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Great Moments in Vinyl plays The Who

September 27, 2019 • Martyrs’ • Chicago, IL

For years, The Who had been creating collections of songs that had a unifying theme. On The Who Sell Out, they positioned their music between radio jingles and fake commercials as though the recording represented a radio broadcast. On the musical suite, “A Quick One,” the individual songs were stitched together to tell a story of infidelity and forgiveness. By the time they reached their rock opera Tommy, the idea of a unifying concept found the songs playing out a dramatic arc over four album sides. The response to Tommy was so huge that their chief songwriter, Pete Townshend, wanted to up the ante with something even more grand: another rock opera accompanied by a film and the means for audience members to interact with the music live. The project was called Lifehouse, and it was truly ambitious. Townshend pushed himself hard, and the rest of The Who followed suit in a handful of concerts to test drive the material. But fans were indifferent to the music. And when the project finally collapsed, Townshed later admitted it put him on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

The failure of Lifehouse turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It forced The Who to take their new songs and focus their creativity on creating just a single record. The results were the astounding album Who’s Next. It was only the fifth studio album the group had made, but it went on to become one of the most highly regarded and best loved albums in rock.

Join us Friday, September 27th when we pay tribute to The Who with an opening set of the songs from their landmark live album Live at Leeds followed by the complete collection of music from Who’s Next. Featuring Alton Smith, Scott Tipping, Kevin Campbell, Jim Barclay, and William Lindsey Cochran.

Tickets available through martyrslive.com.


Great Moments in Vinyl plays Elton John and Prince

September 28, 2019 • Edgewater Fall Festival • Granville between Sheridan and Broadway • Chicago, IL

Join us for two of our most popular performances this year: our tribute to Elton John’s legendary double album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and our tribute to the album that made Prince an international star, Purple Rain. It’s great music for one of the last outdoor festivals of the Chicago festival season. We’ll take the stage to play Elton John at 4:00. Then we’ll be back to close out the day with our set of Prince’s music beginning at 5:45.

This one features Greg Woods, Jim Ryan, Zoey Witz, Ben Dacoba, and William Lindsey Cochran in both sets with Phillip Armstrong and Eric Tre’von of the Mosaic Soul vocal ensemble joining us for our tribute to Prince.


Great Moments in Vinyl plays Stevie Wonder

October 26, 2019 • Martyrs’ • Chicago, IL

Stevie Wonder was only 13 when he found himself at the top of the charts with his breakthrough instrumental hit “Fingertips, Pt. II.”  It was a virtuoso performance improvised on the harmonica.  The spontaneity is clearly evident in the live recording when you hear the bandleader frantically asking, “What key?  What key?”

Thirteen years later, Wonder answered that question with an amazing collection of music that revealed him to be an artist in command of all of his skills:  singer, keyboard artist, drummer, harmonica player, songwriter, lyricist, arranger, bandleader, producer, and more.  As if in reply to that original question of “What key,” Stevie Wonder named his new album Songs in the Key of Life.  

It’s a collection of music that remains a remarkable milestone not only in Stevie Wonder’s career, but in the world of music itself.  Prince called it the best album ever recorded.  Elton John takes a copy of it with him wherever he travels.  “For me, it's the best album ever made,” he has said, “and I'm always left in awe after I listen to it.”  Kanye West cited it as one of the albums he competes with as he creates his own music.  “It sounds musically blasphemous to say something like that,” he once said, “but why not set that as your bar?”  

Join us Saturday, October 26th at Martyrs’ for a full night of this legendary music. Featuring Phillip Armstrong, Eric Tre’von, and Erica Rene—members of the Mosaic Soul vocal ensemble—and more.

Tickets available through martyrslive.com.


