The whole concept was his brainchild. We were having beers at a friend’s show last year and Brad started talking about this hilarious idea for a project that he had. All the members were present and the band pretty much made itself.

You’ve planned a small college tour, right? Where are you going to be performing? Are you especially excited about any specific dates?
Just the two for now: Canopy Club in Champaign on April 15 and Hangar in the ‘Dale on April 16. We are pretty pumped for both. Brad once lived in the Canopy Club, occupying a Monday residency during his college days with his old band Zmick. Carbondale is where Dave and myself were reborn with our good bud B. Haynes.

How did you go about figuring out which songs Phish covered?
Years of dedication to the Phish from Burlington, Vermont. Fanboyism.

Do the selections span the entire career of Phish?
Yes. However, we have not busted out “Proud Mary” yet.

Are there any songs that you think Phish covers that people think are original Phish songs?
Many. “Ya Mar,” “My Soul,” “Timber,” probably more.

Do you guys have a favorite cover to play?
“Ya Mar” and “Sneakin’ Sally [Through the Alley]” for me.

Which song is the most technically challenging?
Thus far, probably “Frankenstein.” The covers themselves aren’t too technically challenging— it’s remembering all the chord changes and Brad’s nutty setlist segues. Creating the setlists with the songs at hand is half the phun.

What do you think influences Phish’s choices in songs that they cover?

Fanboyism. They are the best cover band in the world.

Do you guys do “Peaches en Regalia”?
Not yet.

What is the most fun part about being in this band?
The personalititties. Erryone’s a fuggin’ goof. We’ve all known each other for awhile from playing shows together and runnin’ round Chitown. ‘Tis a blast to get with the crew and jam.

who: Crosseyed and Phishless
what: jam band
where: Hangar 9
when: Saturday, April 16

Steepwater Band: Getting Their Ya-yas Out

Number Nine Blacktops

Number Nine Blacktops

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Number Nine Blacktops

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Number Nine Blacktops

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Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

More Articles
Number Nine Blacktops: Turning the Strip into the Drag Strip
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Who: Steepwater Band / Number Nine Blacktops
What: Rolling Stones’ Get Yer Ya-yas Out tribute / hotrod rockabilly
When: 2016-02-27
For approximately seventeen years, the Steepwater Band has been writing and playing original rock ‘n
Alex Kirt
Video Comentary

For approximately seventeen years, the Steepwater Band has been writing and playing original rock ‘n’ roll music, touring far and wide. Their original music has been featured in several television programs and in motion pictures. The band has released about thirteen albums (including a live concert DVD). Jeff Massey (guitars and vocals), Joe Winters (drums), and Tod Bowers (bass) founded the band in Chicago in 1998. In 2012, guitarist Eric Saylors joined the band as second guitarist and backing vocalist.

The Steepwater Band is a classic rock ‘n’ roll band, with a sound deeply rooted in the improvisational rock of the 1970s. Their music is reminiscent of early albums by Humble Pie, with thick, warm, bluesy guitar tones, growling bass lines, and tight, thunderous drums. Their original albums feature well-written songs with a staggering amount of soul and substance. They are set to release a highly anticipated, brand-new full-length original album, Shake Your Faith, April 1.

In the meantime, they needed to get their ya-yas out, literally. Sometime last year, the band decided to go on tour this winter performing the Rolling Stones’ classic live album Get Yer Ya-yas Out. The Steepwater Band will get their rocks off for Carbondale’s music lovers when they bring their act Saturday, February 27 to the Hangar 9 with local openers Skinny Jim and the Number Nine Blacktops.

If you have any doubts, search online for live concert videos of Steepwater performing songs from Ya-yas. I prefer watching Steepwater play the Stones’ music. They get right down to the meat of the music while managing to avoid the unpleasant parts of watching a live Stones concert, such as the $300 tickets and Mick Jagger’s peacock dances. The Steepwater Band might be the perfect band to pull off an entire set of Mick Taylor-era Stones songs.

Thanks to the wonders of wireless communication, Nightlife was able to interview the guys in the Steepwater Band, who are currently in the midst of the Ya-yas tour.

What inspired you to learn an entire album by the Rolling Stones and to go on tour performing those songs live?

Tod Bowers: Well, we wanted to do a special show for Halloween this past October, and thought about doing an album in its entirety. Get Yer Ya-yas Out was one of the first Stones albums I ever bought, over twenty years ago, and in a time of overproduced slick rock music, Ya-yas had a huge impact on me. I loved the raw power and energy the whole band had. Immediately it was something that I wanted to strive for musically. So years later, when we started tossing around this idea of covering an album, it was the first one that popped in my head. The Steepwater Band already embodies that classic vibe of Ya-yas, so it was a no-brainer, really. Plus, being a live Stones album of that era, we can cover the instruments as a four-piece. It was before the Stones added horns, keys, and backup singers.

Have your guitar players converted their guitars to a five-string tuned to open G (or Spanish tuning, as it’s also known) in order to play Keith Richards’s licks? If so, did they study the five-string open-G guitar style before the band came up with the idea to cover Get Yer Ya-yas Out? Have they explored the styles and techniques of any other blues guitarists who use the open-G tuning, such as R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, or Fred McDowell? I’m curious about your guitarists’ interest in the music that inspired the Stones, specifically Keith Richards, to write many of his riffs in the hill-country blues style.

Jeff Massey: I didn’t go as far [as] actually removing the sixth string, but yes, both Eric and I experiment with tunings in our own music, so it felt natural to adapt to the Stones’ material. I’ve used open-G tuning for years with our own music, so I was ready to tackle “Honkytonk Women” and of course open-E tuning for “Street Fighting Man.” Eric has been using open G on a lap-steel guitar for “Love in Vain,” and that’s working really well.

Most of the other material is in standard tuning on Ya-yas, and it’s been fun blending the Mick Taylor parts with Keef’s. Eric and I kind of switch off who’s doing what sometimes, even in the same song, not to mention putting our own little spin on the guitar parts, but trying to stay true to the spirit of it all. Eric and I both appreciate a lot of guitar players, of course, and have done our share of borrowing from a lot of different influences like most players do: Freddy King, Robert Johnson, [Jimmy] Page, Keef, et cetera.

And yes, Fred McDowell and all that good ol’ hill-country blues has made an impact on us as well. Love it.

Millions of people can recognize at least a handful of Stones songs simply by hearing the hook riff. Does that make you nervous at all when you’re performing these songs?

Massey: Not really. People are actually more lenient than ya would think. I think we are staying true enough to the record to please the diehard Stones fans, but also putting enough of our own stamp on the music.

Bowers: Yeah, big-time Stones fans seem to be loving what we’re doing. At almost every show there’s been at least one guy who comes up and says how Ya-yas is one of their favorite records of all time. Sometimes they’ll yell out the classic Jagger stage banter in between songs during our set: “Charlie looks good tonight!” I know we’re doing it right when I see a smile on their face during the show.

During this tour, do you consider yourselves (however temporarily) to be a tribute band, or do you think of it more as your own personal exploration of the Stones’ music for the sake of artistic enlightenment? Or is it something else entirely?

Bowers: No, we’re not a tribute band. This is just something we are doing for fun until our new record drops in April.

Both the band and the people seem like they are having a good time with all this.

We have been recording and performing original music for years now, and even with this Stones tour, we still perform our own music either after Ya-yas or in a second set every night.

But I do think digging into the Stones record has made us a better band overall. The songs are so well-crafted, and when you pick them apart and learn all the musical subtleties that are involved, it really opens your mind up as a songwriter and what it takes to write a really good song and see why certain bands and songwriters remain timeless.

The main reason we did this was because we wanted to have fun. It’s something fresh to give our fans until the new album drops, and because we love the Stones and this album!

I watched the Youtube video of Steepwater playing “Midnight Rambler,” and I was impressed, specifically by the fact that you nailed those crazy tempo changes in the song. Did you have a long series of rehearsals leading up to this tour in order to capture the essence of the Stones in what many consider to be their greatest era?

Massey: Well, we all did some studying on our own, but the band really only had two rehearsals. Over-rehearsing would be a mistake. It’s not that kind of music. It’s about the feel.

Bowers: Speaking for Joe and I, I think we’ve heard “Midnight Rambler” so many times those tempo changes and feels are embedded in our brains.

Your drummer, Joe Winters, really seems to have embodied the style of Charlie Watts for these performances. I was impressed by his ability to recreate Watts’s somewhat non-conventional yet inventive feel. Has Winters studied Watts’s playing for long? I’ve noticed that he even does Watts’s signature hi-hat/snare thing that looks somewhat awkward but sounds and feels ever so raw and soulful.

Joe Winters: That’s a huge compliment, and thank you! For sure, Charlie Watts is one of my favorite drummers and biggest influences in drumming, but it’s even more so just being a huge Rolling Stones fan. I know their music, grooves, and feel really well just from listening to it so much over the years. I think that naturally our approach to our own music is very similar to that of the Stones, and that’s why covering this record wasn’t really a stretch for us. I actually didn’t have to study it at all. We just got together and played it, and it felt good right out of the gate.

Tod Bowers really seems to have found the Bill Wyman tone for this tour. Can you talk about the preparation that went into tweaking your bass rig for this series of concerts? Were you trying to capture Wyman’s tone through your equipment, or did that happen by accident through learning Wyman’s playing style?

Bowers: Want the honest answer? I didn’t purposely do anything for this tour.

I run my bass through my normal touring rig, an early seventies Ampeg V4. It so happens that the Stones exclusively used Ampeg amps on that tour and almost [all their] tours in the seventies. Bass players like Bill Wyman and Ronnie Lane are the reasons I use Ampeg amps. I love the big, round, gritty sound. I’m not a big fan of the modern, super-clean bass sound.

Now I did recently spend a decent amount of time really listening to Bill’s playing on Ya-yas, and I want to capture that vibe. They don’t sound too rehearsed. Bill is basically improvising the whole time. As much as I’ve listened to Ya-yas in the past, I never noticed how all-over-the-neck Wyman was.

who: Steepwater Band / Number Nine Blacktops

what: Rolling Stones’ Get Yer Ya-yas Out / hotrod rockabilly

where: Hangar 9


when: Saturday, February 27

Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra featuring Yesterday: Beatlemania Comes to Shryock

The spring semester kicks off with a triumphant tribute collaboration between two world-class instit
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

The spring semester kicks off with a triumphant tribute collaboration between two world-class institutions.

