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« A First Person Account of Big Freedia at the Empty Bottle, 2/1 Rocking Down to Austin: Chicago at the 2013 SXSW Music Festival »

Preview Tue Feb 05 2013

Preview: Angela James' Country Music Has a Chicago Coolness @ The Hideout 2/7


Photo by Jordan Martins

The bio on Angela James' website reports that she first started learning country music songs off the radio sometime in the '80s, "when country wasn't cool."

That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is proof that it's been a very, very long time since country music was ever "cool". Whatever happened exactly that made country music so uncool--or whether or not it even was cool to begin with--is up for debate, but something definitely happened. Nowadays, it seems like its mostly the "alternative" country music that's holding on the strongest to its own roots.

Angela James' country music is one such example of that. But she incorprates a unique twist of her own that might even be considered "cool"--especially if you're from Chicago and you like your country music fused with the seemingly impossible combination of experimental jazz.

James released her debut EP "Down and Out" last November backed by a band of "musicians from Chicago's jazz, experimental, and country scenes." As such, it features those typically bright steel guitars and the mournful lyrics of classic honky-tonk country, but it's also backed with lush arrangements of gently brushed drums and a surprising electricity. The title track even begins with nothing more than a slow build of atmospheric drone.

Before moving to Chicago, James focused on folk and rock music in other bands, and even some samba and tropicalia during a brief stint in Brazil. But country music seems to have always been in the background. The outside influences definitely seep through on her EP, and the result is a uniquely Chicago kind of country music--one literally built from bits and pieces of Chicago's many music scenes.


Angela James and her band play at The Hideout this Thursday at 9pm. Tickets are $7. The Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia Ave.


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Feature Mon Nov 16 2015

When David Meets Diode, It's a Whole Other World

By F. Amanda Tugade

Over the last few years, David Cohen's made a career by staying current and exercising his right to compromise with technology's past. To his fans and Chicago's DIY community, he is known as Diode Milliampere, a solo artist with more than a knack for making music from obsolete hardware.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
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Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
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Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
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Oh My Rockness
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Theft Liable to Prosecution
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Abbey Pub
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Beat Kitchen
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The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
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Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Sun Nov 29 2015
KRS-One @ The Shrine

Mon Nov 30 2015
Free Monday @ Empty Bottle

Thu Dec 3 2015
Secret History of Chicago Music Book Release @ Empty Bottle

Fri Dec 4 2015
Cuddlestock @ Empty Bottle

Fri Dec 4 2015
Strand of Oaks @ Metro

Sat Dec 5 2015
Yakuza @ Empty Bottle

Sat Dec 5 2015
Lowdown Brass Band @ Hideout

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