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Kate Bush


Kate Bush

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Kate Bush


Kate Bush

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays Kate Bush

August 14, 2019 • Martyrs’ • Chicago, IL

Peter Gabriel, Prince, and Elton John have all collaborated with her. Tori Amos and St. Vincent have found her music inspiring. Björk has named one of her albums a personal favorite. David Gilmour helped launch her career when she was still a teenager. Nigel Kennedy has called her a “national treasure.” And in an industry where artists clamor for attention, Neil Gaiman has praised her for “her willingness to be quiet until it’s time to speak.”

Great Moments in Vinyl pays tribute to Kate Bush with a performance of one of her most popular and ambitious albums, the 1985 release Hounds of Love. Although she’s been a phenomenon in the U. K. since her debut in 1978, Hounds of Love represented Bush’s breakthrough in the U. S. with a successful hit single and a series of four memorable videos. Join us when we bring this remarkable music to life along with an assortment of other songs from throughout Kate Bush’s career.

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Woodstock at Rialto Square Theatre


Woodstock

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Woodstock at Rialto Square Theatre


Woodstock

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays the music of Woodstock

July 25, 2019 • The Rialto Square Theatre • Joliet, IL

Fifty years ago this summer, a music festival took place in the New York countryside. It was an event that redefined rock and roll and gave a generation its voice. Join us as we celebrate this legendary festival with MeTV-FM in an evening called Woodstock: 50 Years of Music, Memories and Me.

GMiV will perform music heard on the original Woodstock stage with images and memories of the festival presented by Rolling Stone photographer Baron Wollman and eyewitness stories taken from our guitarist Richard Pettengill’s forthcoming book Woodstock Boy: A 15 Year Old in the Garden.

Featuring Bill Grady, Richard Pettengill, Andrea Bunch, Dan Ingenthron, Christian Rogala, Jonathan Reed, and William Lindsey Cochran.

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Prince

Prince-Purple Rain-210 Live


Prince

Great Moments in Vinyl plays Prince: Purple Rain and more!

July 18, 2019 • 210 Live • Highwood, IL

Prince started his career as a talented young singer and instrumentalist with an ear for funk and a penchant for provocative lyrics. But as he found his footing in the world of music, he began breaking down barriers and challenging preconceptions about race, religion, gender, sexuality, and more. And he did so while remaining both creatively adventurous and commercially accessible. His 1984 soundtrack to the film Purple Rain was the culminating moment of that vision, propelling Prince into superstar status and cementing the trajectory of the rest of his career. As he said on the occasion of his induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “I embarked on a journey more fascinating than I could have ever imagined.”

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The Rolling Stones-Hot Rocks-2019


The Rolling Stones

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The Rolling Stones-Hot Rocks-2019


The Rolling Stones

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays The Rolling Stones

July 13, 2019 • Joliet Area Historical Museum rooftop concert • Joliet, IL

It's a remarkable fact that The Rollings Stones have released as many compilation albums as they have albums of original material. But for a lot of music fans, those greatest hits albums are where they got started. And out of all the "best of" releases the Stones put out, one has been an enduring favorite:  Hot Rocks.

Join us as we pay tribute to "The Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band in the World" with a concert featuring the songs from one of their most popular collections. With Phil Angotti, Rachel Drew, Richard Pettengill, William Lindsey Cochran, and more.

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Led Zeppelin I and II


Led Zeppelin

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Led Zeppelin I and II


Led Zeppelin

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays a 50th anniversary tribute to Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II

May 25, 2019 • Martyrs’ • Chicago, IL

Led Zeppelin was Jimmy Page’s idea. In the book Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page, the guitarist told the story of how “playing in my early bands, working as a studio musician, producing, and going to art school was, in retrospect, my apprenticeship. I was learning and creating a solid foundation of ideas. But I wasn’t really playing music.

“Then, I joined The Yardbirds, and suddenly— bang!—all that I had learned began to fall into place, and I was off and ready to do something interesting.”

Page definitely had something interesting in mind. As he told Guitar World magazine,

“Ultimately, I wanted Zeppelin to be a marriage of blues, hard rock, and acoustic music topped with heavy choruses – a combination that had never been done before.”

