The Outta Space, 6840 32nd St., Berwyn
BILL BLOOMER If you’ve been wondering, “Where are all the good lion-wrestling, Buddhist monk, Americana singer-songwriters?” It’s time you meet Bill Bloomer. The singer, guitarist and songwriter is keeping the troubadour tradition alive, performing on two or three continents a year. He may be playing at a festival in Terlingua one month, and then busking in France on the way to festivals in the United Kingdom and house concerts in Scandinavia. So what does he sound like? Sinewy guitar lines played on a vintage 1930 “The Gibson,” melodies that stick to your ribs, lyrics that can evoke a laugh or a tear (sometimes in the same song) and a voice like bourbon; strong, bracing and with a sweet tinge of honey in songs telling a story like the whisper of a friend.
THE MENARDS Band namesake Tim Menard is a Chicago veteran. Tim’s hand-picked a coterie of his favorite players — his wonderful, fiddle-playing bride, Cathie Van Wert Menard, veteran bass ace Michael Krayniak, pedal steel guru Gabriel Stutz and drum legend Paul Bivans. Featuring Tim’s indelible original tunes mixed with some carefully curated covers, the Menards spin aspects of folk, rock and country into a rich web of Americana.