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Hot Time at the Old Town Tonight (And Tomorrow)

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 29, 2004 11:41AM

Chicagoist could fill up posts every week with all the great programs being put on by the Old Town School of Folk Music. There are always good shows playing over there and they offer so many classes that Chicagoist can finally justify buying that $20 ukulele at Costco over the summer (and there’s no experience necessary! Woo!) But one of the best things about Old Town is their commitment to youth outreach and making music a part of every community. This weekend is no exception though the greatness may get lost in the shuffle of Halloween craziness.

Partially paralyzed since the age of 18, Vic Chesnutt’s career broke Image: weeklyplanet.comwide with the release of the Sweet Relief II benefit album. Almost ten years prior to that, the brilliance of Chesnutt’s work had already come to the attention of R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe who produced hiss first album. Released last year to near-unanimous praise, the album Silver Lake is Chesnutt's most recent work of wistful, romantic sighs. Having outlasted some of the (then) bigger names on his own tribute album, Chesnutt brings his folksy rocking to Old Town’s Lincoln Avenue concert hall tonight at 8 PM.

Equally as cool is Old Town’s continuing Afrofolk series. Not just an exploration of varied musical styles, Afrofolk brings together elements of theatre, poetry, dance, and storytelling to renew the connection to African performance artistry within the city. This weekend Afrofolk brings the Nigerian soul sounds of Kuku to the South Shore Cultural Center at 7 PM on Saturday night. Please beware: Kuku’s music has some serious baby-makin’ properties. So watch whom you bring to the show. Just sayin’.