Las Vegas Beatles tribute group Yesterday joins the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra for a concert Tuesday, January 26 at Shryock Auditorium.

Yesterday was founded by their John Lennon performer, Don Bellezzo, while he was in college. In a phone interview, Bellezzo explained that he came up with the idea to expand his music career.

“I got a huge response when I would play Beatles songs,” Bellezzo said. “I had that look back then, and when I graduated, I knew that I wanted a career in music. I was seeing a lot of Elvis [impersonators] around, and I thought Beatles would be a good thing to do because I liked the Beatles better.”

In addition to Bellezzo, Yesterday includes Rich Fazzi as Paul McCartney, Monte Mann as George Harrison, and Joe Bologna playing the part of Ringo Starr.

In any given year, Yesterday performs about one-hundred shows and takes their act to five different continents. The group also once did a six-month run at the Tropicana Las Vegas Resort Casino on the Las Vegas Strip and held a three-year residency at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. That last stint set a record for the longest-running show in Atlantic City history.

Bellezzo said that after one of Yesterday’s shows, a special member of the audience introduced himself.

“Paul McCartney came up to us and said he liked it,” he said. “He said, ‘You chaps are a lot of fun.’”

The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra consists of faculty and students of Southern Illinois University as well as other talented members of the community.

Bellezzo said Yesterday has performed with several orchestras. He added that melding of the quartet with a large symphony speaks volumes about the kind of music the four Lads from Liverpool created nearly fifty years ago.

“The Beatles’ music is very melodic,” Bellezzo said. “You have great melodies and great guitar riffs. Those never die. Plus there are older people who remember those songs, and younger generations who are being introduced to them. [The Beatles] appeal to a wide range of people.”

Bellezzo also said elements of classical music can be found in many Beatles songs. One such example is “In My Life,” where George Martin performed a Bach-influenced piano solo that was recorded with tape running at half speed and then played back at normal pace and an octave higher. This revolutionary recording technique gave the piano a unique timbre that was reminiscent of a harpsichord.

“I think Bach would have loved Lennon and McCartney,” he said. “I like classical music, and I like rock ‘n’ roll music better because it is more exciting. But now we can get the best of both worlds.”

Yesterday covers all the favorites in the Beatles’ catalogue, from the early days playing in Hamburg, Germany, to Abbey Road. Songs in the setlist include “I Feel Fine,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “Nowhere Man,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Twist and Shout,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and “Come Together.” All songs are also played in the original keys used by the Fab Four.

When asked if he has a favorite Beatles song, Bellezzo pauses before he gives his answer.

“It is really hard to choose. But I like ‘Please, Please Me’ and ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’” Bellezzo said. “‘I Am the Walrus’ is good, and ‘Come Together’ always gets a huge response.”

Tickets are $20 for the public and $8 for students. For tickets, call (618) 453-6000 or visit ticket outlets at McLeod or the SIU Arena. To buy online, visit <>, click on the Tickets popup, and then on the Tickets Home link. There are no service charges for in-person purchases, though phone and online purchases will carry charges in the $2 range.

For more information about Yesterday, log on to <>.

who: Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra featuring Yesterday

what: Beatles tribute

where: Shryock Auditorium

when: Tuesday, January 26

Till the Morning Comes: Waking the (Grateful) Dead

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

Who: Till the Morning Comes
What: Grateful Dead tribute
When: 2015-11-27 - 2015-12-03
On Friday, November 27 and Thursday, December 3, long-time local audio engineer and local-music lege
Brett Haynes
Video Comentary

On Friday, November 27 and Thursday, December 3, long-time local audio engineer and local-music legend Robbie Stokes will perform with his new band Till the Morning Comes at the Hangar 9.

Till the Morning Comes, as you may have guessed, are a Grateful Dead tribute band taking their name from a classic Dead track written by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia for the album American Beauty.

The band is Robbie Stokes on guitar; Tom Hensold on drums, percussion, and vocals; Nate Blew on bass; Roger Fliege on keys and vocals; Darwin Shane Koch on guitar and vocals; and Troy Hutchens on drums.

Stokes’s musical career goes way back to the golden era of psychedelic rock music. Back in the late sixties, he was in a local band called Devil’s Kitchen. That group moved to San Francisco, where they performed with a plethora of influential legends, and Stokes did session work for Dead drummer Mickey Hart and lyricist Robert Hunter, among others. As one might imagine, playing on that scene at its peak is an amazing footing from which to cast a tribute band— of which the band in tribute pretty much led the whole scene.

Nightlife caught up with Stokes to talk about the past, the present, and of course, the Grateful Dead.

It looks like you have had the opportunity to play with a handful of legendary artists. Can you tell us about that? Some highlights from that time period that heavily influenced your career?

Yes, Devil’s Kitchen performed with many San Francisco psychedelic pioneers back in the day. I’ve been slowly working on a book about those days, lot of guys could write something interesting there. We played bills with Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother [and the Holding Company], Taj Mahal. If you count all the interesting jams and stuff, the list is long. You can get a feel for it at my website [at] <http//> or the Robco Audio Facebook page, as I have an ever-growing list on those pages. The [San Francisco] scene was very free and open and extremely diverse. Devil’s Kitchen were fledgling upstarts from Carbondale, and coulda been a contender, but the usual shite got in the way.

