A week ago a group of 10 Chicago songwriters played to a capacity room at the Hideout in a celebration of the late Michael P. Smith. Michael died in 2020 at age 78; he left behind a songbook of richly poetic songs that blend lyrical poetry, dry wit, and a journalist’s eye for detail. His songs were recorded the most by Steve Goodman, although many others, from Suzy Bogguss to Jerry Jeff Walker, all recorded covers during his lifetime.

The show ran for two-and-a-half hours, but nothing about it felt long. Instead, there was a lot of love in the room for Michael thanks to Gerald Dowd, Jamie O’Reilly, Naomi Ashley, Steve Dawson, Linda Marie Smith, Mark Dvorak, Dennis Leise, Rachel Drew, Chris Farrell, and Judson Claiborne.

Thankfully, a crew was on hand to record the entire program. Sit back and enjoy this incredible afternoon of music.