"From Blues to Blue Grass" The Radical Tradition in Politics and Music

"From Blues to Blue Grass" The Radical Tradition in Politics and Music

A Benefit for the Young Patriot Organization, Jake La Botz, Jon Langford and Three blokes from Chicago

Tue, February 9, 2016

6:00 pm

The Hideout

Chicago, IL


Tickets at the Door

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"From Blues to Blue Grass" The Radical Tradition in Politics and Music
46 Years after their founding, The Young Patriots, the ‘Hillbilly” Allies of the Black Panthers Reclaim their History
A Night of Music and Reminiscing Heralds the Past, Hopes to inspire the Future

1969 Chicago. Fred Hampton, Mark Clark and Bobby Rush were organizing the Black Panther Party; a young Puerto Rican named Cha Cha Jimenez was creating a parallel organization in Lincoln Park; college campuses across the city were ablaze with activism.

This could have been any city in the U.S. during those tumultuous days. What made Chicago vastly different was the rise of another group in the decidedly anti-establishment coalition – The Young Patriot Organization - a group of young working class white men who had come alone or with their families to Chicago to escape the mine closings and tenant farming in West Virginia that left only poverty and despair in its wake.

Breaking with a tradition that at least assumes some degree of Southern racism, the Young Patriots believed that a better life would be won by making common cause with the Panthers and the Young Lords against the power of corporations, police and politicians who constrained their lives and limited their possibilities. Together that year, these three groups forged what became known as the Rainbow Coalition -- a little written-about but crucially important multi-racial group that, according to many, laid the groundwork for the election of Mayor Harold Washington in 1983. The shadow of the Rainbow Coalition may even be seen in the ascendancy of Barack Obama to the presidency.

The Coalition built clinics, organized food drives for children and the homeless, and provided legal advice to the victims of venal landlords and police brutality. But an integral part of their outreach to their young peers was a series of concerts called From Blues to Bluegrass that showcased the common musical heritage of this country’s working class in “Hank Williams Village”.

The February 2nd concert inaugurates a year of “remembrance and new beginnings” that will include conferences, museum shows, a photo exhibit and much more. MC’ing the evening at Chicago’s legendary bar the Hideout will be Hy Thurman, co-founder of the YPO and the Rainbow Coalition.
Jake La Botz
Jake La Botz
Jake La Botz’s story seems entirely too cinematic to be true. On his new album Sunnyside, Jake's songs are heavily informed by his life, one that wraps shades of Merle Haggard, Charles Bukowski, Jim Jarmusch, and Sid Vicious all in one. La Botz learned from pre-war blues masters such as David “Honeyboy” Edwards and “Maxwell Street” Jimmy Davis, but Sunnyside makes a sonic move well beyond string blues. Sunnyside was produced by Jimmy Sutton at Hi-Style Studios in Chicago, whose previous production work includes albums for JD McPherson and Pokey LaFarge. The rock 'n roll groove is paramount throughout, propelled by driving bass and drums, ethereal piano, and doo-wop inspired gang vocals. This isn’t your dad’s blues music – it’s rough hewn by La Botz’s stories from the more shadowy corners of America, with an unforgettable atmosphere that hangs like thick smoke and lingers long after the first listen.

"From the first time I heard him playing guitar and singing his songs in a smoky bar on La Brea and Sunset, I became a devoted fan of Jake La Botz. Effortlessly blending authentic blues, rock, country, and gospel, he's created a sound and style that is original and yet instantly familiar. Soulful, personal, painfully funny and sad, he's a true American classic, a gift, and a musical resource that is a joy to be discovered time and time again." — Steve Buscemi
Jon Langford and Three blokes from Chicago
Jon Langford and Three blokes from Chicago
The L'homme de Renaissance of indie rock. (That's "Renaissance Man" for all you eating "Freedom Fries.") He's done it all in his time. For us, he's created lots of cover art, produced lots of records, lent his ham-fisted guitar stylings to recordings by the Old 97's, Kelly Hogan, Sadies, Sally Timms, Danbert Nobacon, Jon Rauhouse, Alejandro Escovedo, among others, draws a comic strip, plays in the long running art/punk collective the Mekons, written a book, appeared as the backing band on This American Life and acts as a reeling papa bear figure to many of Chicago's musicians looking for direction and reassurance in this vicious racket we call the music industry. Among the guiding forces in the Pine Valley Cosmonauts and the Waco Brothers and Wee Hairy Beasties. At any given time, he has several projects going. It tires us just trying to keep up. As nice as he is prolific. Sort of rare in the hyper-rarified environment of notoriety.
Venue Information:
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642