Chicagohonkytonk.com


God bless those Hoyle Brothers, weekly delivering us our sermon straight from the good book of hard-hitting honky tonk classics. The Empty Bottle host the Hoyles each week for a Honky Tonk Happy Hour from 5:30 to 7:30. Here you’ll find one of the best dance scenes that Chicago has to offer, keeping the two-step alive and as vibrant as it ever was.

 



Last Thursday we presented our first official Chicago Honky Tonk show. Joining us at Martyr’s were The Country Doctors, followed by Lonesome Still and headlined by Dan Whitaker & the Shinebenders. Can’t wait to see all you honky-tonkers again at the next one!

Chicago Honky Tonk Presents
The Country Doctors
Lonesome Still 
Dan Whitaker & the Shinebenders

 



 

A nice crowd turned out for the last date of Al Scorch’s Winter Slumber series this year at The Empty Bottle. Al had several friends join him on stage during the afternoon including Lawrence Peters. Here’s Lawrence with the whole band doing a hot rendition of Handsome Molly.

 

Al and his band ripping through some tunes and digging in on some jams:

http://www.alscorch.com/



Come on out for our inaugural Chicago Honkytonk Presents show! 

We’re excited to have Martyrs host us for this full night of honkytonk music and dancing.

Country Doctors 8pm – 8:50
Lonesome Still 9:10-10pm
Dan Whitaker & the Shinebenders 10:20-11:10

For tickets visit http://martyrslive.com/

 

 

Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders

Dan Whitaker leads The Shinebenders on a honkytonk excursion through the past, present and future.  The Chicago band has been forging its own version of country music for over a decade behind Whitaker’s songs and an unwavering desire to perform. Founded in 2002 the group has been entertaining audiences with countless shows in Chicago and the Midwest while supporting their independent releases.

Long-time band mates The Shinebenders have backed Dan since their formative residency at the defunct Hotti Biscotti. The Shinebenders include Earl Power on bass, Belden “Trip” Kimball’s on acoustic guitar and Chase Jackson’s on drums.

Dan Whitaker’s history in Chicago independent music goes back to the late 1980’s with DeKalb punk-funk favorites June Bug Massacre, 1990’s with the Americana-blues-rock band Great Plains Gypsies, and most recently Chicago jam-rockers The Gyps. He also currently plays with Western Grand, featuring Jay Harris.

danwhitaker.com

 

Lonesome Still

Hipsters, two-steppers, and even grizzled country purists agree Lonesome Still might be the best-kept secret in Chicago’s country music scene. You’ll hear the influence of the band’s blues, rock, and folk roots as they create a unique retro-country sound anchored by lead singer Michael O’Briant’s Johnny Cash-baritone, sweetened by Kary Ream and Emily Albright’s perfect harmonies, not to mention Emily’s fiddling. Add Chicago music scene veterans Tony Wittrock on lead guitar, Michael “Q” Quiroz on bass, Dave Huizenga on rhythm guitar and vocals, plus Theresa Drda on drums, and you’ve got Chicago’s best outlaw country group.

https://lonesomestill.com/

 

 

The Country Doctors

The Country Doctors founded their practice in 2001. They refer to themselves as an “alt-classic-neo-traditionalist-honkabilly band.” Their roots are in the heartfelt repertoire of country musicians who played and sang with a purity of emotion often lacking in the genre today, while at the same time embracing contemporary artists who share a similar approach to country music. They’re easy to find as they play many venues and festivals in and around the Chicago area. In 2011 they opened Country Music Day at Taste of Chicago which culminated with a classic performance by Loretta Lynn and her band. They’ve been nominated for a Chicago Music Award as Best Country-Western Entertainer in 2011 and 2012. They have two CDs on the independent Medical Records label. The Docs emphasize vocal harmonies, tight arrangements and hot instrumental solos. A typical Docs performance will include their original songs as well as the genre-defining sound of vintage honky-tonkers such as Hank Williams and Buck Owens, songs by country outlaws like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash and music from contemporary and/or alternative country artists. Most importantly, they like to have fun with their music and their audience.

https://www.facebook.com/CountryDoctors/



The Hoyle Brothers are going strong as ever in their residency at The Empty Bottle. This particular Friday, as on any given Friday, we were treated with great tunes and killer licks. Brian, Steve, Josh, Lance & Myles are Chicago favorites. Make sure to get out and see them soon 5:30-7:30 each Friday at Empty Bottle.

 

 

 

A clip of Waylon’s Dreaming My Dreams by the Hoyles:



Sunday night’s benefit for wounded veterans had the whole floor dancing. The Heartbeat Hoedown had a huge turn-out and these honky tonkers were ready to have a good time. It was a fundraising event for Dancing Well: The Soldier Project. Their mission is to use community dance to restore the well-being of veterans and families affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).

The night kicked off with some old time fiddle music which really got the crowd moving. Joining hands with each other, the crowd created a long bouncing snake that wrapped around the whole room weaving in and out around the bystanders and through their own line.

The event was hosted by Tee Claw who taught the dances as the night went along.

Up next was a good ole fashioned square dance called by our host Tee Claw himself. Every inch of the floor was covered with dancers swinging and laughing.

There was some great Cajun music after the square dance. Tee taught us all how to Cajun two-step to it. Then it was time for the raffle followed by Daphne Fleur and the Haggard Review with some good ole honky tonk tunes and country music. One lucky winner from the raffle took home a whole box of homemade cookies! Other winners took home CDs from the bands and first prize got some cash!

Well done on this great event KickstandProductions, Old Lazarus’ Harp, Tee Claw and anyone else involved. It sure was a great time!

