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The Turtle in the Race: The Sumner Brothers, June 11 at Rozz-Tox PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 06 June 2013 07:43

The Sumner Brothers

Several reviews of the Sumner Brothers’ second studio album, I’ll Be There Tomorrow, start similarly. No Depression’s begins: “There’s no reasonable explanation why I have not heard the Sumner Brothers before ... .”

Actually, there is a reasonable explanation. The Vancouver duo – playing Rozz-Tox on June 11 and recording a session while in the Quad Cities – has built a following in western Canada and the U.S. west coast over the past seven years; but it has never played “out east,” in Brian Sumner’s words. I didn’t ask, but I think “out east” likely includes the Midwest.

“We’re the turtle in the race, where we just kind of slowly grow every year,” he said in a phone interview last week.

But I’ll Be There Tomorrow is bringing a lot of new ears to the group following a self-titled studio album and two collections of home recordings. “It’s just careful planning on our part,” Brian said of the positive attention the 2012 release has received. The brothers have conscientiously cultivated media relationships, he said, which paid off when the record came out in September.

Photos from Summer Camp, May 24-26 in Chillicothe, Illinois PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Matt Erickson   
Thursday, 30 May 2013 12:14

Photos from the Summer Camp music festival, held May 24 through 26 in Chillicothe, Illinois. For more work by Matt Erickson, visit

Trey Anastasio Band

Photo by Matt Erickson,

By Popular Demand: The Trishas, June 6 at the Redstone Room PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 05:32

The Trishas

The members of the band that became the Trishas – playing June 6 at the Redstone Room – knew almost immediately that they had something special. But it took some prodding for them to pursue it.

The country quartet – Jamie Wilson, Liz Foster, Kelley Mickwee, and Savannah Welch – was assembled to perform at a 2009 tribute to country singer/songwriter Kevin Welch, Savannah’s father. Foster explained in a recent phone interview that Savannah was hesitant to participate but willing to as part of a larger group. The women weren’t friends – most of them knew one of the others, Foster said – so their initial rehearsal was their first time spending any time together.

“You can put four people together and have them all sing the right harmony notes, but it still doesn’t blend,” Foster said. “You have to really learn each other’s voices to really click right.”

But during that first rehearsal, on “Satan’s Paradise” (written by Kevin Welch and Claudia Scott), the clicking was evident. “We just hit the note, and it was ridiculous,” she said. “Of course, we’re girls, so we’re all jumping around, screaming.”

The Reluctant Entertainer: John Fullbright, May 30 at Rozz-Tox PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 23 May 2013 08:09

John Fullbright. Photo by Vicki Farmer.

When John Fullbright plays at Rozz-Tox on May 30, expect a certain amount of ambivalence from the songwriter and musician.

I asked him in a recent phone interview whether he considers himself a good performer. “I think sometimes I am,” he said plainly.

It’s not that the 25-year-old Oklahoma native and resident doubts his chops, which earned him a Grammy nomination for his debut album, From the Ground Up. Rather, he’s not particularly comfortable in front of an audience.

“I don’t like getting on stage and saying the same jokes and doing the same thing and having a show,” he explained. “But at the same time ... that’s what people are paying for.”

A Letter from Camp: Summer Camp Music Festival, May 24-26 in Chillicothe, Illinois PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Matt Erickson   
Monday, 20 May 2013 10:01

A participant in an open-mic session at Summer Camp 2012. Photo by Matt Erickson ( a reprieve from the unyielding noon sun at the 2012 Summer Camp Music Festival, I head to the Soulshine Tent for a bit of shade and cold drink. Upon entering the tent, I see festival musician Jaik Willis and a camper wrapping up a music jam together. I take a seat, and Jaik invites a young woman to the stage who is next on the open-mic list. With her cowboy hat pulled down tight and a with slow foot tap; she starts her a cappella version of “Me & Bobby McGee.” Within moments you can hear the rasp build in her voice as she works her way toward the chorus. Her brow wrinkles, and – as if she were kicked in the stomach – she buckles over and unleashes her vocal wail. She tears through ’til the end and quietly passes the mic back while the small group of observers erupts into cheers, and I think to myself: “This is Summer Camp. Expect the unexpected.” I don’t remember the young woman’s name, but her passionate one-off performance was unforgettable.

Top-tier musicians and fans will be descending on the 13th Annual Summer Camp Music Festival from May 24 through 26 at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois – a drive of less than two hours from the Quad Cities. The festival has a diverse and exciting lineup along with camping on festival grounds. One hundred thirty different acts will bring everything including blues, rock, bluegrass, dubstep, and hip hop to one of seven stages.

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