I sat in with a lot of people— John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with [future] Rolling Stones’ guitarist Mick Taylor, Carlos Santana at the Fillmore West, It’s a Beautiful Day, Bill Champlin of Chicago, and played guitar backup on shows with blues legends like Lightnin’ Hopkins and Big Mama Thornton. All of that influenced my style. Seeing the Velvet Underground at the Avalon Ballroom was a seminal kick!

That whole roiling cauldron of music gradually led me into some serious adventures with CCR, the “Spirit in the Sky” man Norman Greenbaum, and solo projects with Dead members, among many others. Long jams were and are part of that bit, but so are concise rock tunes.

In what way did the Grateful Dead influence you as a musician and why did you decide to start up this group?

My son Robby Clark-Stokes and I went in halfsies on a Fender Twin Reverb, a nice one, from Bill Carter. The North Mississippi Allstars used it at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson. I took it to Rustle Hill Winery and sat in on some Dead tunes with Shane’s band Moving Mary [at] Shane’s fiftieth birthday bash. That was nice, so Till the Morning Comes has just evolved from there.

What other groups have you been in since the psychedelic heyday?

As has been documented in these pages previously, I was in Coal Kitchen, Saint Stephen’s Blues, Rolls Hardly, Vision, Doctor Bombay, and Four on the Floor, among others, and a frequent guest with Shawn Colvin, the Skid City Blues Band, and Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows.

What is your favorite era of live Dead music, if you had to pick?

I don’t really have a favorite Grateful Dead era, though in general terms I prefer the earlier to the later stuff. I was very pleased when they had some mainstream success around the time of “Touch of Gray.”

How do you feel about the Dead performing with Trey Anastasio and with John Mayer now?

I’ve been hearing good things about the Mayer shows. John Mayer can play. The Trey thing— let Trey sing!— was good. We watched from Hangar and had it tuned through my P.A. there— that was some fun. Shane and I watched the entire Sunday-night gig together.

I actually think that some recent comments by John Mayer have succinctly nailed the [Grateful Dead] musical ethos and how it can be approached. Look it up.

Why did you choose the song title Till the Morning comes as the band name?

We picked Till the Morning Comes because it hasn’t been used yet. “Without a Net” would more aptly describe us, but there are, like, eighteen Dead tribute bands with that name already!

What would you say is the most difficult part about emulating the Dead?

The music is quite flexible, and striking a balance between emulating it and letting your own style in is the trick.

Do you have a dedicated sound engineer for your sets? As I imagine you must be very particular.

Yeah, we always use a sound tech, typically Robco Audio A1 Gary Griffith. We’re sound veterans of many gigs with Jake’s Leg, Uncle John’s Band, and the Schwag, too, as it happens.

In your interview on PsychedelicBaby’s blog about Devil’s Kitchen, you mentioned being influenced by some of the sound engineers of the time, such as “Bear” Owsley and others. Do you think that standards for live sound today have changed for better or worse? The gear?

Other than a penchant for using a bit too much bass, I would say that sound systems and operation have steadily improved. Embracing digital-mixing technology where appropriate and line-array speaker concepts haven’t hurt, as long as you let the dog wag the tail. Owlsley was a big influence on me in that way, along with Lee Brenkman, speaker designer/builder John Meyer, and original Dead live sound guy Dan Healy. A lot of those guys treated me really nicely when I was young and innocent, which actually didn’t last long! We are very particular about audio.

What is your least-favorite Grateful Dead song and why?

I can’t say that I have a least or most favorite Grateful Dead tune, they all have their merits. I generally prefer their original compositions to the covers, though. I like records like Aoxomoxoa and Shakedown Street, but was floored by Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. I like the tune “Loser” and “Stella Blue.” I really liked the cover art on Rolling Thunder and Tales of the Great Rum Runners, the two Dead recordings that I worked on.

I thought that all of the Dead keyboardists had their particular charms; I worked with Vince Welnick at a Schwagstock show, which was really kinda cool, as Vince was in the Tubes, yet another famous band that Devil’s Kitchen opened up for. That gig was at the San Francisco Art Institute, where, incidentally, one of my friends, the director Kathryn Bigelow, studied painting. That place was fertile ground for art and [San Francisco] music; it seems that art schools and rock music always go hand-in-hand.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Music is fun but you better really love it. Many people wish to express themselves through music, and in addition to having the innate gift you have to be very dedicated in order to get anywhere professionally.

Till the Morning Comes hopes to learn more tunes and play more shows. I don’t have nearly the time to put into as I’d like, as my audio company is always busy, but it’s fun and that’s about what you can hope for!

who: Till the Morning Comes

what: Grateful Dead tribute

where: Hangar 9


when: Friday, November 27; Thursday, December 3

Mallrats: Soundtrack to the Nineties

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub

Who: Mallrats
What: party rock
When: 2015-06-26
Turn back to a time where grunge and flannel reigned supreme this weekend when Mallrats invade Pinch
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Turn back to a time where grunge and flannel reigned supreme this weekend when Mallrats invade Pinch Penny Pub Friday, June 26. The band consists of Chris Bobrowski on lead vocals, JET on bass, Chris Riccardo on guitar, Greg Rapp on drums, and Matt Rhodes on guitar.

Mallrats conjure up nostalgia for covers by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and the Stone Temple Pilots.

Nightlife exchanged email with Bobrowski and JET about the band and what is so great about everything nineties.

