GLEN ELLYN – Musician Ralph Covert will be returning to where it all started.
Early on in his musical career, the 1980 Glenbard West High School graduate and Glen Ellyn resident – known for his band The Bad Examples and his children's musical project Ralph's World – played at the Glen Ellyn Festival of the Arts.
Covert will again perform at the festival from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Aug. 27 during the festival's second day. The Glen Ellyn Lions Club is presenting the festival, held at Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Road.
He will also perform with his band The Bad Examples at 7:45 p.m. Sept. 9 as part of the ninth annual Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ for the Glen Ellyn-based Bridge Communities and its mission of transitioning homeless families to self-sufficiency. The event will take place from noon to 9 p.m. in the Glenwood Avenue parking lot on Crescent Boulevard between Main Street and Prospect Avenue in downtown Glen Ellyn, next to the office of Bridge Communities. All proceeds from the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ go directly to assisting the homeless families served by Bridge Communities.
Suburban Life reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Ralph Covert about his latest musical activities:
Schelkopf: So you will be performing at not one but two Glen Ellyn festivals. Is that a high honor for you?
Covert: It's awesome. I've wanted to for years. This will be my first time at the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ. I've played at the Festival of the Arts one time before. It was of my very first professional gigs.
Schelkopf: So it must make you feel really good playing two hometown shows?
Covert: I am absolutely thrilled.
Schelkopf: I know at Festival of the Arts you will be doing an acoustic show. So what can people expect?
Covert: I'm going to do a mix from across my whole career. I'll probably do some Ralph's World stuff, some Ralph Covert solo stuff and I'll do some Bad Examples stuff. ... One of the things I have been really enjoying about my Ralph Covert-type shows is celebrating all aspects of the music I've made in the different parts of my career. It really makes sense with the fan base too, because a lot of folks grew up dating and going to The Bad Examples shows in their 20s, and then became Ralph's World fans when they had kids. ... In the Ralph Covert shows, I enjoy being able to kind of bring it all together and celebrate all aspects of it.
Schelkopf: Your career is long enough that you have seen generations of fans. Does that surprise you?
Covert: I'm honored. I am thrilled and grateful that I've been able to sustain a career in this business long enough to have that take place. To be able to still be doing it is something that I am grateful for every day.
Schelkopf: You celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of The Bad Examples' album "Bad Is Beautiful" by putting the album out on vinyl this year. Why was it important to release the album on vinyl?
Covert: That was the record we really put our heart and soul into making. It was the one that really broke us in America and Europe, and I think for a lot of fans, it's one of a couple of records they have the deepest association with. ... It was a real high point. It was important to kind of celebrate that. ... It's valid to celebrate the victories of the past while continuing to accept the challenges of the future.
Covert: I'm so proud of this record. It may be the best thing I've done yet, period. If this was a Bad Examples record, I don't think there would be a disappointed fan out there.
Schelkopf: Is there a theme running throughout the CD?
Covert: With my time machine guitar, I travel through history and get to meet different historical figures. The record has songs teaching about these different historical figures and also exploring different styles of music through history.