It’s that time of the year again, folks. Time to head on down to the Hideout for a full day of country music. The day starts on Hideout’s front porch at 2 pm then moves into the back room at 5 pm.

Featuring beers by Lagunitas, food by Honky Tonk BBQ, and pie from Bang Bang Pie Shop

Headliner- Jim Lauderdale
Second headliner- Rex Hobart And The Misery Boys
Also of special note- The Lint Trappers (Tony Magee, of Lagunitas Brewing)


Front porch:
2- 2:30- Jess McIntosh
2:40- 3:10- Northside Southpaws
3:20 to 4:05- Lint Trappers
4:15 to 4:45- The Family Gold

5 to 5:30- Becky Levi & Mike Vanier
5:45- 6:15- Hoyle Brothers
6:30 to 7:30- Jim Lauderdale
7:45 to 8:15- Lawrence Peters Outfit
8:30 to 9:30- Rex Hobart And The Misery Boys
9:45 to 10:15- Dirty Green
10:30 to 11:00- Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders

Join us for a Sunday matinee with Bailey Dee & her Late Nite Bait along with Gin Palace Jesters. Grab your boots and come on out to the Empty Bottle for some midday scootin’ with us from 2 to 4.

The Empty Bottle


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:

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



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.


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.



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.

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.

Upcoming Events

6:00 pm Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout
Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout
Dec 14 @ 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.
7:30 pm Michaela Anne w/ Glass Mountain ...
Michaela Anne w/ Glass Mountain ...
Dec 14 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Michaela Anne w/ Glass Mountain @ Haymarket Pub & Brewery @ Haymarket Pub & Brewery
See Michaela Anne live on stage at Haymarket’s Americana Concert Series! Glass Mountain opens. Thursday, Dec 14, 2017 – Show starts at 7:30 pm – NO COVER! Haymarket Pub & Brewery proudly presents our on-going Americana Concert Series. Hear Americana’s hottest artists every Thursday night on the stage in our Drinking and Writing Theater in Chicago’s West[...]
8:00 pm Cropduster 4 plays Country & Roo...
Cropduster 4 plays Country & Roo...
Dec 14 @ 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Cropduster 4 plays Country & Roots Night @ Smoke Daddy @ Smoke Daddy
Country & Roots Night at Smoke Daddy 8-10:30, free admission and great BBQ
5:30 pm The Hoyle Brothers @ Empty Bottle
The Hoyle Brothers @ Empty Bottle
Dec 15 @ 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’,[...]
9:30 pm Phyllis’ Honky Tonk Night: Tagle...
Phyllis’ Honky Tonk Night: Tagle...
Dec 15 @ 9:30 pm – Dec 16 @ 12:30 am
Phyllis' Honky Tonk Night: Tagleweed w/ Dan Whitaker & SB @ Phyllis @ Phyllis' Musical Inn
Tangleweed Tangleweed typically performs at drinking establishments and other communal gathering places, where ordinary people come to wash away the trials and tribulations of their workaday lives. Such venues are far removed from the niceties of the concert hall. Yet they testify to the formative influence that context can exert on performance style. How easily does the[...]
1:30 pm Chicago Honky Tonk Presents The ...
Chicago Honky Tonk Presents The ...
Dec 17 @ 1:30 pm – 4:15 pm
Chicago Honky Tonk Presents The Western Elston, A FREE Sunday Matinee @ Empty Bottle @ The Empty Bottle
1:30PM // FREE // 21+ CHICAGO HONKY TONK continues its popular Sunday matinee series with a Holiday Special show featuring Chicago favorites THE WESTERN ELSTONS! THE WESTERN ELSTONS are a classic honky tonk and rockabilly band with strong roots in 50’s to 60’s country and western swing. Holiday Pop Up Shop featuring Dethrose Vintage and more! Free Two Step[...]
11:00 pm The Joel Paterson Trio feat. Chr...
The Joel Paterson Trio feat. Chr...
Dec 17 @ 11:00 pm – Dec 18 @ 2:00 am
The Joel Paterson Trio feat. Chris Foreman @ The Green Mill @ The Green Mill
  The Joel Paterson Trio, Featuring Chris Foreman, performs every Sunday night at the famous Green Mill cocktail Lounge, playing a late night organ trio set behind the bar from 11pm to 2am.
8:30 pm Western Elstons @ Simon’s Tavern
Western Elstons @ Simon’s Tavern
Dec 20 @ 8:30 pm
Western Elstons @ Simon's Tavern @ Simon's Tavern
The Western Elstons music mixes classic country, honky tonk, and western swing. The band features Scott Ligon, (guitar and lead vocals), Casey McDonough, (bass and vocals), Joel Paterson, (pedal steel guitar),  and Alex Hall, (drums). You can find them at their residency at Simon’s Tavern playing the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Music starts at[...]
9:30 pm The Lawrence Peters Outfit @ The...
The Lawrence Peters Outfit @ The...
Dec 20 @ 9:30 pm – Dec 21 @ 12:30 am
The Lawrence Peters Outfit @ The California Clipper @ The California Clipper
Join The Lawrence Peters Outfit for two stompin’ sets of un-ruined country music, at local gem The California Clipper. Get some drinks in you, and find a partner for some two-stepping, waltzing, swing dancing, etc, or just grab a seat, and enjoy the sounds. Two time Chicago Music Award winners, and 2018 Ameripolitan Award nominees, The Lawrence[...]
6:00 pm Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout
Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout
Dec 21 @ 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.