Bands that played: Can I Get an Amen – T-Claw Calling southern squares
Les Haricots (mem of Hey, Chère) cajun two-step 101
Daphne Fleur and the Haggard Review

 



Here’s some photos from the Barn Again Cowboys’ show from last night at Cole’s. These Cowboys were fronted by Ethan Kinsella who he sure can sing ’em. Dan Whitaker was rippin’ it up on lead guitar and Mike Drassler was playin’ it pretty all night on the pedal steel. Played ole Hank tunes, Kinsella’s originals, and even ‘Home on the Range’ was in there. If the good lord’s willing, maybe we’ll see this one-off band play again some day. We sure had a good time fellas!

 



Great time last night at Cole’s with The Wandering Boys. Playing old bluegrass standards and hits such as Blue Moon of Kentucky by the great Bill Monroe. These boys sure do know how to pick em’ and they yodel too!

Pictured below is a guest appearance of Jess McIntosh singing a song with them.



It was a great night of honky tonk music in Chicago last night at The Beat Kitchen. The Family Gold opened the night with some great original songs and some old chestnuts.

Check out their album at bandcamp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wayne and his band blew everyone’s minds. Here’s a clip from the night:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out Wayne’s latest album: https://soundcloud.com/bshq/slingin-rhythm-by-wayne-hancock

More Wayne Hancock dates



Posts about honky tonk shows coming soon!

Check our calendar for the latest honky tonk events.

Upcoming Events

May
25
Thu
6:00 pm Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout
Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout
May 25 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout @ The Hideout
Devil in a Woodpile, they play blues. They also play country. Ragtime. Hot Jazz. Hillbilly. It’s all the same to them. It’s all taken from the same deep, muddy well called American Music that existed long before wise guy marketing goons and interweb algorithms decided to categorize and sub-categorize the whole mess.
7:00 pm The Wandering Boys @ Cole’s Bar
The Wandering Boys @ Cole’s Bar
May 25 @ 7:00 pm
The Wandering Boys @ Cole's Bar @ Cole's Bar
Hard driving bluegrass band from Chicago, IL with rapid picking, clever arrangements and crisp four-part harmony. Playing at Cole’s every Thursday. Show starts at 7pm. https://thewanderingboys.bandcamp.com/releases
May
26
Fri
5:30 pm The Hoyle Brothers @ Empty Bottle
The Hoyle Brothers @ Empty Bottle
May 26 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
The Hoyle Brothers @ Empty Bottle @ Empty Bottle
  First, it’d be a sin if you love country music, you’re in Chicago, and you don’t spend the nub of your Friday evening enjoying The Hoyle Brothers’ weekly dose of free Chicago country music at The Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western)! Ya gotta catch what has become a weekly “kick off yer weekend” tradition of drinkin’,[...]
May
27
Sat
6:00 pm Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders ...
Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders ...
May 27 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders @ Cole's @ Cole's Bar
  Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders have held a residency at Cole’s bar in Logan Square since Summer 2015. Shows are now in Cole’s back room each Saturday from 6-8 pm with no cover charge. There’s plenty of room for dancing to The Shinebenders in the back room with excellent sound. Typical set times are first set[...]
7:00 pm Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Bill Kirch...
Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Bill Kirch...
May 27 @ 7:00 pm
Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Bill Kirchen @ FitzGerald's @ FitzGerald's
Two roots music greats — Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Bill Kirchen — perform 2 sets on stage together. They’ll perform their own songs and back each other up. Plus stories and conversation. Doors open at 7 pm. This will be a seated show. JIMMIE DALE GILMORE: With his warm, warbling tenor voice and folksy, friendly approach to[...]
Jun
1
Thu
6:00 pm Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout
Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout
Jun 1 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout @ The Hideout
Devil in a Woodpile, they play blues. They also play country. Ragtime. Hot Jazz. Hillbilly. It’s all the same to them. It’s all taken from the same deep, muddy well called American Music that existed long before wise guy marketing goons and interweb algorithms decided to categorize and sub-categorize the whole mess.
7:00 pm The Wandering Boys @ Cole’s Bar
The Wandering Boys @ Cole’s Bar
Jun 1 @ 7:00 pm
The Wandering Boys @ Cole's Bar @ Cole's Bar
Hard driving bluegrass band from Chicago, IL with rapid picking, clever arrangements and crisp four-part harmony. Playing at Cole’s every Thursday. Show starts at 7pm. https://thewanderingboys.bandcamp.com/releases
Jun
2
Fri
5:30 pm The Hoyle Brothers @ Empty Bottle
The Hoyle Brothers @ Empty Bottle
Jun 2 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
The Hoyle Brothers @ Empty Bottle @ Empty Bottle
  First, it’d be a sin if you love country music, you’re in Chicago, and you don’t spend the nub of your Friday evening enjoying The Hoyle Brothers’ weekly dose of free Chicago country music at The Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western)! Ya gotta catch what has become a weekly “kick off yer weekend” tradition of drinkin’,[...]
Jun
3
Sat
6:00 pm Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders ...
Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders ...
Jun 3 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders @ Cole's @ Cole's Bar
  Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders have held a residency at Cole’s bar in Logan Square since Summer 2015. Shows are now in Cole’s back room each Saturday from 6-8 pm with no cover charge. There’s plenty of room for dancing to The Shinebenders in the back room with excellent sound. Typical set times are first set[...]
10:00 pm Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders ...
Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders ...
Jun 3 @ 10:00 pm – 11:59 pm
Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders @ Bernice's @ Bernice's
First Saturdays at Bernice’s. 10 pm-1 am, usually 3 sets The exterior might scream old-man bar, but this dive is a diamond in the rough. The proximity to both the Cell and the Zhou B Art Center means you might just find a debate at the jukebox between South Side regulars angling for “We Are the Champions”[...]