How did Mallrats start?

Both Chris Bobrowski and JET: Mallrats started in February 2015. All of the guys in the band have known each other for years. Musicians know musicians, and you find a mutual respect for one another. We are always busy with our own shows each week, but when we are not we try to hang with our peers.

Basically Mallrats is a coming-together of guys who have become great friends through that process. It’s always been: “Hey, we should start a band!” The planets don’t align often, so we kind of forced this one by making a commitment for each of us to part ways with previous bands in order to play with each other....

[W]hen you start a new band, you need to fill roles. Guys who can play guitar, guys who can sing harmonies; you need to be willing and able to travel and have the mental grasp that this job doesn’t start at 10 p.m. and end at midnight— it is truly a twenty-four/seven job if you want your band to be successful. There is a ton of stuff that goes on, off of the stage, so working with a lot of the major bands in our market is like have a stacked résumé. It may sound cliché, but in the music industry it is all about who you know.

What is your favorite song that you do?

JET: Well, for me, I love playing any of the tunes where we all get to sing. There is just something super-fun about getting a great four-part harmony to work— “Low” by Cracker is really a simple song to play, but we all throw in harmonies on it and it just raises the excitement level for me.

Bobrowski: [We] do a lot of Pearl Jam. Chris has an incredible ability to sound like a lot of the artists we cover. Eddie Vedder is right up his alley. Anything Pearl Jam for certain. One of our friends overheard a random comment during our show a few weeks back that the singer must be faking it because nobody can go from Pearl Jam to Radiohead and sound that good. We laughed at it, and we are flattered— that’s a pretty big compliment…. Mallrats doesn’t use any tracks— it’s all just magic tricks and energy drinks!

What do you think it is about the music of the 1990s that resonates with some people?

Bobrowski: I’ll tell you, for the longest time we have been astounded by the college kids requesting to hear Journey, Kansas, Zeppelin, et cetera. In all honestly, the eighties will never die, but in the last year the nineties has really become the focus of the world. Flannel is selling in all the hip fashion stores, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam are all playing in the malls’ overhead systems, and the kids who grew up on this music are just getting to the freedom years of going out and having a great time. Right now really is the perfect time to do this project!

JET: I moved to Chicago in the early nineties and I remember the huge impact Q101, [radio personality Erich] Mancow and the grunge era of music had on me. Also, if you compare it to a lot of the stuff on the radio today, the nineties really was the last major movement of real music with real musicians and not just a great singer who performs with tracked loops and samples. The real thing just can’t be matched. There is an energy there that people remember, that people loved.

What do you hope someone gets out of coming to one of your shows?

Both: Well, first off, we want people to have a great time— that’s why people go out and socialize to begin with. One of the coolest things about what we get to do is facilitate a reason for people to go out and be known in their community. As they said in Cheers, you wanna go where everybody knows your name. Well going to see live bands with other fans of music— that whole scene creates this magical environment where you know people who aren’t in your normal circle— and yet everyone is welcome, and missed when they don’t come out. It’s like having a second personality where you can be a different you than from the one you might have to be at work or at school— the you that has fun.

JET: Secondly, we want to spark those memories from the nineties. I know that every time I hear a Soundgarden tune I’m immediately transported back to ninety-four in my old truck listening to Q101 and working in a Coconuts record store! Man, those were some fun times.

Do you have any plans to record new and/or original material?

Both: Sure! It’s coming— we have other things to accomplish first. We have all written and recorded previously— some of us together in a band called AETH3R— you can find us on iTunes— but it’s not hard to see a collaboration of magic in the near future!

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Both: We love Carbondale! We have three shows coming up at Pinch Penny— June 26, August 1, and September 12. We have all played down here before in other bands. These will be the first Mallrats shows in this area and we are excited. The people out here are rowdy and uninhibited— just like us!

who: Mallrats

what: party rock

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company


when: Friday, June 26

Guthrie Brothers’ Tribute to Simon and Garfunkel: Are You Goin’ to Scarborough Fair?

Venues & Businesses
John A. Logan College

Who: Guthrie Brothers
What: Scarborough Fair (Simon and Garfunkel tribute)
When Jeb and Jock Guthrie were kids, they’d stay up all night listening to the radio until their mot
Brent Glays
Video Comentary

When Jeb and Jock Guthrie were kids, they’d stay up all night listening to the radio until their mother made them turn it off. They heard bands like the Beatles and the Everly Brothers and quickly became inspired, knowing that making music was what they were born to do.

“We’d hear a great song and get what we call the tingles and say, ‘Boy, I really want to do that,’” Jeb tells Nightlife.

And now the Guthrie Brothers get a chance to do that for the area Thursday, March 19, when they present their Simon and Garfunkel tribute Scarborough Fair in O’Neil Auditorium at John A. Logan College.

Jeb credits the radio and television for their musical education. “I guess we were in about fifth grade. I was originally a drummer— I got my first snare drum— and Jock got a guitar. We’d slam around. Basically, we were hooked. We started to play, and by the time we were freshman in college we were already playing underage in bars and stuff like that. We’ve been doing it for a long time. We’ve played various different types of music, but we’ve always come back to this sort of harmony kind of sound. The vocal thing is very key to what we do.”

It was during college that they also started listening to Simon and Garfunkel.

