The Unitarian Church of Evanston isn't exactly Yasgur's farm, but this weekend the 500-seat stone-and-glass sanctuary will host the first-ever--and perhaps first annual--Evanstock music festival. Five to seven acts will appear each day of the three-day fest, including singer-songwriter Bill Quateman, jazz pianist Fred Simon, funk band Urban Crisis, gospel, rap, and blues artists--even a barbershop ensemble, the Shoreliners. All the performers either "lived in, died in, went to school in, got arrested in, or performed in Evanston," says producer-promoter John Nance, who set things in motion in 2002 by posting a Web site documenting musicians to whom the suburb could lay claim. Nance listed "everyone possible that was into music in any way, shape, or form [to] generate a buzz," says Kirby Bivans, drummer for the Other Half, a popular draw at nightclubs, school assemblies, bar mitzvahs, and be-ins in the late 60s. Bivans is flying in from Geneva, Switzerland, where he leads a country-swing band, for the group's reunion.
"We all come from somewhere, and I think too often we cut ourselves off from our roots," says Quateman, Saturday's headliner. Best known for his 70s recordings on Columbia and RCA, Quateman last year issued a book/CD combo, Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance, with his nine-year-old daughter, India, who'll also perform. An event like this, he says with a laugh, "reminds all of us of when we were young and fabulous."
Evanstock runs August 20 through 22 at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge in Evanston. Admission is $15 per day in advance or $20 at the door; a three-day pass is $35. Tickets are on sale at www.evanstock.org; call 708-431-4893. See music listings under Fairs & Festivals for the complete lineup.