Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel & John Ballantyne's Crazy Heart
Friday Sept. 14 @ The Outta Space $10
ANNA FERMIN 9PM
Named after an old Western novel, Anna Fermin’s TRIGGER GOSPEL reflects a spirited sound that intertwines hometown country and rock & roll with “a strong melodic-pop appeal.” (Holly Rushakoff, The Octopus)
Formed in 1997, Anna Fermin’s TRIGGER GOSPEL has garnered the attention and respect of critics and music fans alike, hooking audiences with their memorable songs and rousing live shows. In the y ears this Chicago-based band has been together, they’ve shared the stage with an impressive roster of musicians including Johnny Cash, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, Robbie Fulks, David Crosby, Delbert McClinton, Neko Case and many more.
The eclectic influences of her bandmates, who include Paul Bivans on drums & percussion, Michael Krayniak on bass, Andon Davis on guitars and Alton Smith on keyboard, have become the perfect compliment to Fermin’s stunning originals, "that smartly place her voice where it belongs - front and center.” (Monica Eng/Chicago Tribune)
JOHN BALLANTYNE'S CRAZY HEART 10:30pm
More often than not, the road to country music stardom originates in Texas, Tennessee, or another time-honored Southern destination. John Ballantyne’s story arc reads way different.
Fast becoming recognized as one of Chicago’s premier country singers and songwriters, Ballantyne was born and raised in Scotland, though you’d never know it from his earthy vocal delivery and immaculate lead guitar. Both resonate with the twang and raunch of classic honky-tonk country, also known these days as Americana. A frequent presence on the Chicago club circuit, John and his band Crazy Heart will take their musical exploits to a whole new level this year, building on a recent hugely successful tour of Scotland , the highlight of which was two mainstage appearances at the prestigious Tiree Music Festival.
Ballantyne’s highly unusual saga commenced in southwest Scotland. “Music was a big part of local culture. I grew up in a small mining community. What would typically happen is, on weekends, people would socialize in bars, having a few beers, then taking turns to sing with the band,” John says. “Bars at that time closed at 10 p.m., and then they would make their way to each others’ houses to continue with the party. So that was the backdrop to my childhood.