|Save the Date(s)
That’s right, events have been added to the Country and Midwestern periodic book tour, and more are in the works. (Nashville and New Orleans dates hopefully soon!) Just added are dates in Louisville, Milwaukee, Madison, and a special fall event in Winnetka.
My early idea was to make the events about the music, not me. (Unless you’re Art Rimbaud, Erma Bombeck, or Hunter Thompson, writers are ho-hum live entertainers.) I’d much rather listen to writers interviewed by someone who knows the work deeply. That’s why these book events are mostly designed around either musicians or conversations — or both.
Below is a rundown of events currently on the books. It’s summer, come out! If you are in Chicago, each event is different, which makes the case to double up. (The bookings are largely in establishments with bars for a reason.)
A few highlights:
May 8 at the Park West is a taping of Sound Opinions and will feature a conversation with Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot; it’ll be followed by a full set of music by Robbie Fulks and his band performing songs from his terrific new bluegrass record on Compass Records.
June 8 at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee will be a conversation between me and musician Paul Cebar, the ultimate Milwaukeean. I’m beyond grateful Paul agreed to do this!
June 10 at the Hideout is a reunion of the Texas Rubies, a duo that was the first to play Appalachian music in the punk era of the late 1980s and early 1990s. I’ll join Jane Baxter Miller, Kelly Kessler, and Paul Durica, director of exhibitions at the Chicago History Museum, in conversation.
June 20 at Gman Tavern, next to Metro and down Clark St. from Wrigley Field, is a conversation about the book followed by a special performance by Danny Black of The Blacks, the long, lost band that stood tall in the alt-country era of the late 1990s and beyond. Danny no longer lives in Chicago, but he put together a special band just for this!
July 10 at the Harold Washington Library is a special look at the pioneering band Special Consensus, featuring co-founders Greg Cahill and Marc Edelstein, along with mandolin great Don Stiernberg and guitarist Chris Walz. Ace Chicago journalist Monica Eng is moderating a discussion that’ll go deep into the bluegrass scene of the 1970s in Chicago.
Below are details, links, more events, and everything else you need to know.
May 2, 2023 | St. Louis, MO
LEFT BANK BOOKS, 399 N. EUCLID AVE.
Left Bank Books, the oldest and largest independent book seller in St. Louis, is hosting a conversation with Mark Guarino. 7 p.m. Reservations are required here.
May 8, 2023 | Chicago, IL
PARK WEST, 322 W. ARMITAGE AVE.
The Chicago Humanities Festival and Sound Opinions host a launch party at the Park West! Featuring a conversation between Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis and Mark Guarino. A live taping is followed by a full show by Robbie Fulks and his band featuring songs from his upcoming album on Compass Records. 7-9:30 p.m. This is a ticketed event. Click here to purchase!
May 11, 2023 | Louisville, KY
CARMICHAEL’S BOOKSTORE, 2720 FRANKFORT AVENUE
Carmichael’s, Louisville’s finest independent book seller since 1978, is hosting a conversation with Mark Guarino and Nathan Salsburg, Curator at the Lomax Association for Cultural Equity. 7 p.m.
May 12, 2023 | Cleveland, OH
VISIBLE VOICE BOOKS, 2258 PROFESSOR AVE.
An in-store conversation with Mark Guarino at Visible Voice Books and feature a country music DJ set by Cleveland’s Dollar Country! Details to come.
May 27, 2023 | Chicago, IL
RATTLEBACK RECORDS, 5405 N CLARK ST.
An in-store conversation between Mark and musician Lawrence Peters at Rattleback Records in Andersonville that will focus as Uptown, the Chicago neighborhood that was the landing spot for thousands of Southerners last century and home for dozens of storefront honkytonks. Featuring a musical set by the Lawrence Peters Outfit! 11 a.m.
May 28, 2023 | Madison, WI
LEOPOLD’S BOOKS BAR CAFE, 1301 REGENT ST.
A conversation and book signing with Mark at Leopold’s Books Bar Cafe, an independent bookstore, bar, and coffeeshop in Madison. Time TBD!
June 8, 2023 | Milwaukee, WI
BOSWELL BOOK COMPANY, 2559 NORTH DOWNER AVE.
Milwaukee’s greatest independent book seller is hosting a conversation between Mark Guarino and musician Paul Cebar. 6:30 p.m. It’s free, but reservations are required here.
June 10, 2023 | Chicago, IL
THE HIDEOUT, 1354 W. WABANSIA ST.
A special celebration of Country and Midwestern at the Hideout, ground zero for the alt-country scene in the 1990’s and beyond. Featuring a conversation with Mark Guarino followed by a special reunion of the Texas Rubies (Kelly Kessler and Jane Baxter Miller), a pioneering country duo that emerged during Chicago’s punk era of the late 1980s and early 1990s. 5 p.m.
June 20, 2023 | Chicago, IL
GMAN TAVERN, 3740 N CLARK ST.
The Gman Tavern Author Series is hosting a Book Celebration featuring a conversation between Metro/Gman New Media and Civic Events Producer Jill Hopkins and Mark Guarino. Featuring a set of live music from Danny Black (The Blacks) and band. 7 p.m.
June 25, 2023 | Oak Park, IL
OAK PARK RIVER FOREST MUSEUM, 129 LAKE ST.
A conversation at the Oak Park River Forest Museum with Mark Guarino that will focus on Oak Park’s role in the history of country and folk music via the Gate of Horn, the Old Town School of Folk Music, Flying Fish Records, and more. 3 p.m.
July 20, 2023 | Chicago, IL
THE CINDY PRITZKER AUDITORIUM AT THE HAROLD WASHINGTON LIBRARY, 400 S. STATE ST.
A conversation with Mark Guarino at an event at the Harold Washington Library in the South Loop that helps celebrate the Chicago Public Library’s 150th anniversary. The focus of this event is the 1970s bluegrass scene in Chicago and will feature a conversation (and performance by) Special Consensus founder Greg Cahill, mandolinist Don Stiernberg, bassist Marc Edelstein, and guitarist Chris Waltz! Come learn about Chicago’s role in the history of bluegrass! Moderated by veteran Chicago journalist Monica Eng. 6-7:30 p.m. Click here to learn more!
September 21, 2023 | Winnetka, IL
WINNETKA PUBLIC LIBRARY, 768 OAK STREET
A conversation with Mark Guarino at the Winnetka Public Library on Chicago’s North Shore. Books will be on hand for purchase by Winnetka’s Book Stall, one of the Chicago area’s finest independent booksellers. Time TBD.