Page summed up his vision like the art student that he was: he wanted to make music that had “lots of light and shade.”

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Pearl Jam 04-25-19


Pearl Jam

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Pearl Jam 04-25-19


Pearl Jam

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays Pearl Jam

April 25, 2019 • Martyrs’ • Chicago, IL

It started with a demo tape of unfinished songs that a trio of guitarists from Seattle sent out in hopes of finding the right vocalist to complete them. An aspiring musician in San Diego not only heard the demo, he immediately came up with lyrics for three of the instrumentals and sent back an audition tape of his own. The musicians in Washington liked what they heard and invited that singer in California to come for a visit to see where the music they could create together might take them.

And so began the career of Pearl Jam. Today we think of them as the last band standing from the era of grunge. But while their roots were deep in the alternative rock scene of the Pacific Northwest, they grew beyond those regional origins to become one of most popular bands in America today.

Great Moments in Vinyl pays tribute to Pearl Jam with two sets of their powerful music at Martyrs’.  We’ll open our show with Ten, the multi-million selling album that introduced music fans to group, then use our second set to relive highlights from the albums that followed their debut.  And as always at a GMiV concert, you’ll hear stories about the songs and the musicians that created them.

Bill Grady will be front and center as vocalist and guitarist supported by a band that includes Scott Tipping on guitar, Jeremy Peters on guitar and keyboards, Jonathan Reed on drums, and William Lindsey Cochran on bass.

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Tom Petty 04-13-19


Tom Petty

Tom Petty 04-13-19


Tom Petty

Great Moments in Vinyl plays Tom Petty

April 13th, 2019 • 1101 W. Granville (Edgewater Artists in Motion), Chicago, IL

The people Tom Petty sings about are fighters. People who wrestle with the challenges that confront them and take them to the mat. Maybe it was because Tom Petty knew a thing or two about fighting back.

Born to a bleak existence in Florida, Petty found inspiration in a chance encounter with Elvis. Then along came The Beatles and The Stones to add fuel to his fire. With those two bands pointing the way, Petty had a road map to a new future. And he did what countless other young music fans did. He started runnin’ down the dream. He listened to his heart. It told him what to do. He was learning to fly. He wouldn’t back down. And deep inside he knew that while he might occasionally come up with the short end of the stick, even the losers get lucky sometimes.

When we pay tribute to Tom Petty, we’ll open the night with his breakthrough album with his band The Heartbreakers, Damn the Torpedoes, and then spend our second set reveling in the songs that were milestones throughout the rest of his 40 year career.

Featuring Phil Angotti, Richard Pettengill, Dan Ingenthron, Benji Shefler, and William Lindsey Cochran.

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Paul Simon


Paul Simon

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Paul Simon


Paul Simon

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays Paul Simon

March 28th, 2019 • Martyrs’ • Chicago, IL

It looked like the end of the road for Paul Simon. His last album had sold less than any of his other records, and he had to admit he was running dry on inspiration. But then a friend of a friend loaned him a mixtape of South African music she’d put together to stimulate her own muse. And Simon found he liked the exuberant voices and grooving rhythms so much, he was willing to fly in the face of world opinion and travel to the apartheid stronghold of South Africa to seek out those very musicians he’d been listening to on that borrowed cassette to help him create his next collection of songs. Little did anyone know, the experience would not only rejuvenate Paul Simon’s career, it would also give birth to one of the most beloved albums of the ‘80s, Graceland.

Join Great Moments in Vinyl as we bring the music of Paul Simon to the stage. We’ll feature songs from throughout Simon’s early career in our opening set, and then present all the tracks off of Graceland accompanied by a chorus of voices designed to capture the vibrant sounds of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

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The Beatles-The Rolling Stones 02-16-19


Beatles/Stones

The Beatles-The Rolling Stones 02-16-19


Beatles/Stones

Great Moments in Vinyl plays The Beatles and The Rolling Stones

February 16, 2019 • 1101 W. Granville (Gallery 1070 performance space) • Chicago, IL

Fifty years ago, two of the best loved bands in rock released records that were milestones in their careers. For The Beatles, it was their swan song Abbey Road, the last collection of music they recorded together and an album that many fans consider their best. For The Rolling Stones, it was Let It Bleed, the record that found them firmly in command of the blues-rock sound they'd only recently reinstated, and one of a series of albums that are widely regarded as the pinnacles of their career.

