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Big Blend Radio: On Big Shoulders - A Tribute to Chicago's Musical History

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Chicago, at its very core, is a city of sound. While the storied hub of hard work is well known for its hunger and heart, the town’s history is surely shaped as much by its music as its muscle. Old Town School of Folk Music teacher and old-time musician Matt Brown recently set out to tell that story, a project that would become On Big Shoulders.

Brown recruited some of Chicago’s most skilled players: guitarist and vocalist Steve Dawson; pedal steel player Brian Wilkie; bassist Aaron Smith; drummer Gerald Dowd; singers Keely Vazquez, Gia Margaret, Elise Bergman, and Liz Chidester; and horn players Anna & Evan Jacobson. With his own fiddle and GRAMMY-nominated co-producer Liam Davis singing and playing keys, the group headed to I.V. Lab Studios. Set for release on November 2, 2018 via Allograph Records, the ten song album features songs like Wilco’s “It's Just That Simple”, “Heavy Traffic Ahead” by Bill Monroe, Sam Cooke’s “I’ll Come Running Back to You”, “Long Tall Mama” by iconic Chicago blues artist Big Bill Broonzy , and “How Lonely Can You Be?” by alternative country artist Robbie Fulks .

Join Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, the mother-daughter travel team and publishers of Big Blend Magazines, for Big Blend Radio with producer and musician Matt Brown. This episode was sponsored by the National Parks Arts Foundation who creates unique artist-in-residence programs in park units within the National Parks Service.