“We’re Simon and Garfunkel fanatics, which is the reason we’re doing this show, right now,” says Jeb. “We’ve been touring with this for the past couple years and just enjoying the heck out of it.... Jock is a guitar master.”

“And Jeb is certainly the primary lyricist,” Jock adds. “It takes its course from there. Our skill sets complement each other.”

The show, though a Simon and Garfunkel tribute, also includes some originals. The Guthrie Brothers are working on their second album. (Their first album is self-titled and can be found on iTunes.)

“We’ve gotten some extremely positive feedback when we add a song or two of our own,” Jock says.

“We have a large repertoire of songs we’ve accumulated over the years,” Jeb says, “and our original stuff as well, but I do remember that ‘The Boxer’ was the first Simon and Garfunkel song that we learned. We were like, ‘Holy cow, this stuff is amazing,’ and it just went from there. And we were also getting feedback— when we played that song, people were commenting constantly that we sounded exactly like them— and we thought that was neat, but we didn’t think about doing a show in just their style of music until four or five years ago. It also caused us to be very historical about where they came from, and we got very, very deeply into the Everly brothers. Even going back to the Louvin Brothers, because they all had this kind of simpering sound, and that’s really what confirmed Simon and Garfunkel the most.”

Jeb goes on by explaining that their original music also “shows our connection to the music— why we ended up there— and it’s a unifying thing.”

But it is more than just symmetry and harmony— they like to get the crowd involved, and promise to bring humor to the stage.

“They’ll hear some good music,” Jeb says, “some amazing songs that we love to play, but we hope that they’ll laugh a little, too. We like to include, in our show, a little history, a little trivia. It evolved from something very spontaneous, we were [on stage] talking about family anecdotes, and the audience seems to enjoy it. We’ve had a lot of fun. For the older folks in the audience, we’ve been told that we have a Smothers Brothers vibe. It’s not a rehearsed shtick, but it might as well be because it comes off pretty natural.”

This show will be the second time the Guthrie Brothers have performed in Southern Illinois.

“We played at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Illinois, only about a couple weeks ago,” Jeb says, “and we had one of the most fun shows we’ve ever had, so we’re really looking forward to getting back to Southern Illinois. When we go back to the Midwest [it] is always a treat. Our father was a country doctor, so we grew up in a small town before moving to Green Bay, so country life is in our blood. We’ve been in New York now for awhile now, and sure, New York is great, but, you know, where you grew up is, sort of... feels like comin’ home, even if it’s not the exact same area. There’s a particular kind of directness and friendliness in the Midwest that is not common elsewhere.”

In other words, we Midwesterners know how to have a good time— and March 19 it’s at John A. Logan. Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for Logan students and children twelve and younger. For tickets, contact Logan’s Office of Student Activities at (618) 985-2828 ext. 8287 or visit <>.

who: Guthrie Brothers

what: Scarborough Fair (Simon and Garfunkel tribute)

where: John A. Logan College O’Neil Auditorium


when: Thursday, March 19

Schwag Return: Talk About a Long Strange Trip

Schwag Return: Talk About a Long Strange Trip
Brett Haynes
Video Comentary

On Saturday, November 8, Missouri-based Grateful Dead tribute band the Schwag will return to the Hangar 9. The Schwag have performed the music of the Grateful Dead since 1992, performing more than three-thousand shows featuring an ever revolving cast of top-of-the-line musicians. That run, however, was interrupted by front man Jimmy Tebeau’s arguably unjustified thirty-month prison sentence. This show will mark the Schwag’s first return to Carbondale since his release.

Between 2004 and 2010, the Schwag hosted camp-out music festivals at the legendary 330-acre Camp Zoe, owned by Tebeau and his wife. Until it was seized by the government through a legal tactic known as civil-asset forfeiture. (Search Last Week Today with John Oliver on Youtube for an entertaining and eye-opening look at civil forfeiture.)

“The Missouri State Highway Patrol in cooperation with the DEA launched an investigation on me and Camp Zoe,” Tebeau told Nightlife. “After four years, all they came up with was a handful of audience members selling small amounts of drugs to each other. I was not affiliated with any of these people in any way.... I took a plea deal to avoid a lengthy and expensive trial. Losing the trial could have brought me an eight-year prison sentence. By taking the plea I received a thirty-month sentence.... I am not too sure why it was decided to prosecute me when many other music festivals in the U.S. have way more drug activity than Camp Zoe ever did.”

According to Saint Louis’s Riverfront Times, “Missouri Parks recently paid $640,000 for the land, which used to be a girls’ summer camp. Tebeau won’t see any of that money. Federal agents seized the land in 2010, saying drug dealers were selling $500,000 worth of drugs at each weekend festival, so proceeds from the sale are likely to wind up in the coffers at the DEA or Missouri State Highway Patrol.”

Find out more at <>.

Nightlife caught up with Tebeau, and here’s an edited transcript of the conversation.


So you are out and the Schwag is back in action! How does that feel?

It feels great to be free once again. Prison was not fun. Playing the music of the Grateful Dead and touring around the country is one of my great passions in life. Having that taken away from me for awhile was not cool. Getting back to it once again makes me very happy.


Can you tell us a bit about the events you held at Camp Zoe?