Join us as we relive the songs and tell the stories behind them with our 50th anniversary tribute to Abbey Road and Let It Bleed. Featuring Phil Angotti, Richard Pettengill, Dick Schmidt, Joe Camarillo, Rachel Drew, and William Lindsey Cochran.

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The Beatles with Strings 01-25-19


The Beatles

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The Beatles with Strings 01-25-19


The Beatles

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays The Beatles with Strings

January 20, 2019 • City Winery Chicago • Chicago, IL

Some of the best loved Beatles songs are songs that they themselves never got to perform live. They began as a four-piece band, but their creative vision expanded in the studio to include instruments that took them beyond the basic format of rock and roll. With the assistance of their innovative producer, George Martin, they added a string quartet to “Yesterday” and dispensed with the band entirely on “Eleanor Rigby.” They used the sound of violins to good effect on the politically savvy “Piggies” and the mind-blowing “A Day in the Life.” Then, producer Phil Spector put his touch on songs such as “The Long and Winding Road” and “Across the Universe” by adding a full orchestra. It wasn’t only the words and melodies that put The Beatles in a class by themselves, it was their memorable arrangements, too.

For their first Sunday Brunch performance at City Winery, Great Moments in Vinyl presents The Beatles with Strings, an assortment of songs that feature strings from throughout the band’s career. And as always at a Great Moments in Vinyl show, you’ll be drawn into the music with stories about the songs and the musicians who created them.

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Joni Mitchell

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GMiV-Joni Mitchell 01-10-19


Joni Mitchell

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays Joni Mitchell

January 10, 2019 • Martyrs’ • Chicago, IL

Annie Lennox said when she heard Joni Mitchell for the first time, she thought, ‘I want to do that.’”

Prince singled out one of Joni’s records as “the last album I loved all the way through.”

Christopher Cross regarded her as a songwriter who set the bar for other songwriters “to do something better than the last time, whether it’s the next song or just the next line.”

Joni Mitchell has been an inspiration across both generations and genders. From her debut on the heels of her success as a songwriter…to her ongoing exploration of the agony and ecstasy of relationships…to her evolution into the archetypal restless artistic spirit, Joni Mitchell has defied categories and confounded expectations time and again, all the while delivering some of the most genuinely felt music ever recorded.

Great Moments in Vinyl takes the stage to celebrate the music of Joni Mitchell. We’ll perform this legendary singer/songwriter’s most popular album, Court and Spark, in its entirety, and spend time with songs from the records that preceded it as well as those that came soon after.

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Elton John 12-08-18


Elton John

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Elton John 12-08-18


Elton John

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays Elton John

December 8, 2018 • 1101 W. Granville (Gallery 1070 performance space) • Chicago, IL

August 18, 2019 • St. Helen School Carnival • 2347 W. Augusta • Chicago, IL

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has to be the most remarkable album in the remarkable career of a remarkable performer.

Bernie Taupin wrote all the lyrics in just two and a half weeks. Elton John composed most of the music in just three days. When the classic band of Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray, and Nigel Olsson finally converged on a studio to record the song, they committed the entire album to tape in just two weeks. And it went on to sell 30 million copies around the world. Not bad for just over a month’s worth of work.

This set features Greg Woods, Scott Tipping, Jim Ryan, Jonathan Reed, and William Lindsey Cochran.

