One of my favorite things about this “job” (where “job” equals “doing something for free, so thank goodness for that 40-hour-a-week-corporate-America-thing, not that I’m complaining because this is seriously fun”) is being exposed to local bands. It’s one thing to review the big shows that roll through town, but it’s another to get to hear bands who are making their voices heard on the local scene. The tenth anniversary show for Shoeshine Boy Productions was one of those opportunities, featuring four local (or local-ish) acts on the stage of the Double Door.
Chicago/Palatine-based funk rock band Murley Shertz opened the show, providing some high-energy rock tunes, both originals and covers, including a Phoenix cover and their rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana”. It’s always nice to see an MJ cover of a song that’s less well-known (well, at least, one that I don’t hear often; the crowd seemed to recognize it instantly, though, so I guess I’m just Michael Jackson-deficient). I also enjoyed the fact that lead vocals traded off between the members, and even the drummer had a shot at taking lead on the Phoenix cover.
Next up was Jeffrey David, formerly of Kansas, later Austin, and now Chicago, who was one of my favorite acts of the evening. While his set was full of pop/rock songs, his voice reminded me a lot of alt-country sorts of singers like Ray LaMontagne — you can find his cover of “Trouble” on YouTube if you want to confirm or deny. He’s got a pretty versatile voice and can rock a fedora pretty well, which is always A+ in my book.
The Chris Buehrle Band followed, and it seemed like a good deal of the crowd was there just for these guys, and with good reason. One comparison described Buehrle’s style “like Bruce Springsteen and John Mayer fighting in a back alley, when Ben Folds comes up and decides to make them all do shots.” They’ve got a wonderful classic rock sound, with some very strong blues influences, and they’re not afraid to be a little irreverent: see their hilarious cover of “Let’s Get it On” for proof of that.
Closing out the show was Danny Chaimson, who has bounced between Chicago and LA, performing with a fantastic backing band, the Eleventh Hour. Chaimson switched between piano and guitar for his set, singing clever and slightly snarky original songs such as “Bobblehead Girl”, hilariously relating a story about a stereotypical party girl, and “LA LA”, a less than loving tribute to Los Angeles and its place in the music industry.
Check out some photos from the show here on Flickr.
Murley Shertz: MySpace | Facebook | Twitter
Jeffrey David: Official Website | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter
Chris Buehrle Band: Official Website | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter
Danny Chaimson and the Eleventh Hour: Official Website | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter | Store