The main events at Camp Zoe were the Schwagstock music festivals and variations on that theme. These were basically two-night Schwag concerts with a number of support bands booked around the Schwag. The early spring event was called Springjam, and the Halloween event was called Spookstock. There were an average of five of these type events each summer, with the ones in May, July, and September being called Schwagstock. There were also several other events that happened at Camp Zoe, some of which were an electronic-music festival called Underground Sound, and a three-day event called Big Summer Classic which featured the band String Cheese Incident along with Los Lobos, Del McCurry, and many others.


How did Camp Zoe come to be such a massive attraction to live music and festival culture?

The events at Camp Zoe were averaging an attendance of around five-thousand people every six weeks through the summer season. The success was a combination of quality bands and production elements combined with consistent promotion and an endless focus on good vibes and energy. We always worked real hard to make each Schwag show a great musical experience. Each concert would be totally different, with running a three-hour performance on Friday and Saturday nights without many song repeats throughout the ten-show, five-weekend season.


You lived on that property too?

Yes, me and my wife lived on the property. We had two children while living there. There were also several staff members that lived on the property full-time. In the summer there were seasonal employees that also lived there. It was not quite a commune of any sort, but a commercial entity with a focus on camping and live music.


What happened in your own words, with the property seizure and conviction? How do you feel about it? Was it because you have dreads?

The festivals at Camp Zoe were becoming quite popular. It was apparently causing some culture shock in that rural area of Missouri.... Maybe it was because I have dreadlocks and potentially looked like some sort of Charles Manson cult leader that could possibly cause trouble unless stopped early on. I don’t really know. According to the evidence presented to me, it did look like the security team was getting too laid-back at Camp Zoe. I wish the authorities would have called me to tell me there is some concern so we could have fixed any issues. In the end, I took complete responsibility since the property was in my name. I feel it was an intense and emotionally draining experience overall.


Do you have any warnings or advice for festival organizers?

Yes. Make sure all your security staff and regular staff are doing what they are supposed to. Never assume anything and always double-check every detail. Be proactive about communicating with local authorities about security issues.


Has your perspective on the scene changed since you have been incarcerated?

My perspective of the music scene has not changed, although I now have a deeper understanding of the legal system and how it works.


Did you get to listen to any music while you were locked up?

Yes, I was able to purchase an MP3 player while incarcerated. We were able to purchase songs from the prison computer system. I also worked in the prison music department, which had a CD library for inmates to check out players and discs.


How did you pass the time?

I played a lot of music while in prison. Some days I would rehearse up to six hours. I did help produce a few concerts for the other inmates. We would set up a few of the prison bands in the recreation center and perform a miniconcert. I played in a couple of the bands and helped run the audio and lighting equipment. I did get to perform some Grateful Dead music with one of the bands I was in.


Will there be any Schwagstocks or Spookstocks in the future?

I will not be buying or leasing any more property to produce events at. There are many other property owners and campgrounds that are willing to hire my band to play for a weekend. I will let other people deal with security, trash, bathroom cleaning, porta-jons, et cetera.... At this point in my life I just want to play music. The Schwag will be performing at other music festivals in the future.


What do you have to say for people who miss Camp Zoe?

I miss Camp Zoe as much as anyone because many of us considered it our home. We had a good run. The memories we hold from those seven years will be with us forever. The energy and vibes we all created at those events is not over. It is now just being spread out to other places at different times.


What do you think draws people into music festival culture?

The music is the catalyst that first draws people in. The social aspect is another element. A lot of people tend to enjoy camping and enjoying some great concerts together. It is a great environment to meet people and make new friends.


What is the current Schwag lineup? Are you guys still playing with former Jerry Garcia Band member Melvin Seals?

The Schwag has always been an ever-evolving cast of musical characters. There are several recurring players that come in and out of the group. For four years I was also a member of the Jerry Garcia Band, which had members of that band rounding out the Schwag lineup at different times. We just played four shows with Dave Hebert, who still plays guitar in the Jerry Garcia Band. Melvin Seals will still be an occasional guest to some Schwag shows in the future. The current regular Schwag lineup includes Sean Allen Canan on guitar, Dave Clark on drums, Jack Kirkner on keyboards, and me on bass guitar and lead vocals.


In your opinion, what is it about the music of the Grateful Dead that inspires so many people?

I believe it is the energy and vibe of the music as well as the lyrical content that inspires so many people. The music feels good and has a good story behind each song. There is also an organic element to this music that gives people the feeling that anything is possible at any time.


What era of Dead are you currently most interested in?

I like any live Dead recordings, but my favorite is anything between 1989 and 1995. The band had really come together at this point of their career. This was also the same time frame I was following the Grateful Dead around the country. I saw the band perform live seventy-seven times in these years.


If you had to pick a least favorite Dead song, what would it be and why?

My least favorite Dead song is “Keep Your Day Job.” I don’t like the message and feel it was overused as an encore song too many times by the band.


What is your favorite Grateful Dead studio album?

I prefer the live recordings, but if I had to pick one studio album it would be Terrapin Station. The amount of orchestration and production on this recording was outstanding.


Do you think music is spiritual? How so?

Music is very spiritual, in my opinion. Music is a universal language that has the power to evoke emotions from any person. People seek out these feelings by listening to music and attending concerts. Even little babies are moved by music. Music seems to have the power to make people happy and to heal emotional distress. It has been a powerful spiritual tool in my life. It definitely helped me live through my prison experience. When I entered prison I was asked what my religion was and I responded with music.


