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Local News

FitzGerald’s hosts annual American Music Festival

Bill FitzGerald, owner of FitzGerald's Nightclub, 6515 Roosevelt Rd. in Berwyn stands behind the bar before last year's American Music Fest in Berwyn.
Bill FitzGerald, owner of FitzGerald's Nightclub, 6515 Roosevelt Rd. in Berwyn stands behind the bar before last year's American Music Fest in Berwyn.

BERWYN – Blues, rock, pop, zydeco, soul, funk, jazz, country and folk, its all on the menu for the 33rd annual American Music Festival at FitzGerald's, 6615 W. Roosevelt Road, from Wednesday through Saturday.

This is the Chicago area's definitive Americana and roots music festival, featuring something for virtually all musical tastes, rain or shine on three stages. Performances will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Wednesday; from 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., Thursday; and 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

The four-day event, the oldest festival of its kind in the Chicago area, features more than 50 artists from Chicago and around the country. On Friday, a portion of the lineup features Bloodshot Records artists in a celebration of the label’s 20th anniversary. Also new this year, advance tickets will be available for each day, in addition to the usual festival four-day pass.

This year's lineup includes such favorites as Billy Joe Shaver, the Holmes Brothers, CJ Chenier, The Bottle Rockets, The Iguanas, Robbie Fulks, and C.J. Chenier and Marcia Ball. Up-and-coming artists Hurray for the Riff Raff, Pokey LaFarge, Jarekus Singleton, The Black Lillies, John Fullbright, The Warren Hood Band, Colin Gilmore and The Howlin’ Brothers are also schedule to perform.

The event lineup includes three special performances, as well, including a tribute to Lowell George with the New Orleans Suspects and Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat; Texas troubadour Joe Ely will tear it up with Reckless Kelly as his backing band and the super group, The Split Squad, will feature guitarist Keith Streng, of The Fleshtones, guitarist Eddie Munoz, of The Plimsouls, bassist Michael Giblin, of Parallax Project, and French drummer Florian Barbier. 

On the food front, Tom "Festival" Cimms returns with his mix of classic American BBQ and Louisiana favorites like Cochon de Lait, andouille sausage po' boys, gumbo and jambalaya. Vegetarian options will also be available.

Advance tickets cost $30 per day and can be purchased at at TicketWeb and in person at FitzGerald’s. A four-day pass costs $100 and is available at TicketWeb only. A lanyard can be picked up at will call on July 2.

Children 12 and under are welcome with parents until 10 p.m. Tickets for kids cost $5, but no children’s tickets will be sold in advance.

The Festival is presented by FitzGerald’s, 93XRT and Miller Lite.


Festival lineup:

July 2:

In the tent: Marcia Ball Band (10:30 p.m.), Junior Brown (8:30 p.m.), Warren Hood Band (6:45 p.m.), Colin Gilmore (5 p.m.).

In the club: Black Lillies (10:45 p.m.), Joe Pug (9 p.m.), Holmes Brothers (6:15 p.m.).

In the Sidebar: Chicago Farmer (11 p.m.), Ryan Joseph Anderson (9:45 p.m.), Michele McGuire (8 p.m.)

July 3:

In the tent: Tribute to Lowell George featuring the New Orleans Suspects with Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat (10:30 p.m.), New Orleans Suspects (9 p.m.), Tributosaurus becomes The Band (7 pm), Shinyribs (5 p.m.)

In the club: Eric Lindell & Co. (11:30 p.m.), Pokey LaFarge (9:30 p.m)., Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys (7:45 p.m.), Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett (6:30 p.m.), The Fat Babies (5 p.m.)

In the Sidebar: Cannonball (11 p.m.), Ron Lazzeretti (9:30 p.m.), Bunkertown (8 p.m.), Joe Filisko and Eric Noden (6:30 p.m.)

July 4:

In the tent: Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys (10:30 p.m.), Shemekia Copeland (8:30 p.m.), Bottle Rockets (6:45 p.m.), Billy Joe Shaver (5 p.m.), Lost & Nameless Orchestra (3:15 p.m.), Switchback Band (1:30 p.m.)

In the club: Jon Dee Graham (midnight), Shinyribs (10 p.m.), Robbie Fulks (8 p.m.), Kevin Gordon Band (6:15 p.m.), Jarekus Singleton (4:30 p.m.), Cory Branan (3 p.m.)

In the Sidebar: Kory Quinn (11 pm), The Belvederes (9:30 p.m.), The Dyes (8 p.m.), Weepin' Willows (6:15 p.m.)

July 5:

In the tent: Joe Ely and Reckless Kelly (10:15 p.m.), The Iguanas (8:30 p.m.), Hurray for the Riff Raff (6:45 p.m.), Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Express (5 p.m.), Glen David Andrews (3:15 p.m.), The Salty Dogs (1:30 p.m.).

In the club: CJ Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band (10:45 p.m.), John Fullbright (9 p.m), Sarah Borges and Girls, Guns & Glory (7:15 p.m.), The Split Squad (5:45 p.m.), The Bellfuries (4:30 p.m.), The Howlin' Brothers (3:15 p.m.), Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers (2 p.m.)

In the Sidebar: Expo '76 (9:45 & 11:45 p.m.), Jenny Dragon (8 p.m.), Ella Gill & Scott Daniel (6 p.m.), Dirty Pigeons (4:30 p.m.)

For access to all info about the American Music Festival, including band bios, go to

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