Freakwater, Nora O'Connor Agenda Early Warnings (Music) Member Picks Recommended Soundboard

When: Mon., Jan. 21, 8 p.m. 2013

The music industry is notorious for chewing up artists and spitting them out—starting a band rates pretty low as a career decision. That’s why bands built on friendship, fun, and love of the craft often last the longest. Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin, who both grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, started singing together in their late teens for the joy of it—they’d break into song while, say, washing dishes—and in the late 80s they formed Freakwater. They haven’t released a new album since 2005 and both are active to varying degrees with solo projects, but they still come together every now and then, and this week they’ll perform in Chicago for the first time in more than seven years, supported by longtime bassist Dave Gay and guitarist Jim Elkington (Bean’s partner in the Horse’s Ha) and focusing on material from 1994’s Feels Like the Third Time. In all likelihood the distinctive weave of their voices, broken in after so many years like a favorite pair of jeans—Bean’s is refined, Irwin’s relatively coarse—will make it feel like no time at all has passed. Old friends just fall back into their groove. —Peter Margasak Nora O’Connor opens.

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