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Dire Straits 11-18


Dire Straits

Dire Straits 11-18


Dire Straits

Great Moments in Vinyl plays Dire Straits

November 28, 2018 • Martyrs’ • Chicago, IL

Forty years ago, Mark Knopfler wrapped his fingers around a ’61 Fender Stratocaster and made music fans around the world sit up and take notice. With his band Dire Straits, Knopfler crafted a sound that was refreshingly pure in a music industry roiling with heavily produced rock, feisty punk, and the beginnings of the synth-driven sounds of new wave.

The band’s self-titled debut album cost a mere $22,000 to produce. But it shot to the top of the charts around the world thanks to the instant classic “Sultans of Swing.”

It was a powerful debut, and Dire Straits lived up to their promise on the records that followed. But in 1985, the band outdid themselves and reached the pinnacle of their career with the album Brothers in Arms which sold an astounding 30 million copies.

This set features Scott Tipping, Philip Roach, Scott Stevenson, Jonathan Reed, John Bowes, Jack Cassidy, and William Lindsey Cochran.

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The Moody Blues 10-18


The Moody Blues

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The Moody Blues 10-18


The Moody Blues

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays The Moody Blues

October 25, 2018 • Martyrs’ • Chicago, IL

Great Moments in Vinyl celebrates the band that married rock and roll to a classical orchestra and established a new genre in music. And while any one of their albums is a musical journey worth taking, we’re going sprint through the “core seven” that established their reputation by performing the group’s best-loved compilation album, “This is The Moody Blues.”

Featuring Phil Angotti and Scott Tipping on vocals and guitars, Jim Ryan on keyboard, mellotron, and vocals, John Bowes on flute, sax, and vocals, Jim Barclay on drums and vocals, and William Lindsey Cochran on bass and storytelling.

“And the sound we make together/Is the music to the story in your eyes!”

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Jimi Hendrix-City Winery


Jimi Hendrix

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Jimi Hendrix-City Winery


Jimi Hendrix

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays tribute to Jimi Hendrix

September 11, 2018 • City Winery, Chicago, IL

The man’s career can only be described in superlatives.  Best.  Greatest. Most innovative.  Most influential.  According to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jimi Hendrix was “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock”, while Rolling Stone put him at the top of their list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”  

This September, Great Moments in Vinyl returns to City Winery for a narrated concert featuring two of Jimi Hendrix’s most widely acclaimed recordings, his debut releases Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold as Love. Look for Bill Grady to deliver the guitar pyrotechnics and soulful singing backed by Jonathan Reed, Jeremy Peters, and William Lindsey Cochran.

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Rolling Stones-Hot Rocks


The Rolling Stones

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Rolling Stones-Hot Rocks


The Rolling Stones

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays tribute to The Rolling Stones

July 7, 2018 • Martyrs' • Chicago, IL

It's a remarkable fact that The Rollings Stones have released as many compilation albums as they have albums of original material. But for a lot of music fans, those greatest hits albums are where they got started. And out of all the "best of" releases the Stones put out, one has been an enduring favorite:  Hot Rocks.

Join us as we pay tribute to "The Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band in the World" with a concert featuring the songs from one of their most popular collections.  With Phil Angotti, Rachel Drew, Richard Pettengill, Jim Ryan, Benji Shefler, John Bowes, Jack Cassidy, and William Lindsey Cochran.

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Pink Floyd 05/25/18


Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd 05/25/18


Pink Floyd

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Great Moments in Vinyl plays tribute to Pink Floyd

May 25, 2018 • Martyrs' • Chicago, IL

By 1972, Pink Floyd had evolved from their psychedelic ‘60s roots to become a progressive rock band that tended to introspective lyrics and extended instrumental jams.  Who would have imagined that they’d create one of the best selling albums of all time?  The Dark Side of the Moon was a landmark record on so many levels.  Concept.  Songwriting.  Production.  Performances.  It set the bar for every rock album to follow.

And that went for Pink Floyd themselves.

In the wake of such massive success, what do you come back with?  They looked inside themselves in the midst of the pressure to produce and the industry that was driving them to deliver and found inspiration for a stunning new collection of music, Wish You Were Here.