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How to stay ever vigilant: William Elliott Whitmore at Grey Area 2019

On the farm where he was raised in Montrose, Iowa, William Elliott Whitmore is spending the afternoon rearranging his wood
shop. He just got back home after a couple of weeks touring throughout the Northwest, and he’s just glad to be back at work putting things in order: in his head, his wood shop and his garden. […]

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‘Ain’t Got Time For Hate’: Blues singer Shemekia Copeland headlines North Liberty Blues & BBQ festival

Shemekia Copeland’s headlining set at the 13th annual North Liberty Blues & BBQ festival starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. The musical lineup also includes sets from Southern Culture on the Skids, Gloria Hardiman & the Monday Night All-Stars, Kevin Burt, Joe & Vicki Price and Brian Johannesen. Admission is free. […]

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Alex Williams is a ‘Little Too Stoned’

On the road, through the telephone, Alex Williams’ voice sounds like it’s coming from an ancient country 8-track. He’s not even 30 years old yet, but his voice, a rich baritone even when he’s just speaking, seems to come from the dusty rack of a since-shuttered record shop. He plays and sings at the Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon this Saturday, May 11. Tickets are $12. […]

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The difference between mesas and mountains: Luke Winslow-King’s soulful Delta blues comes to The Mill

Luke Winslow-King sings like the Michigander he both once was and now is again, influenced as he’s been over the years by New Orleans and a lot of other places in between. He’s playing a stripped-down duo set with Italian slide guitarist Roberto Luti at The Mill on Friday, May 10. Brian Johannesen opens. […]

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Midwestern folk laborman Chicago Farmer is ‘getting somewhere’

Despite his name, Chicago Farmer has a tough time even getting grass to grow at his home in Bloomington, Illinois. It’s not for lack of trying, though. “I actually have this mud pit in my backyard right now,” he says, laughing. “I’ve been planting grass, but I’m never around here to water it.” He plays the Famous Mockingbird in Marion on Friday, May 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. […]

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‘I don’t know the place, but the place is the tune’: Leo Kottke brings a life in music to Englert Theatre

At this point, Leo Kottke is made mostly out of broken guitar strings and American myth: a folk instrumental overheard and transcribed by what could be remembered. Even the facts of his life paint wide, patriotic strokes of wordless music. He brings all of this, an unparalleled but true American story in music, to the Englert Theatre on April 13. […]

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At Chez Grace, Chef David Zaghloul performs an a capella chef-d’oeuvre

It’s approaching dinner time, and Chef David Zaghloul is sitting at one of his tables, waiting for customers to arrive—a common scene in every restaurant, but here at Chez Grace, even the waiting is a job that Zaghloul does alone. “I do the front and the cooking and everything else,” he explains. This means that […]

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Album Review: Flash in a Pan — ‘Folklore’

Back in 2012, an Iowa City-based string band named themselves Flash in a Pan in the belief that they would play two shows and dissolve quietly into the night. Those two shows were seven years ago now, and 2018 saw the band release their second full-length album in as many years. […]

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