Do you think aliens have ever visited Camp Zoe?

Quite possibly. Maybe many years ago. Although during some of the Schwagstock festivals there were sightings of strange lights in the sky and interesting characters roaming the property.


Do you think the authorities should be more interested in that?

I think the authorities could spend a bit more time looking into corruption of the banking industry than strange lights in the sky.


How has this experience changed you and what’s next for yourself and the Schwag?

The experience of being incarcerated has changed me in a way that it makes me appreciate everything a lot more. Having your freedom taken from you helps you realize all the little things in life you may have taken for granted in the past. I now want to make the Schwag band the best possible group it can be. We rehearse more now. We also put more effort into each show, making it as high-quality of musical experience as possible with the resources available to us. If we are going to do this, then let’s do this to our potential and beyond. The band is sounding better than ever these days.


If you had to pick a favorite lyrical verse from any Dead song what would it be and why? Only one verse!

“Escaping through the lily fields / I came across an empty space / It trembled and exploded / Left a bus stop in its place / The bus came by and I got on / That’s when it all began / It was cowboy Neal at the wheel / A bus to Never Ever Land.”


who: Schwag

what: Grateful Dead tribute

where: Hangar 9

when: Saturday, November 8

Interstellar Overdrive

Band Members
Douglas Flummer - bass and vocals - Josh Kidd - drums - Patrick Jones - percussion - Curt Wilson - guitar, vocals - Craig Roberts - guitar, vocals, sound effects - Mike Stein - keyboards
Contact Info

Another Dead Cover Band Bringing the Quintessential Jam Band to Life

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

Who: AD/CB (Another Dead Cover Band)
What: Grateful Dead tribute
When: 2014-03-06
On Thursday, March 6, AD/CB will perform their next monthly show at the Hangar 9. The band, also kno
Brett Haynes
Video Comentary

On Thursday, March 6, AD/CB will perform their next monthly show at the Hangar 9. The band, also known as Another Dead Cover Band, is in fact not just another Dead cover band.

AD/CB consists of Steven Kaufman on keys and vocals, Jesse Payne on guitar and vocals, Nathan Blew on bass and vocals, and Stephen Byrd on drums. These cats have performed as AD/CB since 2010, and since then the group has become a regional testament to the music of the Dead. The members of AD/CB have been primary forces on the Carbondale jam-band scene for years now, as members of the group played in Defined Perception and Spread.

As AD/CB, they are dedicated in every way to the emotional, technical, and aesthetic qualities of the quintessential jam band. AD/CB is a fantastic way to experience the music that influenced so many people, not just musicians. Find out more at <>.

Nightlife caught up with founding members Kaufman and Payne for the following interview:

What’s new with the band?

Kaufman: Got this monthly going on at Hangar 9 and are going to play Lamasco in Evansville, Indiana on March 22. It's pretty much the Hangar 9 of Evansville, so we're pretty excited to go play there. We are hoping to get into some wineries in the area soon, so keep an eye out for that. As always, we are trying to incorporate new— well, new to us— material into the show.

What are your favorite Dead songs to perform?

Kaufman: I prefer either chunky, funky organ work like in “Loose Lucy” or some faster, traditional-like ones where I get to play a ton of notes on the piano like “Jack-a-Roe” or “Me and My Uncle.”

Payne: That is a tough question. I have a lot of fun playing the more uptempo ones that make people dance, but I still really enjoy the Dead's more laid-back list. My favorites from night to night change constantly because of all the improvisation involved. You never can tell how it's gonna work out... and that's awesome!

Are there any songs in the catalogue you don’t like to play or haven’t performed?

Kaufman: There are really none that we don't like to perform, just ones we haven't polished up or attempted to learn yet.

What sets you apart from other Dead cover bands?

Kaufman: Distance. We live here, they live there. That's about it. Seriously, though, every Dead cover band has their own flavor. No Dead cover band is alike, with the exception of the fact that we all love the Grateful Dead.

Payne: I think one of the big differences is the fact that most other Dead cover bands usually have more members, while we are a basic four-piece. That gives us a flavor all our own. Oh yeah— our door cover is usually cheaper.

What was your favorite year of Dead music?

Kaufman: I can't really name a favorite. A lot of the early stuff was grittier/bluesier and they had [the late vocalist] Pigpen. Then in the seventies things evolved into a sound that most people are familiar with, songs like “Tennessee Jed,” “Truckin',” and “Shakedown Street.” The eighties brought more diversity as they experimented with the tech of the day, adding synths and whatnot.

Payne: I would say that I lean a little more towards the late seventies up to the nineties, just because I think they really started to tighten things up as a band. I am a pretty big fan of all of it, though.

How did you guys get your start?

Payne: Steven, Nate, and I were in the band Defined Perception at the time and looking for a drummer. We had already been thinking of starting a Dead band when Byrd came through for a tryout. We played through a couple Dead tunes and had the perfect fit for AD/CB. Ever since then, we have had a lot of fun getting people to dance to great tunes and challenging ourselves with the material. I am pretty positive people are gonna see us around for a long time... even when we all get a “Touch of Grey.”

who: AD/CB (Another Dead Cover Band)

what: Grateful Dead tribute

where: Hangar 9

when: Thursday, March 6

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