Souled American | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


I remember hearing Souled American for the first time less than two years ago and thinking then that aside from some nice grooves here and there, the band was pretty lackluster. Since then, though, they've gradually metamorphosed into an absolutely first-rate club act. I still can't understand much of what Chris Grigoroff is singing, but I don't care, because his funky nasal whine serves so well as a central focus for the band's hell-at-the-bottom-of-a-beer-bottle swirling darkness of sound (anchored by Joe Aducci and Jamey Barnard, one of the toughest rhythm sections in Chicago). Perhaps given new confidence by having recently signed with Rough Trade, Souled American are still evolving, growing ever more subtle in the way they can writhe, roar, whisper, swing, and ultimately squeeze real drama out of what would otherwise seem just a series of catchy little riffs. At a time when other country-influenced rock bands seeking to mine the "American roots" vein have come to sound like callow adolescents, Souled American sound like real men. Tonight (acoustic performance), Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood; 465-8005. Monday, 9 PM, Phyllis' Musical Inn, 1800 W. Division; 486-9862. Next Friday, July 8, Chicago 21, 6020 W. Belmont; 777-5208.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jeff Hamand.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment