Steve & Brian @ Uncommon Ground, Devon 4/10/14

Steve and Brian played an acoustic set at Uncommon Ground, Devon on 4/10/14. Download it here free!

Beta Dogs @ Uncommon Ground, Chicago 3.5.14

 

Sharing a bill with Mean Mary, and The Greenleaf Band, Beta Dogs took to the stage at Uncommon Ground on yet another snowy Chicago night and tore through a mix of covers and originals, including a first ever performance of the Jethro Tull classic "Locomotive Breath" and spirited renditions of "Hollywood", "The Way That it is", "Promise" and "Rosali McFall". In the middle of all of that rucus, the band pulled back the reins and stripped things way down for a quiet soulful version of Iwo-Jima. Topping off the day, Beta Dogs learned that it has been confirmed for a standing gig at G&L Tavern on the third Thurday of every month! All in all, another great night! Listen and download it here!

Beta Dogs @ G&L 2/20/14

The temperature was not sub-zero, which helped, but still, the winds were whipping in gusts of 50+ miles-per-hour on a 25° night in Chicago, after a day of rain and melting snow left streets and sidewalks looking like ponds and rivers. Yes, it has been a winter to remember (or forget) around here! Yet once again, the G&L filled up with friends, neighbors and fans to watch Beta Dogs tear through 2 1/2 hours of acoustic roots rock & roll. The vibe was quirky from the opening notes of a radically different-sounding version of "Bluegrass Thing", which may need to be renamed now -something more like "Blues Thing". Things just got weirder from there, as the band called songs out on the fly and the songs kept coming out in slightly altered states! No matter- the night was fun and the music percolated nicely, as it rolled along. No one remembers any of the details- guess we will have to give it a listen !

 

Beta Dogs shake off the winter blues @ G&L

It was another blisteringly cold night in Chicago. Temperatures hovered at -5 below zero (before wind chill - & it was gusty). Yet inside the G&L Tavern on Chicago's north side, Kick Bricks side project Beta Dogs were bringing the heat for a packed house. It was most definitely a heart warming experience for the band to see such a great turnout on such a cold winter night!

The band kicked things off with an improvised jam & then followed up with a spirited version of Death Letter. Then they just kept on playing. After a short break, they came back with a funky Stir it up and a show stopping Hallelujah. Then they just kept on playing. Who knows what was played? Guess we will find out when we get to the recording (we will put it up at some point, hopefully). No one wanted to leave -everyone was having too much fun! Finally after two sets spanning 31/2 hours the band called it a night, ending with scorching versions of Halfway to Zero and Voodoo Child. Then came the after party- drums appeared in the middle of the floor for anyone who felt like hitting them, funky jams boomed over the house system & a spontaneous dance party broke out. When did it end? Who knows? Nobody cared! It was, without question, late! Another night of ridiculous fun in the books!

Kick Bricks rocks for Ebinger!

On a wet and blustery night in January, Kick Bricks took to the stage at the Edison Park Inn, in support of Ebinger Elementary School, in Chicago's Edison Park neighborhood. The band's first public appearance in nearly five months did not dissapoint. From the opening notes of "Stir it up", to the raucus readings of "Rosali McFall" and "New Speedway Boogie", which ended the set, Kick Bricks offered up a blistering mix of covers, originals, and generous amounts of jamming to the packed room. What a blast!

Next up: Beta Dogs @ G&L Tavern (located at Grace & Leavitt in Chicago's North Center neighborhood) on Thursday 1/23/14. @ 8:30 pm.  Come on out - it's free!

Another fun night at G&L

t was a frigid night in the city of Chicago, But it wasn't enough to keep Beta Dogs and a room full of friends, family, and neighbors from bringing a little heat to the G&L Tavern on Chicago's north side. Never ones to play things  by the book, Beta Dogs played for nearly 3 1/2 hours over two sets which covered a wide range of music, including songs from deep in the band's back catalog. Highlights included Brian digging down for acoustic versions of his tune "Half-Assed Man" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", Joe taking on the Allman Brothers' "Blue Sky", and a reworking of Steve's "Hard Living", that changed a typically 31/2 minute tune into an epic 10 minute jam, to open the night's proceedings. The band seems to be coming together in real time as harmonies, arrangements and solos spring up on the fly. It's been interesting and fun. The crowds seem to be loving it too, so right now things are looking good & we can't wait for next!

Beta Dogs rock Uncommon Ground

On a beautiful post-Thanksgiving Sunday night, Beta Dogs took to the stage at Uncommon Ground on Clark Street, in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood. The band delivered a diverse set of originals and covers to an enthusiastic crowd at the intimate performance venue. Highlights included  the Grateful Dead classic "Loser" , the Stones' "Happy", and Steve's "Forgiven". The space at Uncommon Ground is a mix of wood and brick that just simply works with the wooden music the band brought to bear. The band and room both sounded great! Download or stream it for free here!

Beta Dogs play inaugural gig at G&L

Kick Bricks side-project Beta Dogs recently played their inaugural gig at at G&L Fire Escape, in Chicago's North Center  neighborhood. Featuring Kick Bricks members Brian Jablo, Joe Tinnich and Steve Lutz, Beta Dogs focuses on roots rock with a decidedly (but not exclusively) acoustic flavor. Come check 'em out if you get a chance- just like Kick Bricks, Beta Dogs are all about playing live! Check out Beta Dogs' web site for more information and free music downloads.

Kick Bricks back on haitus; J.B. Mills Injured in Bike Accident

Kick Bricks is back in haitus, as drummer J.B. Mills fractured three ribs in an accident, while riding his bicycle in Chicago last week, when the chain popped off of his gears causing him to fall hard into the pavement. As painful as his injury is, (and anyone who has ever suffered broken ribs knows how painful they can be) J.B. considers himself fortunate to have avoided more serious injury, as the accident occured in close proximity to oncoming traffic.

It has been a challenging period for the band, as Brian Jablo suffered a serious injury to his fret hand earlier this year and is still working to regain his full stregnth and range of motion.

J.B. is expected to need at least 4-6 weeks of recovery time, but will eventually be back behind his kit. In the meantime, while Kick Bricks will likely be taking an extended break, Brian, Steve and Joe will be performing as Beta Dogs; a roots-rock side project with a decidedly (though not exclusively) acoustic flavor. Look for us to do a few low-profile niegborhood sets, in the near future. Hope to see you there!

We wish J.B. a speedy recovery and look forward to more shows in the coming year!

Kick Bricks Rocks for Hops!

On a spectacular late summer weekend, Kick Bricks loaded up and headed north to Wisconson, to play the Simple Earth Hops Harvest Brew Festival. As the Simple Earth Hops crew and a hop-loving assembly of volunteers picked a variety of organic hops, the band tore into a two+ hour plus mix of rock, hip-hop and alt-country (not to mention a healthy sampling of locally produced beers)!

Capping the Event, Steve and Brian stuck around for an impromptu, heavily improvised acoustic-set with the Wisconson-based band The Earthings.

Another awesome day!